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Field Guides to Food

"Humane" criterion for Real Food Challenge: Examples

The following are examples of the kinds of issues addressed by the "humane" category of the RFC, and give us a sense of why these are important:

First, the report Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, which pinpoints problems of concentrated animal feeding operations and recommends solutions to address them. The report is structured around four themes very similar to those of the Real Food Challenge: public health, the environment, animal welfare, and rural communities (particularly pertinent for this section of the module is the section on animal welfare).
You can read either the original executive summary or full report, depending on how much time you have to spare, and the follow up report written five years later is also an interesting read, evaluating the progress that has been made toward fulfilling their original recommendations.

Next, the University of Minnesota's Research & Outreach Stations, which perform applied research in various areas of agriculture & environmental sciences. The "Dairy" and "Swine" sections of their research pages ( & are of particular interest for the "Humane" category.

Finally, The Challenges of Delivering and Explaining Pig Welfare. In this 2005 article, John Deen (College of Vet Med, U of M) explains the basic tenets of pig welfare and compares American and European approaches to ensuring animal welfare, in addition to discussing the challenges of communicating about these approaches to a concerned public.

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