Guide To Ethical Food Labels

Many online culinary courses will teach the values of conscious eating. While it may be easy to recycle and change your light bulbs to new compact fluorescent types, modeling your consumption habits around an eco-friendly lifestyle requires a thorough knowledge of the industry.

There are many terms used by chefs and food manufacturers to represent the resources and organizations that make up the world of ethical eating. Here is a brief overview of some:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) definition of sustainability is to use processes that continue natural conditions where humans can thrive. Sustainable organizations work to maintain levels of resources to promote human health.

Fair trade
Many food products are sourced internationally from developing or underdeveloped countries. Fair Trade organizations push for appropriate compensation to workers. They also help teach communities to grow their market into a thriving industry. Products like coffee beans are labeled with the Fair Trade symbol if they follow living wage standards.

Certified naturally grown
This is a grassroots network of farmers dedicated to naturally grown food. They implement a Participatory Guarantee System that limits paper and certification costs to fuel a peer-led inspection process. This is usually adopted by smaller farms who sell to their local markets.

The grass-fed movement is based on the idea that cattle, goats, sheep and other animals should consume food that is natural to them. For animals called ruminants, this is their mother’s milk when they are young and fresh grass or a similar grassy hay throughout the rest of their lives. Additionally, standards require them to be raised in an open environment where they can graze. This term doesn’t limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Food products labeled grass-fed organic can’t have pesticides, hormones and other additives according to the USDA.

This term describes farms that allow their animals access to roam about on pastures of a specified size that is regulated by the USDA.

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