Before You Hit the Grocery Store
- Rank your priorities. Are you most concerned about animal welfare, antibiotic and hormone use, animal feed, access to pasture, family farm vs. agribusiness, labor standards, how far the food traveled, or something else entirely? You may not be able to find the perfect product that meets all of your ideals, but you can minimize the paralysis that results from label, reading overload by prioritizing which is the most important to you.
- If you can, buy local and direct! If you can’t find products that fit your list of requirements at the grocery store, get creative by buying local and direct from the farmer. Buying direct means you don’t have to rely on labels and packing to tell you how the animals were raised — you can ask the person who raised them. There are a growing number of ways to buy direct from producers:
- Check out the Eat Well Guide for listings of where to find sustainably produced meat and dairy products.
- Sustainable Table has lists of questions to ask producers about how they raise their animals.
- The USDA has a website you can use to find a farmers market near you.As the demand increases, more farmers markets are starting to carry meat, dairy and eggs produced locally, usually by small farmers.