What’s with the labels?

Some “ethical” labels on foods can be a bit confusing (and unverifiable). There are labels for cage free, organic, dolphin safe, fair trade, grass-fed…and the list goes on. I stumbled on this article last night while reading this weeks Newsweek Magazine. It helps to decipher what some of these labels mean and how trustworthy they are. You can get more information on this subject and a pocket guide at the GreenGuide.

Organic: “This is the gold standard of labels,” says Pennybacker. Organic crops are free of genetic engineering, sewage sludge, most conventional pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Livestock used for milk, eggs and meat are fed 100 percent organic feed, raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, and have access to the outdoors. (See

Bird Friendly: Some coffee growers plant their crops on land stripped of its natural vegetation. But the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Council of the National Zoo verifies that all coffee bearing the Bird Friendly logo (see is grown under a canopy of trees that provide shade for the coffee and a habitat for migratory birds. Coffee grown in the hot sun requires more pesticides and chemical fertilizers to flourish, but it costs about 20 percent less.

continue reading at Newsweek.

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