Recently, I purchased some air-chilled chicken wings for my family to eat for dinner @ Whole Foods. The cost was very comparable to what I would have paid for factory farmed chickens in my local supermarket. What I noticed, however, on the Whole Foods packaging, was a label of “Step 3 Animal Welfare” which I thought was interesting.

Now, I learned that Whole Foods has partnered with the Global Animal Partnership to label Whole Foods’ meat with a five step rating that takes “humanely raised” labels to a new level. Instead of vague descriptors, the five steps are clearly delineated, from Step 1 (“No crates or cages: Animals live their lives with space to move around and stretch their legs”) through Step 5 (“Animals raised to Step 5+ standards must be born and live their entire lives on one farm.”)

If you’ve tried to purchase meat with a conscious effort to buy a product that was from a humane source, you’ve probably noticed how many labels are deceptively vague. I appreciate the fact that I can go into Whole Foods and purchase meat that now has a more clear label/ rating system.

 If you visit the website, you’ll see more detail about how Whole Foods is using this system to certify their meat producers’ animal welfare practices. I found this not only very informative, but really progressive. I would love to see this commitment become a standard on all meats that consumers can by (wishful thinking, I get it!).

Off to Whole Foods tomorrow!

Read more here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/5step.php

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