Tuesday, June 6, 2017

ARTICLE ON UNDERSTANDING MEAT LABELS


Understanding Meat Labels:
What Grass-fed, Grain-fed, and Organic Really Means
Below is an excerpt from this great article with a link to the complete article provided.  

Demand for organic products has increased substantially over the last several years. Experts in the industry predict that the organic farming industry will continue to increase no less than 9% annually. This demand for organic goods has been fueled by consumer desire for food produced without chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. (Unfortunately, despite the growth in the demand for organic, the use of chemicals in food production still continues to increase.)

Another area impacted by consumer demand is the meat industry. New meat designations are showing up on packages touting such terms such as “grass-fed,” “grain-fed,” and organic. If you are a health-conscious consumer, this begs the question… how do you know you’re buying the best quality organic meat on the market? Here are some helpful tips for understanding meat labels in the U.S….

Top Quality Beef Rankings to Look For

With all of the labels to choose from, it can be overwhelming to understand which meats meet the highest standards for the health of your family. The meat labels below generally involve the practice of raising cattle with higher quality stands and fewer chemicals. The following provides a description of the four best categories in beef production that you can choose from:

100% Grass-Fed: The highest quality of organic meat available. Cattle are raised exclusively on a grass-fed diet from birth to slaughter. Grass-fed animal products for ruminants (beef, bison, goat, lamb, and sheep) must meet the four criteria:
  • Animals are fed only grass from weaning, with supplemental food only as needed − such as hay, crop residue not containing grain, and other roughage sources
  • Animals are never confined to feedlots and only raised on a pasture
  • Animals never receive antibiotics or growth hormones
  • Animals originate from American farms

Grass-Fed: Cattle have the ability to graze for food but are also provided with supplemental alternatives. Grass-fed cattle may also be fed grain the last 2-3 months of life before slaughter.

Organic: The term “organic” means that the cattle were raised with strict regulations and annual verification of standards being met by a USDA official including:
  • Born and raised on a certified organic pasture
  • Not confined to a feedlot but must have unrestricted access to naturally graze outdoors
  • Sanitary conditions must be maintained
  • Cattle cannot be overcrowded
  • All synthetic contaminant exposure must be avoided including hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and artificial fertilizers and pesticides

To find out more - read the article by going HERE
 

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