The Eat with Care blog

Writing about humane farming issues by Caroline Abels, founder of Humaneitarian. Your comments and feedback welcome. (All replies are screened and posted, if thoughtful and respectful.)

App-etite for humane certified meat?

September 10, 2013

When you find yourself in a new town — on a business trip, a vacation, or you’ve moved — chances are you don’t even know where the post office is, let alone a store that sells grass-fed steak. It can be a challenge to eat humanely on the road. But a new smartphone app will help you find grocery stores where you can buy meat that’s been certified for humane treatment. And another new app can help you figure out meat labels once you’re in the store.

Certified Humane

Nearly 10,000 stores in all 50 states and Canada carry products that are Certified Humane. When you see this label, you know the animals were raised according to strict standards: no crates, cages, or tie-stalls, and the animals were allowed enough space to exhibit their natural behaviors.  Read more here about Humane Farm Animal Care, which administers the Certified Humane label — it’s one of 4 organizations in the U.S. that certify meat for humane treatment.

When you hop onto the Certified Humane app (free for download from the iTunes store for iPhone, or from Google Play for Android) you can put in a zip code or a city/town and not only find stores near you that carry Certified Humane products but what, exactly, they carry. I learned, for instance, that a Price Chopper near me sells Certified Humane bacon and Certified Humane cage-free eggs. Or, click on “Buy Online” and you’ll get a list of farms and companies that sell Certified Humane products online (good for folks who don’t live near a store with certified products).

According to Humane Farm Animal Care, 12,000 new users a month are discovering the Certified Humane mobile app. Use it to discover some humanely raised meat wherever you are.

Animal Welfare Approved

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) is another one of the 4 humane certifying organizations in the U.S.  (Read up on their certification requirements here.) They don’t offer a store locator for their products, but their app allows you to download their very comprehensive labeling guide. (Get the free app by searching on “Animal Welfare Approved” in your app search bar). When you’re shopping and you come across a label you don’t understand, AWA’s app will provide a quick definition that helps you figure out the meaning of that label.

Being a humaneitarian, you might already know what “grass-fed” or “free-range” means. But do you know what “biodynamic” is all about?  “Certified naturally grown” or “RBGH-free”?  A number of labels defined on AWA’s app can be found on non-animal products, too, making this app quite handy no matter what you’re shopping for.  A search-term filter reveals whether a label also indicates an antibiotic-free product, a product raised with the environment in mind, or other criteria.

If you download either of these apps and they turn out to be helpful, let me know.