So, let's jump in with...A meat rating system in grocery stores? Yes, and Whole Foods will be the initial testing ground.
Developed by the Global Animal Partnership, a nonprofit group made up of farmers, scientists, retailers, sustainability experts and animal welfare advocates, the rating system aims to address growing consumer concerns over the way animals are raised for food. It could also, not coincidentally, boost sales for certified farmers and participating stores, likely to include another unidentified major national retailer and restaurant group in the coming year, according to the nonprofit.
And the article even has some comic relief, courtesy of factory farm representatives:
"The GAP program is basically a 'free-range' program,'" said Richard Lobb spokesman for the National Chicken Council, which runs its own auditing program . "Only a few producers in the United States follow the free-range model. Most feel that the needs of the birds can be more efficiently met in a well-ventilated, enclosed structure that provides a good climate and protects the birds from the elements and from predators."
And if you're in the mood to get your food wonk on, then please, go to Grist and follow the debate about whether food safety legislation in the Senate will make things better or worse for small farms. It's dense and intense stuff.
And, finally, in case you missed it, China Millman reviews Salt of the Earth in the PG. And she likes it, she really likes it. Man I hope that octopus appetizer is still on the menu by the time I make it there!