FoodPrint: New Website Launches to Help Consumers Make Smart, Sustainable Decisions About the Food They Buy and Eat
Survey results released on new site show that a majority of consumers are driven by their values but are confused by what common food labels mean
Newswise — New York, NY – Today GRACE Communications Foundation launched FoodPrint.org, a new website that provides common-sense and science-based information to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions at the grocery store and when dining out. As the site explains, a “foodprint” is the result of all the processes required to get your food to your plate and the impact they leave on the environment, animals and people. FoodPrint.org will pull back the curtain on industrial food production and explain the benefits of more sustainable practices, providing readers with science-based information and resources for lowering their individual foodprints.
With the launch of the site, GRACE is also releasing the results of a new nationwide survey of 1,000 household food purchasers conducted by the trusted market research company GfK. The survey showed that while a significant percentage of consumers are driven by their values (such as eating locally and sustainably, seeking out organic and humanely raised products, etc.), a majority are confused by common food labeling terms, and are often misled to believe that many claims mean more than they do. For example:
- While nearly 25 percent of people surveyed said they look for organic food when they shop, about 50 percent of people surveyed said they also want to avoid harmful pesticides – which is precisely what “organic” means; and
- About 60 percent of people surveyed mistakenly believe “cage-free” means animals have access to the outdoors at all times. However, the term means literally only “out of a cage” and does not require that animals be given any outdoor access.
FoodPrint.org hopes to cut through the noise and help bridge this knowledge gap by providing a one-stop shop for information on how to make more informed choices that are better for the environment, animals and people. Along these lines, one of the main features of the new site is a dynamic Food Label Guide that offers simple yet comprehensive guidance on how to decipher the myriad labels and advertising claims a consumer may encounter in a single grocery visit, so they can feel confident that their purchases truly reflect their values.
“We’re thrilled about the launch of FoodPrint.org, a comprehensive resource for all consumers who want to make meaningful and sustainable food choices at the grocery store, out at restaurants and in their homes,” said Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., Chief Science Advisor at GRACE Communications Foundation. “When people visit our site they will find the tools they need to make informed, value-based decisions about how best to spend their money and what to put into their bodies and their families’ bodies – taking into account a wide range of attributes that determine overall sustainability. For example, a busy parent might want to understand how to avoid pesticides and antibiotics, how synthetic fertilizers negatively impact their family’s health and the environment and why those things matter. We help that busy person learn the answers to these questions and understand their foodprint.”
“We're overwhelmed by too many items on the grocery shelves, labeling that's confusing and a nagging sense that we're not making good food choices,” said Kathleen Merrigan, former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and current Professor and Director of the Arizona State University Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems. “FoodPrint.org helps us understand what matters by revealing how our food choices impact the the environment, animals and our bodies. And knowledge is power. With FoodPrint, I fully expect consumers to demand better options from food companies and better policies from politicians.”
In addition to practical information on topics such as farm animal welfare, food waste, the benefits of eating locally and how to decipher labels for meat and eggs, FoodPrint.org aims to help educate people about how these and other issues are interconnected and important to food sustainability and to our environment as a whole.
About GRACE Communications Foundation
GRACE Communications Foundation develops innovative strategies to increase public awareness of the critical environmental and public health issues created by our current industrial food system, and to advocate for more sustainable alternatives. By building partnerships and mobilizing philanthropic resources, we promote consumer actions and public policies that support sustainable food production. Learn more at https://gracecommunicationsfoundation.org/.