You all know how passionate I am about making lifestyle choices in a way that helps the earth around us – and that especially includes animals provide food for us. It’s one of the reasons why I try to raise as much of my own food as possible and that what the ASPCA is focusing on as they turn their attention to the humane treatment of farm animals. This is why 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. Here are some tips for being a savvy consumer while supporting humane practices!
Watch Out for Mis-Leading Labels! 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. Before I started raising my own backyard chickens, I didn’t understand what all the different terms meant or why they were important. Now it impacts the majority of our food purchasing decisions.
Don’t Waste the Food You Have – When we are aware of the life given to provide food for our family we take that seriously and make a point to not waste. Leftover meat gets reused in a dish like this casserole, or even using the bones to make homemade stock broth for soups and chili. Your family can reduce your holiday grocery bill – and food waste – first by serving the right portion sizes and secondly by storing and reusing 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 – We try very hard to raise as much of our own food as possible. Obviously no one can do everything for themselves, and that’s where connected with local food suppliers can be so powerful. When you connect with a farmer or rancher at your local farmer’s market or through a CSA, not only do you keep more of your shopping dollars in your local community, but you also decrease the need for factory-farmed foods from your budget. If you’re wondering where to start, check out the ASPCA guide for shopping locally for ideas on how to begin conversations with local producers in your area.
Shop With Your Heart (In the Smartest Way Possible) – When I was first married I didn’t know how to read labels and shop in the most humane way possible. But the more I began to raise my own food, the more picky and careful with my food selections. Anything I can do to improve the health of my family and be more humane to the creatures in the world around us, the better we’re going to be as a whole. 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 we 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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