Monday, April 27, 2009

I am slightly obsessed with reading labels. It's part of my larger obsession with being an educated consumer. I believe you need to know what is in your food and the products you buy. You need to know if what you're buying really is what the manufacturer wants you to think it is. This is especially important now that it's considered cool to be eco-friendly, because so many companies are hyping up their "green" products which really aren't green at all, or the companies themselves are still involved in destructive practices that harm the earth, animals, and people. For example, in the grocery store the other day I saw that Perdue had recently changed the labeling on their chicken parts to say "All Natural, Raised Without Antibiotics or Hormones." The uneducated consumer would likely take a glance at that package and assume these chickens were "organic" or healthier in some way than the "old" Perdue chickens. First of all, unlike for the term "organic," there are no federal rules or limitations in place on the use of the term "all natural." In this case, "all natural" doesn't mean shit. It means that the chicken parts came from a bird, which makes them "natural." Next, take a look at the teeny, tiny fine print at the bottom of the package. It states that federal law prohibits the use of antibiotics or hormones in chickens. Antibiotics and hormones were never the issue to begin with. The issues with Perdue chickens include squalid, inhumane living conditions and slaughtering practices, feed made from ground up bits of OTHER CHICKENS, and the massive amounts of agricultural pollution generated from the factory farming of chickens (and other livestock). In this case, look for chicken meat that has a label stating the meat is organic, the chickens were raised with access to fresh water, fed a vegetarian diet, had room to roam and access to the outdoors, and were humanely slaughtered. Yes, it takes a little bit more effort to be an educated consumer. Research what you're buying before you buy it. You can sacrifice a little convenience for knowledge. Knowledge is power.

We are still a capitalist society and we vote with our wallets, so don't vote for companies that make misleading and deceptive claims, or fill their products with chemical garbage, or use tons of unnecessary packaging.

Read a little bit more here, and all over the internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment