Jul 8, 2009
As part of our campaign to put an end to the cruel and unsustainable practices of factory farming, WSPA USA’s EatHumane.org is making it easier for shoppers to find animal-friendly products at the supermarket with a food label classification system and searchable database of humane foods at major US grocery stores.
Buyers should beware of the glossy pictures of idyllic farms pasted on packages of dairy, egg and meat products at their local supermarkets. The reality of where these products come from is often not so pretty: the majority of animals raised for US consumption spend their brief lives in factory-style farms where they are confined in small cages with little or no access to fresh air or daylight.
An ever-increasing array of food product labels that make claims about human nutrition, environmental protection and animal welfare leave many shoppers confused about how to make the most humane choices when buying animal products.
Generally animals raised under humane food programs are given access to sunlight, fresh air, and freedom of movement. Levels of animal welfare can be identified by a variety of labels on food packaging. WSPA rates food labels such as “free range,” “USDA organic” and “cage free” in terms of the way the animals raised for food are treated and educates consumers about what food labels to choose and which ones to avoid. Unbeknownst to shoppers, terms such as “natural” and “naturally raised” have little or nothing to do with animal welfare standards. Read more about the standards of food labels >>
To help American shoppers further navigate the grocery aisle, WSPA USA just released the results of a humane food survey ranking the top 25 US supermarket chains by the quality and variety of the food products available on their shelves. This is the second year WSPA conducted a survey of 200 stores in 34 states. A comparison of results from 2008 to 2009 shows an impressive 23 percent increase in humane food offerings in stores.
According to Dena Jones, US programs director for WSPA, “The survey results indicate that people are becoming more sensitive to the cruel and unsustainable methods used to raise farm animals and are seeking humane alternatives when they shop, regardless of cost. Consumer demand influences what stores offer and it is encouraging to see grocers responding by increasing humane food options even in a recession.”
In conjunction with ranking grocery stores, WSPA USA launched the first searchable database for humane foods at the major US supermarkets. Now before grabbing their grocery carts, shoppers can search their local store online to find food products and see how their store compares to others.
For more information on the US survey and to search the humane food database, visit EatHumane.org.