Whole Foods has just made shopping a whole lot easier for quality and environmentally conscious shoppers by announcing a produce ranking system that will label every item in the produce department as “good,” “better,” or "best," based on various criteria that determine a crop’s sustainability, like pest management, farmworker welfare, pollinator protection, water conservation and protection, soil health, ecosystems, biodiversity, waste, recycling and packaging, energy usage, and climate.
The complicated algorithm for determining which fruits and vegetables are deemed “greener” or “better” than others is meant to increase transparency between grocery shoppers and the shelves.
“Organic is not enough,” John Mackey, co-chief executive officer said during the GE Capital Corporate Finance Food & Beverage Summit on October 1, according to Food Business News. “Consumers want total information, total transparency. Some people want it all.”
The ratings are meant to help shoppers and incentivize better practices for growers, who will be rewarded for higher grades with certification by organizations like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and Protected Harvest, which will in turn increase their profits in the future.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi