If you’re like many shoppers, you want to know how the food you buy affects people and the planet, including how it was grown, harvested and produced. You seek out greater transparency from stores like ours, as well as from your favorite brands and the companies who produce your food.
We, too, believe you have a right to know if what you’re buying aligns with your values! That’s where third party certiﬁcations play a big role. When you see the little labels by independent third-party certiﬁers on your food, you know that product underwent a rigorous evaluation to ensure it met a set of strict standards.
To highlight the positive impacts these labels make, this January we’re celebrating Think Big, Shop Little Labels all month – honoring Fairtrade America, Marine Stewardship Council and the Non-GMO Project! By looking for the Non-GMO Project, Fairtrade America and Marine Stewardship Council labels, you can shop sustainably throughout our store! Read on to learn how they are driving big, meaningful change in our food system!
What is Non-GMO Project Veriﬁed?
GMOs (or genetically modiﬁed organisms) are living organisms whose genetic material has been manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and/or virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
Non-GMO Project veriﬁcation means that a product is compliant with the Non-GMO Project Standard, the most rigorous third-party standard for GMO avoidance, which includes stringent provisions for ingredient testing and traceability and the most up-to-date deﬁnitions around new GMO techniques.
What is Fairtrade America?
Every day, we enjoy products planted, grown, harvested and transported by farmers and workers around the world. These farmers and workers often do not earn enough to have a decent living — that is, to eat nutritious food, send their kids to school, have adequate shelter and weather a crisis. Many live on less than $2 per day.
The Fairtrade Mark works towards rebalancing trade. By choosing Fairtrade, you are choosing to prioritize the farmers and workers behind our everyday purchases. You are choosing products that are certiﬁed to meet the rigorous standards developed in partnership with producers.
What is MSC Certiﬁed?
The MSC blue ﬁsh label is an ecolabel that can be found on seafood products from fresh, canned, and frozen seafood to omega-3 supplements and even pet food. It can also be found alongside seafood items on menus. The blue ﬁsh helps shoppers and diners identify seafood that is wild-caught and that has been independently veriﬁed for environmental sustainability, because a healthy ocean is vital for people and the planet. By purchasing products with the MSC blue ﬁsh label, you are directly supporting well-managed ﬁsheries that have been assessed by a third-party on its impacts on wild ﬁsh populations and the ecosystems they’re part of.
When you see the MSC blue ﬁsh label on packaging, you can feel good knowing you are supporting continuous changes on the water to help protect the ocean for the future. 95% of MSC certiﬁed ﬁsheries make improvements so they continue to meet the high bar of the MSC Fisheries Standard.
Why do we need such labels on food anyway?
“Natural” food and “fair” food are big business these days and greenwashing has become a serious problem. By making unveriﬁed or uncertiﬁed claims about how their food is grown, caught, or processed (“self-made” marketing claims), some unscrupulous companies capitalize on shoppers’ desire for high-quality food because it supports people and the planet. In response, there is a sea of different labels popping up with claims that sound really good, but have little backing them up.
How does an informed shopper know what label is supported and which are empty marketing words? Choosing well-recognized, independent, third-party certiﬁcation labels on products is the best place to start. Labels like the Fairtrade Mark, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certiﬁed, and Non-GMO Project Veriﬁed represent rigorous standards with requirements that must be followed in order to receive the label. This may actually require laboratory testing and supply chain accountability that allows for “identity preservation.”
Fairtrade America, Marine Stewardship Council, and the Non-GMO Project are all nonproﬁt organizations driven by their collective mission to change how food is harvested or made in order to better serve people and the planet. Fairtrade has been operating internationally since 1989, MSC’s sustainable ﬁshing standard has been in effect since 1998, and Non-GMO Project has been verifying products since 2010. The nonproﬁts publish their standards on their websites to give shoppers full transparency. Brands both large and small showcase this compliance by including the Fairtrade, MSC, or Non-GMO Project labels on their packaging. This further gives shoppers assurance that it’s not a fad but a sustainability tool used by brands to have a true, positive impact.
What you can do Think big and shop the labels! Our store will be highlighting products that are Fairtrade, MSC Certiﬁed and Non-GMO Project Veriﬁed throughout January. Support brands working towards a more sustainable future, and try something new.
Want to learn more?
Follow the Butterﬂy with the Non-GMO Project. Sign up for their newsletters and like them on social
Get the scoop on Fairtrade. Sign up to receive Fairtrade America’s newsletter and follow them on
social media @FairtradeMarkUS.
Learn how your choices at the grocery store can make a big difference for the health of our ocean
at MSC.org. Get to know the people behind the label that make sustainable seafood possible at @MSCblueﬁsh.
Beeler’s Pork is a sponsor of our 40th Anniversary and there is a coupon in every raffle tote for some of their Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon.
For six generations, the Beeler family has been raising the bar for pork production. In 1846, their great-great-grandpa Fred emigrated from Germany and settled in Madison County, Iowa. The work he did set the high standards for years to come.
Today, the Beeler family still owns the original family farm that started it all. They stick to the simple, humane, and natural way of raising pork, just like Grandpa Fred. Because when your goal is to deliver the very best, wholesome pork products to family tables, it’s best to keep the business as a family affair.
Quite possibly the best tasting uncured bacon on the planet! Looking for a bacon that is not only delicious, but is also made from antibiotic free, Non-GMO fed pigs and ingredients? Try Beeler’s Pure Pork Non-GMO Hickory smoked uncured bacon!
- No nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder
- No antibiotics ever
- Casein & gluten free
- Vegetarian fed
- No gestation crates
- Non-GMO Project Verified
Ingredients: Pork, water, sea salt, turbinado sugar, celery powder.
Thank You Beeler’s!
Their hens are carefree and pasture-raised. They explore, play games of chicken, and never have to cross the road. Best of all, they lay darn delicious eggs.
Turkey reservations have begun.
We offer slow grown turkeys from Diestel Family Ranch. Diestel Family Ranch is a California family-run sustainable ranch since 1949. Their turkeys live in harmony with the environment, and they allow them to grow slowly and naturally, with plenty of room to roam on their ranches in the Sierra foothills.
Everything is produced according to strict animal welfare and environmental standards. From their commitment to regenerative agriculture, to the fresh pine-wood shavings that line their barns, to the natural and organic cleaners they use, to the generous spaces they give their birds to roam, to pioneering innovative new processes, they make only choices we’d be proud to talk about – like deciding to become one of the first turkey producers to earn a Global Animal Partnership Step 5 rating.
Diestel does not use cheap filler feeds, no animal by-products, no antibiotics, and no chemicals used for fast growth promotion.
Here at The Natural Grocery Company we only offer birds that are verified non-GMO and we offer several options that are certified organic.
- Natural Turkey: all natural, free range, no hormones, verified Non-GMO $3.99/lb
- Organic Turkey: all natural, free range, fed organic feed, verified Non-GMO $5.79/lb
- Heirloom Organic Turkey: all natural, free range, fed organic feed, verified Non-GMO $6.79/lb
- Diestel Smoked Turkey: fully cooked, ready to eat, verified Non-GMO $5.99/lb
- Organic Oven Roasted Turkey: fully cooked, organic turkey, ready to eat, verified Non-GMO $7.79/lb