As we gear up for the upcoming holiday season with preparations, planning and - of course - food shopping, it's a good time to start thinking about ways to be more conscious consumers. GRACE has teamed up with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Food Chain Workers Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council, to launch "The Good Groceries Guide," which equips consumers with a helpful shopping resource to buy food that supports a healthier, more humane and fair food system.
Our Current Food System
The industrialization of our food system has led to widespread problems such as foodborne illnesses, worker exploitation, animal abuse and environmental degradation. "The exploitation of farm animals, food workers and the environment that we see every day in our food system can be overwhelming," said Daisy Freund, Director of ASPCA's Farm Animal Welfare Program. "While opting out may seem incredibly difficult, finding food from better sources can often just be a matter of knowing what to look for. The Good Groceries Guide will empower consumers with the knowledge to make every purchase a vote for a more humane, sustainable and accountable food system." Consumers have the ability to be impactful change agents, and the Guide will serve as a dependable tool in achieving this end.
"While opting out may seem incredibly difficult, finding food from better sources can often just be a matter of knowing what to look for."
By enacting positive change within our food system, consumers make an impact that extends beyond the farmers' market or grocery store. The food system employs more workers in the United States than any other industry, accounting for 14 percent of all workers in the nation. Joann Lo, Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, explains, "The problems facing food workers are often intertwined with health, the environment and animal welfare, and this Good Groceries Guide helps consumers address all of these issues, to the benefit of our communities and our food system." When we advocate for fair labor practices, we in turn strengthen the health of our communities, planet and the welfare of animals.
Advocating for a More Humane, Sustainable and Fair Food System
Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how to better support ethical and sustainable practices through their purchasing power. The Good Groceries Guide seeks to aid consumers in this process and bolster transparency in the market aisles. Deciphering complex food labels can be both confusing and time consuming - how do we know what labels to trust, and what do the different labels really mean? The Good Groceries Guide helps consumers differentiate between meaningful and meaningless labels when it comes to animal welfare, health, the environment and worker treatment. In addition, the Guide also provides consumers with tips for reducing food waste, guidance on how to demand healthier and more humane alternatives at grocery stores and reasons for why opting for in-season produce is so important for the prosperity of farmers and our planet.
Collectively, we as consumers have the capacity to create lasting impact within our food system. "The seemingly small decisions we make in the grocery aisles can have a big impact on the world we live in," said Jonathan Kaplan, director of the Food and Agriculture program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "From fighting the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections, to conserving water, and curbing climate change - our food choices can make a difference." With the release of the Good Groceries Guide, consumers are now equipped with the ultimate shopping companion to contribute to the shaping of a more sustainable, equitable food future.