Sustainable: Any farming or ranching organization committed to utilizing growing techniques that are proven to make the least possible impact on the eco system.
Applicable examples pertaining to the beef/dairy industry:
- Crop rotation
- Programs designed to encourage buyers to buy more “whole cow” rather than purchasing just high end cuts.
- Following the Monterey Bay Aquarium guidelines (keeps you updated on what is safe to consume and sustainable
- No over fishing
- No bottom dragging for fish (shark is often fished this way)
Free Range: This means livestock were allotted a certain amount of acreage per number of head. This industry practice is believed to promote a healthier/less stressful environment for livestock.
Grass Fed: This category label applies predominantly to the beef industry. This growing practice is the most important principle applied to cattle husbandry. Grass fed cows derive from their natural diet more omega-3 essential fat than commercially grown cattle.
Certified Organic: In order to be certified organic all animals must be certified organic. This means the brood stock must also be certified organic. All animals in the organic food program must be birthed organic. All feed fed to the animals must be certified organic, including pasture, hay and grain. So, the land they roam on and everything the cattle are fed is certified organic.