You want to do the right thing, buy the right food. You want food that’s good for you and your family, and good for the environment. You can’t connect with a local producer to source your meat locally. What do you do? Understanding meat certification is critical to help you really know where your food comes from and how it has been handled. In a recent Mercola website article titled “The Brazilian Beef Scandal”, Dr. Mercola notes that country of origin labeling not only hasn’t been approved by the World Trade Organization, but not all American beef is really American. He writes: “A little-known fact that hides the country of origin is that as long as a piece of imported beef passes through a USDA-inspected plant, it can be labeled as a ‘Product of the USA.’ In other words, by importing entire carcasses and processing them in a U.S. facility, the imported meat suddenly becomes American.”
Given that 80% of grass fed beef in America is imported (the top 5 countries are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, and Brazil), there are a lot of Americans buying grass fed beef from large suppliers who may not be getting the beef they thought they were getting based on the pictures on the label. They have no way of knowing what the country of origin is or if the beef is actually grass finished because certification standards vary (pasture-raised or natural may mean the animal was grain-finished).
So the lesson in this news is know your food. Either find a local producer whom you can talk to and visit their farm or become familiar with the certifications that require more than what the USDA certification does. To learn more about various Grass fed Certification Programs, visit the American Grassfed Association, A Greener World, or Global Animal Partnership.
To learn more about Holistic Management producers who are working to raise healthy animals as healthy food and create healthy land, visit our Video Profiles page or visit our Community Map to find a producer close to you.
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Holistic Management International’s mission is to educate people in regenerative agriculture for healthy land and thriving communities.
We have helped farmers and ranchers in 130 countries learn and practice Holistic Management for the past 3 decades. You can read some of their Success Stories to learn how Holistic Management has changed their lives and impacted their land.
As a non-profit organization, HMI is always grateful for donations in support of our mission. You can help regenerate land for healthy food and healthy lives with many giving options including scholarships for farmer/rancher training. Learn more here.