Whole Foods adopts new system that rates how the meat was treated

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wfm 250 label.jpg
Courtesy of Whole Foods
Green Step 4 beef.
Adopting the meat rating principles set forth by the Global Animal Partnership, Whole Foods rolled out a program this month that lets shoppers know how the animals that became their beef, chicken, and pork products were treated during their lives. The new Five-Step Animal Welfare Rating system uses certified third-party auditors to evaluate farms and meat products regarding the health, treatment, housing, transport, slaughter, and processing of the animals before they hit the Whole Foods stores.

The ratings will be displayed in colored and numbered labels on signs and packaged fresh meats in the case. Here's the basic chart, in which the ratings range from the unacceptable Red to the Green Step 5+, and what the labels mean.

meat ratings.jpg
Courtesy of Whole Foods
Basic meat rating system
The most humanely treated meats get a rating of Green Step 5+, which means the animals spent their entire lives on one farm, among many other requirements. The lowest rating is a red sticker, which won't be on anything at Whole Foods. The company requires that meats rank at an Orange Step 1 rating or higher, which means that there were no cages, no crates, and no crowding in the animals' upbringing. The colors and numbers are on the chart on the right, as created by Global Animal Partnership.
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Brothers_t_brewing
Brothers_t_brewing

I hate you hippies. It IS more important for quality what they are fed rather than if you read your pig a bedtime story and kissed it good night before bed. Time to fire up the grill.

Meat_Eater
Meat_Eater

"Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." (Genesis 9:3)

Eating meat is perfectly fine...

Dr. Weseloh
Dr. Weseloh

So with your Bible quote, if you took it just the way that it is writen you would eat cockroaches and other bugs, snakes and lizards, along with spiders and thousands of living beings that MOST people would not eat. There are many cats and dogs that are running free in your neighborhood so it would be free food for you. After all it is just "meat". The web site that I sent above should have been "VEGAN2050.org". I do not know why the marks got to the end of the link.

Dr. Weseloh
Dr. Weseloh

This shows your lack of knowledge about our movement. Most of us that are involved in the vegan movement are highly educated and highly intelligent. We are a very compassionate group that thinks beyond of our stomach. We would no more think of killing and eating a sentient being like a pig then we would kill and eat a dog, cat, or a human. What is funny is people that will eat a pig, cow, chicken but think it would be horrible to eat a cat or dog. Why are some sentient beings dinner and others are pets?

Please, instead of using the insult of calling all of us "hippies" take the time to study what our movement really is. You can start by going to <http :www.vegan2050.org="">. Education is a great thing. Ignorance is not.

Dr. Weseloh</http>

L_e_wright
L_e_wright

Too bad they aren't doing anything to phase out packaging containing BPA... like the styrofoam and cling wrap used to package the meat.

In fact there is a direct link between BPA and insulin-resistance. Insulin-resistance leads weight gain, Type 2 Diabetes, and a whole mess of other hormone conditions.

Forget the fact that our bodies have a naturally difficult time digesting meat, and forget how inhumanely these animals were treated through the breeding/butchering process. Forget what hormones the animals were pumped full of, or what their diets consisted of. Forget the pesticides that are actually POURED all over these animals (to treat for pests).

Even the most humanely raised and slaughtered animals are packaged in BPA for distribution.

The people who tell us what's "safe" to eat, also happen to work for the food companies that are poisoning us. They don't have our health or best interest in mind.... only their bank accounts.

Codeman8812
Codeman8812

I can agree that killing animals shouldn't be acceptable. There also has to be a progression from the way things are to get to accept the fact that animals don't deserve to be killed. So for me this is a sign that things are at least progressing more than what all stores that provide meat have done.

Ryan Siverson
Ryan Siverson

+6 Animal thought it was free and was extremely happy until we killed it by surprise, from behind, so it never saw it coming.

Zohan Zanzibar
Zohan Zanzibar

Honestly, this sounds like an attempt at making customers feel good about paying more.

Katherine
Katherine

No meat from slaughtered animals, no matter how treated before slaughter, is humane. Period. The humane thing to do is not eat meat at all.

Bobzzwhite
Bobzzwhite

Too bad the produce in some of their stores sucks so bad.Redondo I am looking at you

Dr. Weseloh
Dr. Weseloh

The only humane "meat" is the live flesh on the animal itself. Animals are sentient beings and deserve to be allowed to live.

Dr. Weseloh

Jklsdklajsdf
Jklsdklajsdf

Take on whole foods then, not an article discussing it.

pinecone
pinecone

I applaud their efforts but am disappointed that there is no mention of what the animals eat. Recently Mississippi Market (and perhaps other co-ops) started selling beef from a farm that may be more humane than many commercial operations but the cattle are corn-fed. They claim that customers prefer the taste of corn-fed beef and that's why they are selling it. We all know that pastured beef is healthier for humans and cattle and more humane than feeding corn, which makes cattle sick. Hardly humane.

marshatrainer
marshatrainer

Hi pinecone, while they do allow for partially grain fed animals, there are some specifics for what cattle get fed within this program. The Global Animal Partnership website has more details on that in the document about cattle standards. www.globalanimalpartnership.or...

Arthur Dent
Arthur Dent

So, I guess all the labels should say "The animal did not survive in our care." Hahaha.

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