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Label Able: Grass Fed

We see the term Grass Fed a lot when buying beef. Seems healthier but is it just really good marketing?

Grass Fed usually refers to meat and poultry that eat grass, silage or hay.

As we all know by now, there is a loop hole. Products labeled as grass fed are not regulated and there are no real requirements determining how long an animal must feed on grass in order for it to be called grass fed. The reality is that almost all cattle are fed on grass at some point in their lives, but many are “finished” at big feedlots, where they receive high-calorie diets of corn, grain and animal protein to fatten them up. Ahh, America!

For now, the best way to ensure that the product is truly grass fed is to talk with the rancher or farmer who raised the animal. The American Grassfed Association (yup, there's an association for it) is working with the USDA to establish a legal definition of exactly what constitutes grass fed and to allow only the products meeting the criteria to be so labeled.

BUT SOON, assures the AGA, consumers, will be able to purchase products from certified American Grassfed Association members, which will be identified with the AGA’s trademarked marketing logo.

Fit's Tip: Due to the vagueness of the term, I typically try to buy items labeled as 100 % grassfed, which is still not regulated but seems better as I can't always get a rancher to sit down and talk to me.

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