Quantcast

How to Avoid Factory Farmed Foods

Food

There are plenty of reasons to boycott factory farms, including your health, animal welfare and the environment.

It can be challenging to avoid foods produced from animals raised on factory farms, given how dominant factory farming has become. But it’s possible. Here are some suggestions from the Organic Consumers Association:

Photo credit:
Shutterstock

1. Buy direct from farms. You can connect online with farmers markets, subscription-based Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), buying clubs and farms at:

2. Shop carefully in grocery stores. Choosing certified organic is a good way to avoid the worst factory-farmed animal products in grocery stores.

But a certified organic product doesn’t guarantee that it’s 100 percent free of synthetic ingredients or non-organic ingredients, nor does it guarantee the highest level of animal welfare or the best pasture standard. You have to read the labels.

If you want to know that your food comes from farms that provide the highest level of animal welfare, you’ll want to look for organic, grassfed foods that are also:

If you want nutrient-dense food from animals that are 100 percent grass-fed, you’ll want to carefully vet organic companies’ pasture claims. There is no legal standard for "pastured." The term implies that the animal has been raised primarily outdoors, on live pasture. But the quality of a pasture can range from land that consists of a mixture of living nutritious grasses, legumes and a variety of plant species, to land that is poorly managed with respect to soil and water quality, and consists primarily of dirt and gravel, with no living plants.

Products that are American Grassfed Certified, in addition to USDA Organic, guarantee the highest pasture standards and nutrient density.

3. Consider nutrition-per-calorie when shopping for factory farm food alternatives. Food from factory farms might be cheaper, but not when considering how much more nutrition you get from organic and grass-fed alternatives, or plant-based superfoods. Dr. Oz has put together a great list of foods ranked by nutrient density.

4. Don’t be a animal-consuming glutton. Being a healthy omnivore means eating more vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and nuts and seeking out super-foods. Animal products, produced in sustainable, high-welfare systems, can be harmless, but consider treating them like a luxury purchase. 

5. Try going vegan every now and then. Going vegan is probably the only sure way to avoid food from factory farms when you eat out at restaurants. If you want to try vegan at home, there are plenty of nutrient-rich plant-based superfoods, and much evidence supports the health benefits of a vegan diet. Resources include:

Visit EcoWatch’s FACTORY FARMING page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Moment / Getty Images

By Bridget Shirvell

On a farm in upstate New York, a cheese brand is turning millions of pounds of food scraps into electricity needed to power its on-site businesses. Founded by eight families, each with their own dairy farms, Craigs Creamery doesn't just produce various types of cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, sold in chunks, slices, shreds and snack bars; they're also committed to becoming a zero-waste operation.

Read More Show Less
Coal ash has contaminated the Vermilion River in Illinois. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Summers in the Midwest are great for outdoor activities like growing your garden or cooling off in one of the area's many lakes and streams. But some waters aren't as clean as they should be.

That's in part because coal companies have long buried toxic waste known as coal ash near many of the Midwest's iconic waterways, including Lake Michigan. Though coal ash dumps can leak harmful chemicals like arsenic and cadmium into nearby waters, regulators have done little to address these toxic sites. As a result, the Midwest is now littered with coal ash dumps, with Illinois containing the most leaking sites in the country.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

picture-alliance / AP Photo / NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

The Group of 20 major economies agreed a deal to reduce marine pollution at a meeting of their environment ministers on Sunday in Karuizawa, Japan.

Read More Show Less
Pope Francis holds his General Weekly Audience in St. Peter's Square on Aug. 29, 2018 in Vatican City, Vatican. Giulio Origlia / Getty Images

Pope Francis declared a climate emergency Friday as he met with oil industry executives and some of their biggest investors to urge them to act on the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A vegetarian bowl with quinoa fritters. Westend61 / Getty Images

By Ketura Persellin

You've likely heard that eating meat and poultry isn't good for your health or the planet. Recent news from Washington may make meat even less palatable: Pork inspections may be taken over by the industry itself, if a Trump administration proposal goes into effect, putting tests for deadly pathogens into the hands of the industry.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Florida's Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, where the record-breaking beach cleanup took place Saturday. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

More than 600 people gathered on a Florida beach Saturday to break the world record for the largest underwater cleanup of ocean litter.

Read More Show Less
Juvenile hatchery salmon flushed from a tanker truck in San Francisco Bay, California. Ben Moon

That salmon sitting in your neighborhood grocery store's fish counter won't look the same to you after watching Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia.

Read More Show Less
Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Coconut meat is the white flesh inside a coconut.

Read More Show Less