BOSTON -- From a news release today from the World Society for the Protection of Animals:

Trying to find humane food at your local grocery store or restaurant? There's an app for that. Today, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) launched its first-ever iPhone application, Eat Humane Food Guide. The free app makes it quick and easy for consumers to find humanely raised food products at grocery stores and restaurants -- offering a simple, yet powerful way for them to help support the welfare of animals and the environment.

Studies have shown that products from animals who were humanely treated -- not given hormones or unnecessary antibiotics, not continuously confined and allowed to engage in natural behaviors -- are better for human health and the environment. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has said that factory-farmed livestock account for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all transport combined.

"Most food found in U.S. supermarkets and served in restaurants comes from animals who were raised under intensive confinement on large, factory-style farms, which causes extreme animal suffering and has been linked to a broad range of human health and environmental problems," said Sharanya Prasad, U.S. Programs Manager for WSPA. "The new Eat Humane app makes it as easy as possible for consumers to identify meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products from humanely raised animals, no matter where they are -- be it a grocery store or a local restaurant."

With a few quick taps, Eat Humane app users can easily search comprehensive WSPA databases to find humane, animal-friendly foods:

Search by grocery store: Users can select a specific grocery store and the app will display all animal-friendly foods offered in that store. They can then tap through to each product, which is ranked by the WSPA humane food classification system -- "Good," "Better" or "Best " -- making it easier for users to understand labels while shopping and identify foods that come from humanely raised animals.

Search by restaurant: Users can search by restaurant to see which places offer humane food options on the menu. The tool lists restaurants by city and links to pages that list each restaurant's humane menu options, contact information and other relevant information.

These databases are also available on WSPA's Eat Humane Web site, which offers information on making humane food choices. Other humane tips from WSPA include:

  • At the grocery store, choose only free range; pasture raised or organic meat, milk and eggs or products certified as coming from humanely raised animals. You can identify these products in stores because they have Certified Humane, American Humane Certified or Animal Welfare Approved claims on their labels
  • Avoid misleading labels like "Natural" or "Naturally Raised," which have no meaning in terms of animal welfare and the environment, and may be products from animals raised on factory farms
  • Ask local markets to offer more free range, organic, and humane certified foods
  • When dining out, ask establishments to add more choices that are free range, pasture raised or organic
  • Consider adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet as substitutes for meat, egg and dairy products

SOURCE: World Society for the Protection of Animals.