COOL new label helping out shoppers

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - If you went grocery shopping, you may have noticed some new food labels, and it's information many of you told us is pretty "cool." In fact, that's what these new labels are called. COOL, which stands for Country of Origin Labels.

It is a new law that comes on the heels of all the food scares. Like the latest salmonella outbreak in some peanut butter products.

We went to a local supermarket in search of the new labels. Mexico, Chile, New Zealand and of course the United States. When you buy a piece of fruit, or maybe a pound of hamburger, you now know where it's coming from.

"I think it's a good idea," said Jack Oliver, a shopper.

"I like that," said Liz Boxberger who was shopping for produce. "I like to look and see where they come from, yes."

Fredericka Mack of Tyler said she often buys shrimp and oysters, but is careful what she buys.

"Yes, because of the oil spills that go on," said Mack.

When it comes to meat, however, you may find more than one country. Some COOL labels will simply say "mixed origin."

The Obama administration is asking food suppliers to go into even more detail than the law requires. For example, what country was the animal born in, where was it raised and where was it slaughtered?

"Aagh, I don't think that is necessary," laughed Oliver.

Not everything, however, falls under the new law. For example, meats sold in butcher shops are not COOL foods, or fish sold in fish markets. Processed food is also not COOL, and mixtures like fruit salad, or trail mix. But foods like fresh peanuts, chicken and tomatoes - all COOL. The new labels may give East Texans an extra benefit.

"Just like these right now," Boxberger pointed to the label. "I noticed it says East Texas, so I try to buy locally grown things."

Brookshire's told us many of its food suppliers provide the individual labels for things like fruits and vegetables. But, the grocery store says it had to come up with some of its own labels and the cost falls on the store.

If you would like to learn more on the Country of Origin Label go to our homepage and click on the Big Red Box and there you will find "Cool tool."