Living in the Midwest, surrounded by farms, I often find myself driving by dairy cows, chickens, and other livestock on a daily basis. It’s so common for our family that we rarely give it a second thought. My daughter loves driving by the dairy cows every morning on our way to school and every night on our way home. When she was younger she would insist on rolling down her window and “mooing” to them, every time we drove past. We all care about animals but sometimes we don’t always think about the animals that help produce our food – especially during the holiday season. So, this season the ASPCA, Food Chain Workers Alliance, GRACE Communications Foundation, and the Natural Resource Defense Council are working hard to arm consumers with the information they need before they head to the grocery store for holiday shopping. And they are focusing on farm animal welfare by doing so. Here are some tips for being a savvy consumer while supporting humane practices!
Don’t Be Duped – Marketing schemes can play a huge factor when it comes to food purchases. So often consumers want to buy humanely-raised food, but labels can be meaningless or downright misleading at times! What’s the difference between “all-natural” or “free-range” or “cage-free”? That’s why the ASPCA has produced guides like this one to help consumers distinguish what matters.
Don’t Waste the Food You Have – Your family can reduce your holiday grocery bill – and food waste – by serving the right portion sizes and storing leftovers properly. A Good Groceries Guide will help you understand how all these elements fit together to help people, animals, and ultimately the planet
Buy Locally – Shopping locally, like from your local farmer’s market or CSA, can keep your shopping dollars in your local area and also decrease the need for factory-farmed foods. Check out the ASPCA guide for shopping locally and how to begin conversations with local producers in your area.
Shop With Your Heart – At the ASPCA Shop With Your Heart website you’ll find an abundance of options for healthy and humane food choices, along with tips on how to begin to implement them in your own family.
As consumers w, have all the power to shift the focus of major companies and corporations. And that begins with understanding how our shopping choices can directly affect the lives of the animals that help bring us the meals we serve our family.
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