As far as fruits and veggies are concerned, there's one major label that people know they can trust. The USDA Certified Organic seal makes it easy to find produce you can feel good about eating (just make sure it's 100 percent organic). Shopping for meat, on the other hand, isn't nearly as straightforward.
That's because there are actually zero federal laws governing how animals are raised on farms and very few that regulate the claims meat companies can place on packaging. While a lot of the words in the meat aisle may sound great, it's hard to know what they really mean and how legitimate they are.
As more and more wellness-minded people begin to incorporate meat into their diets, it's important to know how to do so in a way that protects animal welfare and doesn't feed into harmful factory-farming practices. Thankfully, animal-first organizations like the ASPCA have noticed encouraging shifts toward more consumer awareness.
"People are more aware and more concerned about farm animal welfare than ever before," Daisy Freund, director of ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare, tells mbg. "Our recent studies found that 77 percent of those polled were actively concerned about the welfare of animals raised for food. And 74 percent of consumers are paying more attention to the labels that describe how an animal was raised than they were five years ago."
In order to clear up some of the confusion, Freund demystified what we should be looking for on meat and what we're better off avoiding.