Whole Foods Debuts a New Way to Rate Your Produce

The criteria I use for judging my produce has seriously evolved in my years of grocery shopping. Where I once sought some combination of the cheapest or best-looking fruit and veggies in the market, I've learned to look for organic, accepting its higher prices and more frequent imperfections. Today Whole Foods begins pushing our collective produce considerations a few steps further, with a new rating system that takes into account factors like water conservation, worker wages, overall sustainability and waste. Of course, organic will still be a major focus, but Whole Foods will also weigh the use of certain pesticides—those that they deem prohibited or restricted, vs others that are less so.

Other factors measured in the new Whole Foods Market system:

  • sustainability
  • pest management
  • pollinator protection
  • worker wages
  • water conservation and protection
  • soil health
  • ecosystems
  • biodiversity
  • waste, recycling and packaging
  • energy
  • climate

According to Whole Foods, "The ratings will also reward suppliers for certification by a number of leading social and environmental standards including:  Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Protected Harvest, and Demeter Biodynamic certification."

What you'll see in-store is a 'good,' 'better' or 'best' rating on produce and flowers:

What do you think of the new rating system? Do you feel like it will help you make more informed produce choices?

Produce photo via Aaron van Dorn