COOL laws, or Country of Origin Labeling, were initiated in the 2002 Farm Bill, but mandatory labeling of commodity foods has been on hold since 2004, according to the USDA. Some shrimp and seafood is covered, but other food like beef, poultry, and pork, remain unlabeled. The Boston Globe reports that quirks in the proposed COOL laws mean you’d never know if your frozen sausage patties contained pork from seven countries (including, eek, Romania). As the consolidation of the meat industry continues, independent farmers and ranchers need support from chefs and consumers who appreciate transparency in regards to food origins.

Posted by: Leigh Belanger