Meats-Grass-fed-Grass Finished-Organic?

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Meat buying terminology can be very confusing for the average consumer.
These tips will help shed some light on the types of feeding methods which are used before bringing animals to market and what buyers should look for when buying meat for their families.

Cattle, Bison, Lamb, Deer, and Goat, although different species, are all ruminants, meaning they eat plant-based diets and digest them through the process of chewing, regurgitation, and chewing the cud to stimulate digestion.
Originally their natural, grass-fed diets supplied them with all the nutrients they need to produce micronutrient-rich steaks and chops.

Today ranchers want to hurry the process along, rather than allow these animals the time to graze on grasses as they freely roam the pastures, animals are locked in confined spaces and fed diets full of GMO grain.
Although the feed, filled with antibiotics and growth hormones, increases their size rapidly, it also causes the animals to endure many health problems.
The vast majority of meat available in major supermarkets today, unless labeled to the contrary, comes from these animals.

If you want to avoid these type of meats…read on!

Grass-Fed
To be labeled grass-fed, the USDA requires that the animals be raised on a lifetime diet of 100 percent grass and forage (with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning).

It does not exclude the use of antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides or disallow the use of GMO products, which can include corn, soybean, rice, wheat, and oats in their pre-grain, vegetative state.
Grass-fed beef supply us with meat more micronutrient-rich,  containing higher levels of healthy fats like CLA and omega-3 and lower amounts of omega-6 and saturated fat than grain-fed beef.

Grass-fed lamb is 14 percent lower in fat, is 8 percent higher in protein, and has twice as much lutein (which helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness) as their grain-fed counterparts.
Grass-fed bison has more than four times the amount of vitamin E as grain-fed counterparts.

Don’t be fooled by companies stating their animals are pastured, they may have been in a pasture at some point, but more than likely, they were also fed grains if the words grass-fed do not appear prominently on the label.

If you see the following grass-fed symbols on the label, you can be sure that their living conditions have been examined and certified as healthy.

Grass-finished
The way cattle are fed in the last few weeks or months before processing determines how an animal is finished.
Grass-fed meat should be finished on grass.
Some ranchers grain finish to improve taste and texture as well as hasten the maturation and harvesting process.
During the time of grass finishing, the levels of important nutrients like cancer-fighting, fat-metabolizing CLA and inflammation-reducing omega-3 increase dramatically in the beef.
That is why it’s so important to make sure that the beef you eat is not only grass-fed, but grass-finished.

You can be guaranteed the cattle was grass-finished by use of the grass-fed symbol.
The term 100 percent grass-fed is often used to distinguish between a naturally raised animal and one that endured a grain-fed approach to the finish line.

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Organic
Purchasing organic beef guarantees that your meat is free of antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs.
These animals must also have time to pasture, but not full time, it is minimal (120 days) and the vast majority of what they eat (up to 70 percent) is permitted to come from non-GMO grains that are hard for the animals to process.

Though you are minimizing your toxic load, you are not guaranteed the greater micronutrient levels of grazing ruminants.
Choose a labeled grass-fed organic meat to be sure you are buying only the very best!!
Look For These Symbols
USDA

CERTIFIED HUMANE: A certification and label program developed by Humane Farm Animal Care and endorsed by the ASPCA and many other humane organizations.

FOOD ALLIANCE: verifies animals were raised on a lifetime diet of 100 percent grass and forage. food alliance

Additionally, meats carrying this symbol are certified for not using antibiotics or hormones.

 

 

AMERICAN HUMANE CERTIFIED: Animal welfare

A program of the American Humane Association.

 

ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED: welfare of animals
Run by the Animal Welfare Institute
he newest and currently the strictest certification and labeling program.

 

 

GLOBAL ANIMAL PARTNERSHIP: global animal safety
A five-tiered program used by Whole Foods Market that aims to improve the welfare of animals in agriculture.