The five least green "green food" claims

As we get hungrier for sustainable products, companies are falling over themselves to sell their eco-friendly image

Published March 28, 2010 11:01PM (EDT)

Much, the saying goes, depends on dinner. And that's true for the climate crisis, too: The global food system is responsible for as much as one-third of rising greenhouse gases. About half of that impact comes from agribusiness giants and large-scale landholders slashing and burning the world's last rainforests. Much of the rest comes from intensive livestock production and fossil-fuel dependent industrial farming.

But as more of us have gotten concerned about the climate crisis, the food industry is paying attention to our hunger for all things sustainable, birthing a bevy of new green products, campaigns and sustainability partnerships. Just a taste: In January 2008, when the Grocery Manufacturers Association held its first-ever Sustainability Summit, more than 600 corporate execs, nonprofit reps, and others packed the conference hall.

As food companies and agribusinesses get into the green game, it becomes all the more important to identify which claims are the real deal, and which are just green fluff. Here are some of my picks for green schemes that aren't so green at all -- and how to know the difference.

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By Anna Lappe

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