Those of you who know me personally know exactly how obsessed I am with the goodness of Wholefoods! In the past three years I have gone completely organic. Which was no easy task since the closest wholefoods was either 40 minutes south or 60 minutes north of my house, until last year! Wholefoods opened a 10,000 sq. ft. store 10 minutes from my house. Needless to say I was ecstatic!
I have made it part of my job, as a trained chef and Doula, to help families learn how to go green and completely organic so a reoccurring question from my friends and clients is “how do you know, that when you buy free range and organic, that it really is what they says it is?” My answer was always, ” look for the USDA Certified Organic symbol, other than that all we can do is trust these companies aren’t lying to us.” well not anymore!
The wonderful people at Wholefoods have decided to work with Global animal partnership and rolled out a new meat and poultry grading system for their stores last week. This is a fantastic new tool that I am so excited about! There are 5 different levels for local and organic farmers to be certified in what they call the “Animal Welfare Grading System”. The farmers have a list of guidelines they must follow to be certified and regular checkups by a third part to stay certified.
Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating
Now for those of you reading this who are not organic and never really thought about how the animals that you are eating are raised you should really think about watching a movie called “Food Inc.”, after I watched Food Inc. I wanted to become a vegetarian.
Lets face it, if everyone could just be vegetarian then the big companies would be forced to close down if there is no demand for meat. Then we wouldn’t have to be concerned if the animals we eat are being treated humanely. But people can’t give up meat it just taste too good. I’m one of those people; I love a great steak or a roasted chicken. But it makes my heart heavy to think an innocent animal has lived it’s whole life scared, jammed in a little space so it cant move freely and may never even see daylight! Morally that’s just not right.
I wish I had enough property and time to raise a few animals just for my family’s consumption but I don’t. So for all you farmers out there that take the extra time and effort to humanely care for the animals you raise, so my friends and I can have the option to eat meat that had a humane life and won’t cause cancer, I say “I am willing to pay a little extra for excellent tasting, healthy meat and Thank you for all your hard work”!