The Term “Natural” and What it Really Means in Beef

by Pre Brands September 17, 2021

The Term “Natural” and What it Really Means in Beef

Picture it. It’s Sunday morning, you have finished googling (or searching Pinterest) “healthy recipe ideas” and the grocery list is done. You drive to the store, park, pop in your Airpods, and hit play on your motivational playlist (Cardi B? Hamilton soundtrack?). You are pushing your shopping cart down the aisles of the grocery store, feeling positive. You are taking your health into your own hands. Clean ingredients and quality meat that absolutely does not lack flavor are your priority. Produce section, check. Pantry items, check. You have arrived in the meat section. Your motivation starts to slightly fade as you read label after label. The steaks read “All Natural Beef”, “Natural Grass Fed Beef”, and others claiming to be natural. Well, what does "natural beef" really mean? Does it mean grass-fed? Does it mean humanely raised?

Keep reading and gain back that motivation.

The USDA defines Natural as “Products that do not contain any artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient; and the product and its ingredients are not more than minimally processed (ground, for example)”. This means most beef found on the market can claim the title of Natural. It’s not common to find artificial flavors or coloring ingredient in ANY beef, better for you or not. The definition will vary based on every brand's unique standards.

All products claiming to be natural are required to be accompanied by a brief statement which explains what is meant by the term "natural” to that brand but this is easily and often missed. This definition doesn’t cover added antibiotics, added hormones, or what the cattle was fed throughout its life. Our advice? Find the brand’s definition of “Natural” on the packaging or do a quick search on their website to make sure their definition aligns with what you are looking for.

3 steak packages of Pre beef near a grill

At Pre, a lot of work goes into our definition of “natural." Every cut we have, starts with an all-natural process. To us, all natural beef means our cattle have no added hormones, no sub-therapeutic antibiotics”, and are 100% grass fed and finished. This gives our beef unmatched quality and flavor you can expect in every bite.

Just like any other animal, cattle produce and regulate the hormones they need on a daily basis. We believe the best beef comes from cattle that don’t have added hormones. If the cattle are provided with the right conditions and proper care, they do not need additional hormones to promote growth.

The same goes when talking about antibiotics. You can’t get the best beef ever by injecting cattle with unnecessary antibiotics. In feedlots, this is common because of the high rate of disease. Since the cattle we source get room to roam and be free from tightly packed spaces, we can identify when the cattle get sick. If antibiotics are ever needed, a trained veterinarian helps identify and isolate the sick cattle to limit each animals’ exposure. They practice a withholding period where the cattle are separated from the herd until the antibiotics have left their system. This prevents your beef from being contaminated with unnecessary antibiotics. New Zealand and Australia have some of the lowest rates of antibiotic use in the world. This is a major reason we source from these countries.


A burger with a knife stuck in it, with pickles and an egg.

We believe the best way to raise cattle is just as it has been done for thousands of years. The cattle roam on pasture their entire lives. This allows them to wander munching away on grass in one of the most natural environments in the world. We chose New Zealand and Australia as the home for Pre due to the amazing year-round climate. The consistent weather conditions create quality soil and green grass.

Next time you are looking for a truly all natural beef, choose Pre. We only partner with certified, reputable grass fed beef farmers to provide you the best natural, high-quality beef on the market.

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