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Supermarkets interested in expanding their sustainably raised meat and poultry offerings can find more information through a growing number of organizations and companies devoted to sustainably raised food and humanely raised animals.
One such organization is New York-based Sustainable Table. Through its website, www.sustainabletable.com, the organization seeks to educate American consumers about sustainably raised food. “We try to be comprehensive without being overly technical,” explains Senior Policy Advisor Chris Hunt about the site.
The site includes Sustainable Table’s "Eat Well Guide." Visitors can enter a ZIP code to gain access to listings of grocers, restaurants and farms that specialize in sustainably raised food in their areas.
“Sustainability has been an incredible growth area,” notes Hunt. “There’s been a huge spike in awareness, in part because of folks like Michael Pollan and films like ‘Food Inc.’”
While it’s a word increasingly on the lips of American consumers, even Sustainable Table wrestles with the fact that the term “sustainable” has yet to be clearly defined in the food industry. “The underlying theme is that sustainable means different things to different people,” says Hunt. “For some it’s environmental impact. Other people really want sustainable to include high animal welfare, and there are those who want it to mean no pesticides.”
With regard to meat, Sustainable Table defines sustainably raised animals as those that live on pastures. “It’s about pasture-based farms, and that excludes confinement facilities,” Hunt clarifies.
Sustainable Table’s satellite website, www.eatwellguide.org, contains information on a variety of issues related to sustainability, such as rBGH and hormone use, the benefits of sustainability, and more.
The guide can be a valuable resource for retailers seeking sustainable suppliers, notes Hunt. Grocers that, as Hunt puts it, “make a really honest effort to offer sustainable products,” can contact the organization to be considered for inclusion in the guide. Currently, the “Eat Well Guide” database includes 25,000 farms, ranches, grocery stores and restaurants.
American Grassfed Association
4340 E Kentucky Avenue, Suite 311
Denver, CO 80246
Mailing Address: PO Box 461090, Denver, CO 80246
E-mail: [email protected]
1667 Cole Blvd, Building 19, Suite 300
Golden, CO 80401
Heritage Foods USA
402 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Mailing Address: PO Box 198, Brooklyn, NY 11211
1600 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite 250
Alameda, CA 94502