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Emtman Brothers Beef is Grass-Fed and Pasture-Raised

Meat from Animals Raised on Grass or Pasture. Increasing numbers of meat products are being marketed as "grass-fed" or "pasture-raised." In the best-case scenario, this can mean that animals receive plenty of sunshine, exercise and space, and are fed grasses alone rather than antibiotic-laced feed. In contrast, animals raised indoors under more confined conditions typically are fed grains, since the producer often lacks sufficient land to pasture the larger numbers of animals. The latter conditions also are marked by widespread antibiotic use. Since the terms "grass-fed" or "pasture-raised" do not yet have a standard meaning, consumers cannot be certain about exactly what conditions are implied by the label.

Caution: Misleading Labels. Federal standards allow food products to carry the "free range" or "free roaming" label so long as producers have demonstrated that the animal "has been allowed access to the outside." An animal given "access" to the outdoors, but which remains inside or ventures out only to a concrete slab, can still be labeled "free-range." We've learned that in practice, some poultry producers may use the term "free roaming" differently than the USDA intended (i.e. as synonymous with "free range"). From their perspective, "free roaming" may simply mean the bird was raised without cages, and does not imply any access to the outside. Unaware consumers seeing this term on the product label may not understand the distinction.

The USDA's "all natural" label may be misleading as well. Meat can be labeled as such as long as it is "minimally processed and contains no artificial ingredients" such as MSG or sodium phosphates. But USDA's "all natural" label is a minimum standard - it doesn't exclude meats raised using growth hormones or antibiotics as growth promoters.