Hello this is a resent blog posted by my friend Pat Beck of New England Grass Fed Beef. I think this information is pertinent to all of us that feel and know that proper land and animal management produces higher quality meat with increased nutrition compared to the commodity meats that are placed in front of us.  This is also why this new web-site has been designed. To be the one stop source for shared information, knowledge and support. Please read

Thank you, 

Quint Smith, farmtotableUS.com

Let’s join forces and build the strongest FTT community available

http://www.newenglandgrassfed.com/the-end-of-grass-fed-beef/

Earlier this month, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced it would no longer require meat bearing a “Grass Fed” label to be grown in accordance with the pasture-based husbandry protocol that has been the accepted standard since 2006.  Consumers seeking that designation expect animals to be: (1) free-ranged on perennial pasture during most of the year (hay feeding in winter holding yard is acceptable), (2) fed green plants not grain and (3) raised without hormones or antibiotics.  They may be disappointed when they discover that the definition of “grass-fed” will now fall within the purview of each individual producer.  The term will not inherently confer any information regarding the life history of the animal or qualities of the product.  People will not know whether the beef they choose delivers the nutritional superiority and healthy fats they desire.

Ballard June 2015 015In truth, the term has always been subject to creative interpretation and based on self-reporting (through sworn affadavits).  The label was meant to guarantee that at least 85% of the animals’ diet consists of grasses and forbs from unbroken ground with a maximum of 15% of calories ascribed to cereal grains delivered in an incidental manner for extra energy during weather events.  Our grass-finishing efforts take longer than grain, requiring adequate pasture base and rotation to provide the animals with sufficient energy to fatten up and develop the deep mineralized taste our customers have come to appreciate.

All cattle are grass-fed in their first year at Mama’s side – the questions and pharmaceutical issues arise after twelve months of age.  Some growers try to butter both sides of the bread – grain-finishing without mentioning it or hiding behind the “Corn is a grass” fiction – a claim easily disputed by any reasonably coherent tenth-grader.

Matunuck 5 - 15 019Maize (the corn plant) is indeed a domesticated wild grass that produces a fruiting body consisting of starchy cereal grains that create acidosis in ruminant stomachs if fed intensively for over 60 days.  Corn and soybeans negatively affect the Omega-6 / Omega-3 ratio in the meat.  70% of the Vitamins B and E gained on the grass are lost.  We take seriously our obligation toward openness and transparency with our customers and are saddened that an important distinction in cattle feeding regimens has been rendered obsolete from a regulatory perspective.  Folks without access to farm sourcing will be deliberately misled as a result of this decision.

AGA logoIn an impressive display of capitulation to industrial beef interests that thrive on obfuscation of facts, the Food Safety Inspection Service has caved to big ag.  The unit tasked with determining truth in advertising has struck down the protections that have separated our beef from lesser-thans for the past 5 years.  Companies will simply be able to say “what grass-fed means to them”.  Even worse, confinement and antibiotic usage do not need to be acknowledged in this bad new world.   Commodity beef does not like to play second chair to a superior product and has successfully lobbied for the ability to muddy the waters.  More than ever, it is important to know your farmer.  The only meaningful designation going forward will be that of the American Grassfed Association www.american grassfed.org , a third-party verification program that guarantees animals are pastured, grain-free and drug-free.  We are submitting paperwork this week to apply for our audit and hope to soon make New England Grass Fed LLC the first AGA recognized beef producer in Rhode Island.  Thank you for your continued support.

Respecting the Protein, PMB