Monday, February 13, 2012

Meat Definition Guide (Grass-Fed, Conventional, No Hormones, etc)

Are you often confused by the definitions of "grass-fed", "conventional", "natural", etc? here is a great guide to help you next time you go to the butcher:

Conventional Beef: Cattle are typically raised in feedlots on a corn-and-grain diet. These cattle are generally given vaccines, antibiotics when they're sick, and oftentimes growth hormones to quicken their time until harvest. 

Natural Beef: Refers to cattle that received vaccines at birth and branch out into one of two categories: One that has never received antibiotics or growth hormones and will be labeled as "certified no antibiotics or no added hormones." The second is a withdrawal program that means the cattle has not received antibiotics or growth hormones within 100 days of harvest. 

Organic Beef: Comes from cattle that have been raised on grain and/or grass that is 100% organic and have been raised according to the regulations set by the USDA. These cattle also have never been given antibiotics, hormones, or vaccinations. 

Grass-Fed, Grain-Fed, & Grain-Finished:
 Cattle that leave pasture to be finished on grain like corn are referred to as grain-fed or grain-finished, which usually occurs in a feedlot. Those that remain on pasture until harvest are called grass-fed. However, as we learned from Paul, being a grass-fed farmer is extremely expensive and requires that the farmer commit themselves entirely to this type of farming.

Source: Yahoo, The Daily Meal

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