Shopping for meat is really confusing with all the different labels manufacturers use. It makes it very difficult to figure out what is best for you and your family.
In this video, I uncover the real meaning behind the following 5 meat labels.
- Antibiotic and Hormone Free
- Grass vs Grain Fed
- Pasture Raised
Cost is always a factor when deciding how to nourish yourself and your family, so I share my recommendations at the end of this video.
Uncovering the real meaning behind meat labels video
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The cows at the end of the video are actually my Dad’s! He is a cowboy at heart and last year he decided to let his neighbour’s dairy cows graze on his pasture so he could practice herding them on horse back.
Uncovering the real meaning behind meat labels sources
Natural Labeling Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Labeling Policy Book pg 108
“All fresh meat qualifies as natural. Products labeled as natural are products containing no artificial ingredients or added colors and only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product.”
Antibiotic and Hormone Free Source: Environmental Working Group (EWG) Decoding Meat and Dairy Products
There is no specific hormone–free certification, though organic and grass–fed labels as well as many humane certifications do not allow hormone use. The label does not indicate whether antibiotics were used appropriately in animals.
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service approves labels that each producer proposes to affix to meat. Producers are free to develop their own antibiotics standards and terminology and present them to the agency, since it does not publish clear standard definitions or transparent guidelines.
Grass Fed Source: USDA Grass Fed Fact Sheet
Grass Fed animals can only consume grass and forage (except for milk prior to weaning). They cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
Pasture Raised Source: EWG Decoding Meat and Dairy Products
Animals raised in a pasture can roam freely in their natural environment, where they are able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants that their bodies are adapted to digest.
Organic Source: USDA Blog
Regulations require that animals are raised in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not administered antibiotics or hormones.
Canadian Organic: Standard for Organic Agriculture (CAN/CGSB-32.310)