Peeling Back the Labels

Peeling Back the Labels

Rene Ebersole
Published: 07/29/2011



“Free Range”
“Fair Trade”
“Bird Friendly”
“Natural.”
“USDA Organic”

It can be confusing trying to make sense of all the environmental claims plastered on food products lining grocery store aisles these days.

“There’s a reason for all this green branding,” writes Gretel Schueller in Audubon’s special Food issue. “Since 2003 U.S. organic food sales have more than doubled, to roughly $25 billion. The booming demand for organic foods is making greenwashing more tempting—and more lucrative—than ever before. One study found that about a third of all new food products launched in 2008 claimed to be “natural.””

With all the different green food labels—there are about 100, depending on how you choose to define them—figuring out which ones are the most meaningful can be challenging. Click here to find the truth behind the print.