Monday, April 30, 2007

I Don't Believe in Labels

A couple of weeks ago Mom Go Green had a cool post about what the numbers mean on produce labels. I especially liked the information on Dole Organics; Go to their website and enter the farm code to find out the fruit's region and country of origin, the crops the farm produces, how long the farm has been certified organic, and what type of organic certification their farm has received. There are also photographs of the owner and farm facilities. Kinda puts a face to that banana, doesn't it? It bugs me that Dole has a habit of using i-t-apostrophe-s on its website when they should be using just plain old i-t-s, but hey...I'm sure those copy writers have other important thing's on they're mind's.

But in general, what do all these labels actually mean? The Green Guide's Smart Green Shopper Food Label Choices guide will help you figure out what it means when your free-range chickens are fair-trade certified...or something like that. The bottom line is, some labels are "less reliable" (think "natural" and "antibiotic-free") than others (think USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified).

In other news, one of my reader's asked me to make suggestions as to how she can begin to go green. I am not a preacher. I will insist on hanging towels out to dry on the one hand and then go take a long hot shower in order to come up with additional brilliant energy-saving ideas on the other. But I will tell you that this month, I am trying to use my own coffee cup 75% of the time. See. I'm not overly ambitious. Baby steps.

By the way. Purchased a coffee today in a to-go cup. -2 points. From McDonald's. -5 points. It was some sort of styrofoam-esque cup. -247 points. I've got a lot of negative balance goin' on.

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