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We know these two claims can be super confusing. You’ve probably felt like they keep making up new labels every time you go grocery shopping. We understand, and we want to help you understand Grass Fed Beef vs. Grass Finished Beef!
Pre is extremely focused on food transparency. We understand you want to know details when it comes to the sourcing and the treatment of your food. Pre is an open book and always happy to chat about any questions you may have. We pride ourselves on providing grass fed and grass finished beef!
That being said, there are loads of labels nowadays, especially in proteins. Unfortunately, there isn’t a strictly enforced standard on labeling claims. This can cause a lot of misleading information to be interpreted incorrectly by consumers, especially when some brands make up their own adjectives and claims on their packages to stand out in the crowd. Let’s get into the details about labeling beef.
First, let us explain what finishing means.
All cattle begin their lives on pasture foraging with their mothers on grass, but then they can be moved and confined to a feedlot and fed grain or grain by-products during the last months of their lives to “fatten” them up quickly. This is where the “finishing” part comes in. All of Pre beef is “finished” on pasture and never in a feedlot.
The reason Pre uses the term 100% Grass Fed & Finished is to alleviate any confusion as to what the cattle eat and how they are raised. The quality of the beef and the environmental impact of the cattle is significantly attributed to the entire lifespan of the animal and its holistic treatment. We are proud to only work with farmers who actually practice grass feeding and finishing which allows for regenerative farming and a natural ecosystem for grazing. The farmers never use grains, feedlots, or GMOs.
Now, let’s talk about 100% Grass Fed.
The USDA standards do not allow for feedlot finishing or feeding cattle grains and grain by-products if a brand wants to label their beef “100% Grass Fed.” The claim “Grass Finished” is not the same as “Grass Fed” because animals that are “grass finished” can be fed grain, in which case the claim “Grain Fed, Grass Finished” would be truthful and not misleading.
At Pre, we use the term “100% Grass Fed & Finished” beef because the cattle is raised on pasture for their entire lifespan, and never finished on corn or grain byproducts (which are unnatural for cattle to consume). We never add hormones or use antibiotics unnecessarily and we never use GMOs. We have gone through the certification process for Non-GMO Project Verified, Whole30, Paleo, and Keto. Pre is Halal compliant, and we work with farmers who practice holistic care for their pastures and their animals. This includes abiding by the internationally accepted 5 Freedoms for all Animals.
A growing number of people believe eating less red meat is better for the environment, and that is true, if you are purchasing from farms that use feedlots, however if you purchase from farms that run their pastures naturally and treat their cattle with respect, it can be more beneficial to the Earth. The USDA has created the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative to help with this. Read more about this initiative here.
Read more: Vitamins in Grass Fed & Finished Beef
This term might sound pretty odd. According to the new USDA standards, this is the new term all beef brands need to use starting in 2020, instead of “No Added Antibiotics.” It means that animals are not given antibiotics daily.
At Pre, we only administer antibiotics if an animal is sick. Although that is usually pretty rare. The farmers keep the cattle in a natural environment that doesn't require the animals to need daily antibiotics because their immune system is not constantly on the defense. And if for some reason they do get sick, they are removed from the herd until all antibiotics are out of their systems. This is why our packaging says “No Sub-Therapeutic Antibiotics.” Therefore, it is always best to reach out to the brand and ask them directly. You can also check out the farms they source from.
By supporting more farmers who raise animals humanely their entire lifespan, we can help to increase food transparency and accountability for the meat industry and to repair the damage that has been done to the planet.