argylesock says… Here in Britain we see labels about outdoor-reared livestock, too. Some of those mean stuff, notably the RSPCA’s Freedom Food label which is about animal welfare. The Red Tractor and Quality Meat Standard labels mean stuff too, but not necessarily about livestock welfare. And I’ve heard discussion about whether ‘free range’ and ‘outdoor reared’ livestock are, in fact, better off than their indoor equivalents. As for any label including the word ‘happy’ – happy hens, happy pigs, happy cows – I’m not aware of any rules about what that has to mean. You can just label your product ‘Happy’ and hope people buy it.
Continuing with our mini-series, after our first installment, let’s turn to a buzzword that has gotten a lot of attention in the last years: grass-fed and/or pasture-raised animal products.
What is the label’s motto/what does it stand for?
The idea of grass-fed ruminants and pasture-raised other animals is that this production method is much more close to their natural environment and results in better animal welfare, better quality meat products and less environmental stress. Ruminants (cows, goats, sheep, etc.) are designed to eat and digest mainly fibrous grasses, plants and shrubs, and not starchy, low-fibre grains which they would get in an industrial setting. Therefore, pastured animals avoid a number of disorders that regularly occur in industrialized animal operations, such as “subacute acidosis”, which have to be combatted with the use of antibiotics. In addition, the meat of grass-fed beef, bison, lamb and goat is healthier for humans, too…
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