Continuing discussion on the controversial topic of food labels, this week Eating Matters host Kim Kessler and co-host Jenna Liut are on the line with Laurie Beyranevand and Andrew Martin. Laurie is the Associate Director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and is also an Associate Professor of Law at Vermont Law School while Andrew is an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News in New York who recently wrote about the animal welfare system at Whole Foods Market and the challenge of sourcing enough “sustainable products” to meet consumer demand. Between the various claims found on products as well as the attractiveness of labels, conversation circles around terms like cage free, free range, humanely raised, and grass fed, and what they imply. Delving into photo regulations that exist for food labels plus additional thoughts on the Whole Foods labeling system for animal welfare, this episode sheds more light on this expansive topic.
“I love the term humanely raised because there’s one that is totally open to interpretation. I would argue that probably 95% of farmers in the United States believe their livestock are humanely raised but the average consumer might look at it and think otherwise.” [4:22]
–Andrew Martin on Eating Matters
“The fact that the USDA and the FDA regulate differently and that the USDA has defined some terms that the FDA has chosen not to define, if there was consistency across the agencies, that would be a positive step in the right direction.” [30:26]
–Laurie Beyranevand on Eating Matters