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How Do I Eat Green?

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Sustainable Labels to Look For

In a perfect world, you would know every farmer who grew or raised your food, and you would be able to ask them if you didn't know what their practices were. Pasture or pen? Toxic pesticides or not? Heavy doses of antibiotics or minimal? Instead, we have the USDA certified organic seal, which is for those of us who don't have the opportunity to verify these things ourselves, says Forbord. This label assures that prohibited chemicals were not used and that a body of regulated farming practices (which depend on whether the food is plant, poultry, or livestock) were followed, and it maintains organic integrity from farm to table.

Federal standards, though, are not entirely spelled out, which is why there are other USDA-defined labels, such as "no antibiotics administered" or "raised without hormones." Still, there is a gap between federal regulations and consumer concerns. For instance, the word organic on a piece of fish means nothing, because there is no agreed-upon USDA standard for seafood. Similarly, "free-range" chickens aren't necessarily getting any exercise -- the door to their coop could merely be left open. As a result, third-party certification programs have stepped up to fill in the breach. "A lot of these smaller, nonfederal players are less known but still trustworthy," says Jonathan Kaplan, senior policy specialist at the NRDC in San Francisco. For example, there's the Marine Stewardship Council label for sustainable practices by fisheries, the Food Alliance certification for social and environmental standards and the Rainforest Alliance Certified label that regulates, among other things, the protection of worker health. One way to identify labels that are meaningful is to study up on the verification process and to research the organizations that are involved.

 
Next:  Choose Fish Wisely

 

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VeganMonster wrote:

I agree with both of you! Raising animals for food uses unheard of amounts of the planets resources so this is not something you can ignore if you truly care about the planet! Don't believe me? Please research this! And alexkoy- being a vegetarian is a great start but if you're doing it because you care about animals then you should definitely consider transitioning in a vegan, the completely cruelty-free decision! Let's all show God's earth and animals the respect they deserve!

3/10/2012 09:00:55 PM Report Abuse
nconner6 wrote:

Couldn't agree with alexkoy more! To get more greens go here: www.charleneralph.vemma.com/

11/24/2011 05:08:29 PM Report Abuse
alexkoy wrote:

I READ THE ARTICLE ABOUT EATING GREEN..WHEN SOMEBODY WANTS TO TURN GREEN ITS MOST IMPORTANT TO BECOME A VEGETERIAN..NOT ONLY BECAUSE ITS GOOD FOR THE ENVIROMENT,BUT ALSO BECAUSE ECO LIFE INCLUDES RESPECT FOR ANIMALS..THAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOUR ARTICLE FORGOT TO MENTION

2/8/2010 12:46:29 AM Report Abuse

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