9

votes

Grass Fed: Did you know that the USDA requires no farm inspections to meet this definition. Just industry say-so

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 12, 2011 at 4:53 PM

The lie: See this label, and bucolic scenes of grassy fields with healthy, happy cows probably come to mind. Think again. "Grass-fed" is a term that's sort-of regulated by the USDA, who has defined it to mean that an animal ate 100 percent grass and no corn or soy and had continuous access to pasture throughout its life. But the USDA allows anyone to use that terminology, provided a meat producer submits documentation saying that's what he or she is doing; no farm inspections are required to meet the definition. Furthermore, before this rule went into place in 2006, anyone could use the term "grass-fed" on food products, and those people were grandfathered in under the new rule, whether they meet the requirements or not. A final kicker? The rule applies only to cattle and other ruminant animals, but you'll often see it on packages for pork or chicken???animals that can't survive on a grass-only diet.

To get the real thing: If you see the words "U.S. Grass-fed" accompanied by a ???USDA Process Verified??? shield, you're in the clear. USDA verification requires actual farm visits, and it means that someone other than a farmer has witnessed that animals are eating grass. Or look for the American Grassfed Association certification, which has even stricter standards on "grass-fed" than the USDA. A third option: Buy your meat at the farmer's market, where the farmer who raised the meat can give you a detailed rundown of what his or her animals eat every day and who will allow you to visit the farm yourself.

Source: http://www.rodale.com/10-food-label-lies?page=3

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I don't know for sure, but : can't you tell it's grass-fed by the taste? The beef I buy tastes like grass, really.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 13, 2011
at 03:09 PM

BINGO!!! I agree gotta go local and actually have a trust with the people your dealing with. I like this route better anyhow. If I trust the guy both me and him can keep the USDA out of the agreement. No extra cost for him to become certified and no extra cost to me for the USDA seal of approval....

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Well, all I can attest to is that the meat I've ordered from US Wellness is different in both taste and appearance from generic beef at big-box stores. Yes, I believe it's really better.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:16 PM

Is it really better than buying generic beef? Paying a 50% or more premium for what could amount to equivalent (or lower quality) product?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:15 PM

Impossible for the government to police it, that's the issue. So it really does come down to buying from reputable folks. It's the same problem with "organic" foods, it's all on the honor's system.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 12, 2011
at 09:46 PM

labeling is an unreliable source of information. and we as consumers allow this to be so.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:30 PM

The ground beef tastes better :D. But my meat is definitely grass-fed : it's from a non-profit organization that takes care of nature in our country. They let the animals graze because it's good for the environment, apparently.

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:21 PM

Cattle farmer Juan Carlos Eiras (R) speaks on the mobile phone as the cattle eat a meal prepared with wheat, corn, sorghum, soy and other grains in a feedlot farm near Pipinas, some 160 kms south Buenos Aires, on January 26, 2011. http://news.world.yes.my/photo/03dH6d2eG03wW graaa i want to punch that fkr in the face!

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:16 PM

But yeah, I can taste the difference. Buy from source you trust. Don't trust labeling.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:16 PM

That's sounds horrible, Korion.

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:09 PM

http://yanquimike.blogspot.com/2011/01/year-in-argentine-beef-2010-good-luck.html

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:07 PM

http://www.tendergrassfedmeat.com/2011/03/28/grassfed-beef-ending-in-argentina-but-reborn-in-the-u-s/

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:55 PM

http://www.france24.com/en/20110215-modern-farming-threatens-argentinas-gauchos http://argentinagringos.blogspot.com/2011/04/argentina-beef-thing-of-past.html http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_62629.shtml

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Sardonicism ftw

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:52 PM

................Sincerely, Juan (writing from Argentina, once known as the-land-of-grazing-cows! Well done, civilization!)" http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-vitamin-k2-washing-eggs-tapioca-flour-short-term-grain-feeding-and-a-raw-fed-pack/

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:51 PM

"I asked my butcher and he told me the meat he sells comes from cows that are pastured their whole life and then are sent to feeding lots for the last 15 or 20 days before being butchered; he referred to this as “supplemented cows”. To me is quite clear this is “grain-finished” meat................

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:42 PM

http://www.argentinaindependent.com/socialissues/environment/the-hidden-costs-of-feedlots-/ + the stupid GMO soy makes bad bucks... that and people doesn't seem to care! and now the meat tastes like pork. great. Ferrari factory and we are pumping yugos, maddening.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:28 PM

Oh man, that's terrible. Those beautiful pampas grazing lands are going to waste.

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:11 PM

is all about the " soja" now so > :( feedlot galore. 100% of the good stuff goes outside the country now. (cuota hilton)

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 12, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I thought Argentinian beef is always 100% grass-fed...or is that what you meant?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 12, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Thanks for the head's up.

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7 Answers

5
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:22 PM

The bigger problem: relying on the USDA or any other government entity to ensure your food is healthy and wholesome.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 12, 2011
at 09:46 PM

labeling is an unreliable source of information. and we as consumers allow this to be so.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:15 PM

Impossible for the government to police it, that's the issue. So it really does come down to buying from reputable folks. It's the same problem with "organic" foods, it's all on the honor's system.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 13, 2011
at 03:09 PM

BINGO!!! I agree gotta go local and actually have a trust with the people your dealing with. I like this route better anyhow. If I trust the guy both me and him can keep the USDA out of the agreement. No extra cost for him to become certified and no extra cost to me for the USDA seal of approval....

2
98442e271d4220664b3573cbdce13546

on November 12, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Man, if only there was some way people could communicate to let each other know which brands are using which practices. Someone should invent some kind of "network" or something.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Sardonicism ftw

1
89a3eb9e05b04102f0a584e438a7da3e

(1136)

on November 12, 2011
at 09:00 PM

My friend, a goat farmer, told me about her friend, a rancher. So I order from paidom.com. I think a friend, or friend of a friend and knowing your rancher is the best way to go for this sort of thing anyway. We know our vegetable farmers too.

1
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 12, 2011
at 06:09 PM

That's why I don't buy my meat from a grocery store. I buy it directly from the farmer and a farm I can visit and see for myself how the animals are fed and treated.

1
E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 05:10 PM

Lucky bastard. I live in Argentina and here they don't even bother to lie.

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:52 PM

................Sincerely, Juan (writing from Argentina, once known as the-land-of-grazing-cows! Well done, civilization!)" http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dear-mark-vitamin-k2-washing-eggs-tapioca-flour-short-term-grain-feeding-and-a-raw-fed-pack/

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 12, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I thought Argentinian beef is always 100% grass-fed...or is that what you meant?

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:11 PM

is all about the " soja" now so > :( feedlot galore. 100% of the good stuff goes outside the country now. (cuota hilton)

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:09 PM

http://yanquimike.blogspot.com/2011/01/year-in-argentine-beef-2010-good-luck.html

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:55 PM

http://www.france24.com/en/20110215-modern-farming-threatens-argentinas-gauchos http://argentinagringos.blogspot.com/2011/04/argentina-beef-thing-of-past.html http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_62629.shtml

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:21 PM

Cattle farmer Juan Carlos Eiras (R) speaks on the mobile phone as the cattle eat a meal prepared with wheat, corn, sorghum, soy and other grains in a feedlot farm near Pipinas, some 160 kms south Buenos Aires, on January 26, 2011. http://news.world.yes.my/photo/03dH6d2eG03wW graaa i want to punch that fkr in the face!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:28 PM

Oh man, that's terrible. Those beautiful pampas grazing lands are going to waste.

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 08:07 PM

http://www.tendergrassfedmeat.com/2011/03/28/grassfed-beef-ending-in-argentina-but-reborn-in-the-u-s/

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:42 PM

http://www.argentinaindependent.com/socialissues/environment/the-hidden-costs-of-feedlots-/ + the stupid GMO soy makes bad bucks... that and people doesn't seem to care! and now the meat tastes like pork. great. Ferrari factory and we are pumping yugos, maddening.

723e9af1560a89e7d8148b386151c15d

(38)

on November 12, 2011
at 07:51 PM

"I asked my butcher and he told me the meat he sells comes from cows that are pastured their whole life and then are sent to feeding lots for the last 15 or 20 days before being butchered; he referred to this as “supplemented cows”. To me is quite clear this is “grain-finished” meat................

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 12, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I wish I could pretend to be surprised, but I'm skeptical of all government programs related to public safety and nutrition. Reading the fine print doesn't even give me full confidence any more.

On the other hand, anything is better than generic "beef."

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 12, 2011
at 11:16 PM

Is it really better than buying generic beef? Paying a 50% or more premium for what could amount to equivalent (or lower quality) product?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Well, all I can attest to is that the meat I've ordered from US Wellness is different in both taste and appearance from generic beef at big-box stores. Yes, I believe it's really better.

0
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 12, 2011
at 05:34 PM

the only way that I know is that I can drive by where the cattle are from and look. The thing is, I'm sure almost all grass fed animals are fed grains, it's just what you get if you're not going to do the work yourself.

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