You want the best– best prices, best quality, best value– but when you’re in the grocery store surrounded by everything claiming to be number one, how can you know which best is best?
Whole Foods is hoping to make that answer easier than ever: the sotre released a produce rating system that permits shoppers to gauge their produce’s quality based on a “good,” “better,” or “best” rating.
This new ranking system takes a look at factors that may bring harm to both human and environmental health and then makes its rankings accordingly. The program’s end goal: ranking 100 percent of Whole Foods’ produce (and it already ranks a sizable 50 percent of its foods across the country, so it’s off to a good start).
But What About The Bees?
But that’s not all the good Whole Foods is hoping to spread: it’s also working to keep pollinators safe from harmful neonicotinoid insecticides, which are often seen in the form of seed coatings. Experts have consistently claimed that these scary insecticides could be at least partially responsible for the huge bee extinctions seen recently, also known as colony collapse disorder.
Because of the program’s influence already, we’re beginning to hear from both fruit and veggie farmers that they’re putting together bee-friendly habitats while simultaneously attempting to lower or get rid of pesticides entirely on crops across the U.S., offers Eric Mader, assistant pollinator program director for The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. As we can see through this example, one positive change in the food industry has a way of causing a ripple effect throughout the rest of it. If one large company like Whole Foods starts to provide more information to their consumers, other popular food stores will eventually have to do the same just to remain relevant in today’s ever-changing world.
Personally, I’ve never been big on our buzzing buddies. But as someone who was severely allergic to their stings throughout my childhood and was close to some major consequences after stepping on a bee in the grass as a youngster, even I can now understand the importance of bee health for our planet’s ecosystem to run smoothly. The fact of the matter is, regardless of our personal feelings, bees are crucial to the survival of many of our plants; not to mention, how would we get honey without bees? It’s easy to look the other way on such a large-scale disaster such as this, but it’s important to follow Whole Foods’ footsteps and start making the right choices for bees.
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