GREEN EGGS and HAM
Decoding Food Labels at Ventura's Farmer’s Markets
you've been hiding under a rock the past decade, you’ve
about organic food and seen the
organic labels popping up on grocery
shelves faster than you can eat your 100-calorie pack Cheese Nips
Blessed to live in a rare Southern California town where there
is one acre of farmland for every acre of city, Venturans are used to
the availability of fresh produce. And, given the rise of “eating
green,” you’ll likely visit a Farmer’s Market nearest you on the road
to your “eat-better, eat-right” lifestyle.
At the market, you’ll also
likely see a multitude of labels to help you with your choices.
what do all those labels really mean? The Farmer’s Bureau of Ventura
County breaks it down for us:
by the US Department of Agriculture to meet
standards that disallow the use of most conventional pesticides,
genetic engineering, and routine use of antibiotics and growth hormones
in livestock. Incidentally, if there is one thing you should buy
organic, it’s peaches. They made the top of the “ick” list as the most
pesticide rich fruit.
Buy Fresh Buy Local:
There are no consistent standards for use of the
may refer to a region, a state, or the immediate ridgeline or
watershed. It may also be applied to products that are made locally but
of imported ingredients (chocolates, cheeses, pastries, locally roasted
“Sustainable food” certification programs address an array
of social and environmental issues that go beyond “organic,” including
safe and fair working conditions, healthy and humane care for
reduced pesticide use, reduced water and non-renewable energy use, and
enhanced soil health.
Fair trade partnerships seek to offer
better trading conditions to, and
secure the rights of, marginalized producers and workers, especially in
countries. Certification by the Fair Trade Labeling Organizations
guarantees that a product’s fair trade claims have been independently
audited and verified.
certified by organizations like Scientific Certification
to have met voluntary standards in one or more areas of potential
concern, including pesticide residues, food pathogens, industrial
contaminants and heavy metals, and food safety procedures and practices
throughout the food supply chain.
Want to learn more about
pesticide free farming?
secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture,
deliver the keynote address March 3 at the second annual Spray Safe
event at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Free, reservations required.
For more info go to: http://www.farmbureauvc.com/news.html
Still hungry? Check out these "Foodie" articles at Wanderfood Wednesdays.
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