“Grass-Fed Beef” No Longer Means “Grass-Fed”; Still Means “Beef”

Savvy and sensitive supermarket shoppers love informative labels that also make them feel good about their meat purchases. Phrases like “free-range” or “grass-fed.” Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing the animal lived a naturalistic, humane life in the great outdoors before meeting its fate on the kill floor. Viva cognitive dissonance!

Now the United States Department of Agriculture wants to make the “grass-fed” label hollow and meaningless. Under proposed rules, “grass-fed” cattle won’t need to actually ever graze on a pasture and can be fed vegetable matter other than grass.

The new rules are under discussion in the first place because no standard definition exists, and demand for grass-fed beef is going up. But do regulators really need to adopt the lowest common denominator?

Ranchers Decry Grass-Fed Beef Rule Plan [CBS]


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  1. I actually like chicken that is all genetically altered and full of chemicals, more than free range organically fed chicken.

    ‘Natural’ chicken tastes way game-y. Sadly, all these years of chemical enhanced food has modified my palate.

  2. ‘Organic’ beef, however, does taste better than non-organic.

  3. Magister says:

    I like my veal naturely chained to a stake in the ground.

  4. blakewest says:

    The only way to know what’s in your meat is to raise it yourself, and process it yourself. Knowing the rancher, seeing the livestock and getting to know the butcher is next best. Relying on any kind of label is just foolish given the pro-business bent of the USDA.