|Knowing that your food didn't have to travel over 10,000 miles to your plate is important.
What Is COOL? Why is it important? And what do you need to know?
Country of origin labeling, COOL, was a USDA regulation that required meat packers to declare that country where the meat is processed. It l
ets consumers know where their food is grown and raised.
It allows consumers to make educated buying decisions about the products they purchase, much like official
grassfed, organic, humane, non-gmo labels.
Most imported goods do not have the transparency of production methods that American products have and are put into the marketplace at prices much lower than what American products. Many imported products are making unsubstantiated product claims, like grassfed, that directly compete with American products.
When there is no labeling on country of origin, it makes the products in the marketplace seem equal when in fact they are not. This false equality puts pressure on U.S. producers to produce better, faster, cheaper, in order to stay at the top of the market. this has unfortunate consequences - faster, cheaper production models no longer take the animals' welfare or the American land into consideration. The animal and the land are only benefitted when American consumers support American products - to do so, you need a label.
So why has COOL been written out of the law? Why, if 95% of consumers support COOL, has it not been honored? Because Congress said so...
Well, what can we do?
The two biggest factors in making change happen is education and consumer demand. YOU can be the change you want to see in the food world. Share your insight with friends, family, restauranteurs, grocery store leaders, butchers, anyone that will listen and have a discussion.
Educating people on how imports negatively affect our rural communities, American land, animal welfare, the food that fuels your body and health. The consumer can have the biggest impact on urging retailers to support domestic agriculture. Producers can also play a large role in educating retailers/consumers regarding the integrity behind 3rd party production claims like AGA's grassfed label.
Get involved! Spread the knowledge! Support AGA!