The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

31 January 2005

Eco-kooks Push "Ethical Food"

Santa Cruz socialists have a particular obsession with food politics, in a way that contributes to the especially anal-retentive demeanor they usually exhibit.

Dare not eat the wrong brand, ingredient or insufficiently PC-labeled product in front of one of these scolds unless you want to hear about it from one of these supposedly laid-back basketcases.

And if you want them to come after you with axes, go ahead and eat that hamburger in their presence. That's about all it would take to put these (always-white, by the way) hippies into postal mode.

Love the fact that federal tax dollars went into this hippie nonsense:

(Santa Cruz Sentinel)

The survey, led by Phil Howard of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, asked people in five Central Coast counties what kind of information they would like to have when buying food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the project.

Food safety and nutrition topped the list. Consumers also wanted to know how animals are treated, the impact producing food has on the environment and whether the people who produce food earn a living wage.

"We found a surprising amount of support for ethical aspects of food," Howard said. "That people are interested in safety is not new. We didn’t know about their concern for social justice and humane treatment of animals."

Consumers also said information about environmental issues and the welfare of food-industry workers was hard to find. "They would like to have more of that information available at the store where they are making decisions about what to purchase," Howard said.

Eighty percent of those surveyed liked the idea of labels or store displays that provide more information. Howard asked people to rank five potential food labels, which he called "eco-labels." The most popular was a "humane label," which would certify that products, such as milk, eggs or meat, came from humanely treated animals. Labels that identified locally grown products and those produced by workers who earned "above poverty wages" are also popular.


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