What does grassfed mean? 🤔

Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener
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Photo Credit: Rare Earth Farms, North Carolina
 Dear Rebecca,

Grassfed seems like a straightforward claim. It just means that animals were fed 100% grass, right?

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Grassfed is another common label found on meat and dairy products that can be misleading. Some products marketed under grassfed claims could permit practices like using growth hormones, unnecessary antibiotics, and confining animals to feedlots where they aren’t fed 100% grass.

Trying to figure out what grassfed means and which products align with your values can be confusing, but we’re here to help. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be providing you resources about grassfed so you can find food that is better for you, better for animals, and better for the planet.

What is grassfed?
Grassfed is a diet-related claim, so it refers only to what the animals are fed during their lifetime, with the exception of milk prior to weaning. Cows, sheep, goats and bison are ruminants, which means that their digestive systems have evolved to thrive on a diet of grass and other plants. Grassfed products from high-welfare, pasture-based farms can offer a range of health and environmental benefits. Since most ruminants are raised in industrial grain-based systems and may not have all of those benefits, products may advertise a “grassfed” claim to stand out in the market. But not all grassfed claims are created equal…

Does grassfed mean 100% grassfed?
Not always—but there are grassfed labels you can trust! Read our newest blog post to find the answers to all your questions and learn how to find products that match your values.

Towards a greener world, 

Katie Amos
Lead Farmer & Market Outreach Coordinator

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