We all have a right to know what’s in our food, how it’s produced, and where it’s from. But food companies are often not required to give us the information we want to know. The current rules on food labelling leave a lot of room for vague claims that make it difficult to differentiate between food produced by sustainable farmers versus big corporations.
We will be looking at a few misconceptions that are often on food labels. Pay attention to these the next time you are at the store and let us know what you find out!
Right now the most meaningful label on your food, in terms of upholding specific government requirements, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic seal. For a product to be certified organic, it’s required to meet specific standards. Try to purchase more organic-labeled products.
“Cage free” means that birds are raised without cages, but it tells you nothing about any other living conditions. For instance, cage-free eggs could come from birds raised indoors in overcrowded spaces at large factory farms. Instead, you should look for organic, USDA approved eggs.
“Free range” labels are regulated by the USDA only for poultry produced for meat – it’s not regulated for pigs, cattle or egg-producing chickens. Nor are the requirements very high: poultry can use the label if the chicken had any access to the outdoors each day for some unspecified period of time; it could be just a few minutes, and does not assure that the animal ever actually went outdoors to roam freely. Consider doing some research of company’s that claim they are “free range” before purchasing their products. For the most wholesome and non-modified eggs, look for organic, free range eggs from a local producer in your area. Check the labeling for no antibiotics, no chemical pesticides, no GMOs, Certified Humane, and that they are environmentally sustainable.
Have any questions?
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Edon Office: 419-272-5209
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Article by Melody Nofziger: Freelance Social Media Marketer