Welcome to the Jungle
Blogger Tim Farris has discovered that there are a few problems with the way food (and many other products American consume) are labeled. He refers to an excellent article in Meat Paper, on the truth (or more accurately, lies) behind meat labels, and both writers make copious and somewhat sensical references to Upton Sinclair’s 1909 novel “The Jungle.” Most of us know by now, that “All Natural” is essentially meaningless. It might mean only that there isn’t a prosthetic bone in your porterhouse, for all the oversight there is on food labeling. Another favorite meaningless label is “Free-range.” It means only that there is a door open somewhere leading to the outdoors (and maybe a six-foot square pen). Do not get the impression that the animals are running through fields and stopping to chomp grass as if on some Disney farm. The best and most obvious way around these labels is to buy your meat from someone you know and trust — maybe a farmer you can talk to at the green market, or a local butcher, if you can find one. This will save you the trouble of having to deal with troglodytes at the supermarket who eye you as you pick up your plastic wrapped “Angus” and stroll past Clorox’s “all natural” Green Works products.