Food Origins and Free-Range

By Ivana Chkoumbova

Going to the supermarket or grocery store is a normal part of a consumer’s life, however, when you are at the supermarket, one does not pay attention the small details about the food. Not the damage, the smell, or the look of the produce available, but where it comes from, what went into nurturing the food. It is only recently that the public became aware of how much the origins of the food matters and started to take steps to rectify the situation.

For example, when one is going to the store to buy watermelon, melon, and cantaloupe, one should want to get the food from countries such as Florida, California, or any of the southern states since those states are more prone to have the fruits and vegetables to be sun-ripened and grown in an environment where the produce would be ideal. The seasons are also a big indicator of which fruits and vegetables would be “in season” and be, not only cheap in price, but also very delicious.

Also, many of the meats that we buy are not “free-range,” meaning that, for example, chickens are locked up in cages and fed until they lay eggs or a fattened up enough to be consumed. This is very dangerous for the animals because, according the PETA, the chickens develop lung lesions, ammonia burns, and breast blisters from sitting in the same pen all day that is covered in their own waste. While chickens are not meant to be running around everywhere, they need to mobility to chase down their food and not be handed to them.

Pilot Light has standards on what is most important for the public to know nutritionally, and their number one standard is knowing what goes into making the food. Pilot Light wants the public to be eating healthy, well-grown fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Works Cited

“Animals Used for Free-Range and Organic Meat.” PETA Free-Range and Organic Meat.

PETA, n.d. Web. 20 June 2015.


Ivana Chkoumbova  is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Chicago native. In her freshman year of college, she took an eye-opening nutrition course that that made her realize how little she learned about healthy eating growing up.  Now a strong believer that nutrition education can shape a community’s overall health, Ivana came to Pilot Light because she believes that these efforts should start early and should be ingrained with children at a young age. Through her internship, she is excited to share her knowledge of and passion for nutrition with the Pilot Light program and the Chicago community it serves.

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