Our family farming history began with my great-great-... (nine generations ago) grandfather Johannes. He, his wife and three children left Saxony, Germany, on April 20, 1734, aboard the ship St. Andrew, mastered by Capt. John Stedman. They landed at Philadelphia on Sept. 22 and eventually settled our family’s first "New World" farm near Society Run in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1743. Pig farming was our family’s specialty until the mid 1950s. A lot has changed since then. Our BQA cow–calf operation includes 100% grass-fed registered Red Angus, Hereford and purebred Beefalo; 30 to 35 pastured Duroc and Spot pigs; 100 Freedom Ranger broilers; and 90 Golden Comet and Buff Orpington layers. We organically maintain 80 acres, comprising 15 acres in rotational pastures, 15 acres in tillable cropland, and alfalfa/mixed grass hay on the balance. We have never used chemical pesticides or herbicides on our pastures or hay fields. We are not a "certified" organic farming operation, but we prefer the natural/organic approach to help promote sustainability.
what’s for dinner Eh
Jul 24, 2013
Trust us, it's "approved".
A new food certification label is now available for "100% grass-fed" meat products in Canada. Animal Welfare Approved has introduced the first and only food label which guarantees that food products marked as "grass-fed" comes from animals fed a 100% grass and forage diet and are raised entirely outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives.
Really? Well….kinda? O.K. not really.
The new Animal Welfare Approved Grass-fed label is the result of both consumer and farmer demand to distinguish authentic grass-fed products in a confusing marketplace, and seeks to set a new standard for grass-fed labels in Canada. Sounds like a good idea so far huh? Keep reading.
With annual independent on-farm audits to ensure compliance with strict production standards, the Animal Welfare Approved Grass-fed program provides 100% grass-fed farm businesses with the opportunity to clearly differentiate their products from other grass-fed claims.
The standards have been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the government agency responsible for the administration of food labeling policies, ensuring that qualifying farmers can use the grass-fed label on their products with confidence. That’s about as comforting as saying the U.S. Government has our best interests in mind when they don’t pass a farm bill!
As more consumers understand the damaging impact that intensive farming is having on their health, the environment, and animal welfare, they are seeking out truly sustainable alternatives, including 100% Grass-fed labeled meat. As a result, an increasing number of products, labels and brands are making grass-fed claims that aren’t always true. No! Really? I know that might be hard for some of you to believe, but when it comes to the almighty dollar, unfortunately truth in advertising usually comes as an afterthought to honesty.
But have no fear! Animal Welfare Approved has come up with a way to make it easier to advertise false claims legally! How you might ask? Go ahead,ask. O.K., I’ll tell you. Here’s the real kicker, because the term "grass-fed" is not regulated in Canada, the production systems behind these grass-fed labels vary significantly, leading to situations where some producers could confine their cattle on dirt feedlots, and even feed grain in the finishing ration, and yet still legally label and sell their meat as "grass-fed."
So what has really been accomplished here? Nothing when it comes to transparency or honesty. It just makes it easier for dishonest producers to label and sell their products for a higher dollar, and it should make Canadian consumers even more uneasy about buying honestly produced and marketed Grass-fed Meats.
And you know the U.S. is going to be importing those legally mislabeled products for consumption to unsuspecting consumers in the lower 48 states.
I guess this should be a wake-up call to some, and a re-enforcement to many whom are concerned about what they eat and feed their families, especially if you or a family member can only consume truly 100% Grass-fed meats. For many of our customers, 100% Grass-fed isn’t a consumable "fad". If they eat something that is labeled as 100% Grass-fed and it isn’t 100% Grass-fed, they will get very ill. This isn’t a joke folks.
And one last thing to think about. Why would an organization who is suppose to be specifically concerned about an animals welfare while it’s alive and how it is killed be certifying the end product as being produced in a very specific way, when they can’t guarantee it was in fact produced the way they are "certifying" it?!
Sounds like just another Government agency.
So, what’s for dinner Eh?