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Five Ways to Create a Healthier, More-Humane Menu for Your Family

Creating healthy eating habits for my family has on my mind since my kids were born. But as we become more aware as consumers, we also begin to think about how our purchasing habits impact the rest of the food system. I love the ASPCA’s increased efforts to create more humane practices for farm animals and workers.

Here are five simple ways to become a more-aware and welfare-conscious consumer when shopping for your family’s groceries.

    shop with your heart

  1. Eat Seasonally. Eating foods in season means that you’re able to buy from a more local economy and avoid having your food ship from other countries. This means fresher foods picked at peak ripeness too.
  2. Shop Locally. CSAs and local farmers’ markets help support local, often smaller-scale farmers and ranchers who are producing outside of the traditional factory-farm system. If you aren’t sure where to start, visit your local farmers’ market and start asking some questions. This guide will get you started.
  3. Conquer Labeling Confusion. Marketers create confusion with their flashy labels and clever catch-phrases. Unfortunately, sometimes they care more about finances than transparency. Words like “natural” or “humane” often don’t tell consumers anything concrete. However, some phrases and labels do have regulations associated with their use, and that’s what you can start to look for as a savvy shopper. Here’s a guide to labeling to get you started.
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  5. Be Careful to Minimize Waste. One of the ways we can treat the animals used for food respectfully and humanely is by making the most of the food we purchase. To avoid wasting what your family buys, purchase only what you know you’ll use and serve the right sized portions.
  6. Look for Certifications that Mean Something. For example, the USDA Organic label indicates that the produce grown (or fed to the animal) didn’t use banned pesticides. Others include Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane.




See The Good Groceries Guide for more information about how our shopping habits impact the lives of those around us—animals included. Find more resources for savvy shoppers at the ASCPA Shop with Your Heart website!

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Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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