Buzz Word Dictionary- What does all the grocery store slang mean?

During my time here at Five Marys, I've learned a lot of people do not know what "grass-fed beef", or any of the "buzz words" that are constantly used to describe how animals are raised really are. I made an easy to read list to help break it down.

Naturally Raised- This beef comes from cattle that:

  • never receive any antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones
  • may be either grain or grass-finished
  • may spend time at a feedyard

Certified Organic- This beef comes from cattle that:

  • never receive any antibotics or growth-promoting hormones
  • may be either grain or grass-finished as long as feed is 100% organically grown
  • may spend time at a feedyard

Grass-Fed (or Grass-FInished)- This beef comes from cattle that:

  • spend their whole lives eating grass or forage
  • may also eat grass, forage, hay or silage at a feedyard
  • may or may not be given antibiotics to treat prevent or control disease and/or growth-promoting hormones.

Grain-Finished- Comes from cattle that:

  • spend the majority of their lives eating grass or forage
  • spend 4-6 months at a feedyard eating a balanced diet of grain, local feed ingredients, and hay or forage
  • may or may not be given antibiotics to treat, prevent or control disease and/or growth-promoting hormones

Although these terms give some sort of transparency to consumers, I think they are more confusing and misleading than helpful. So just because you are buying grass-fed beef does not mean that the animals were not raised in a feedlot, it just means they were not fed grain, and so on... Rather than putting these labels on Oak Barn Beef, we raise our animals in the best way we know how. We make decisions not based on what label we will fall under, but what is best for our animals and our customers. If we had to specifically go under labels we would fall in the two categories of Naturally Raised and Grain-Fed.

Our herd grows up in green pastures with plenty of room to kick up their heels! We switch to feeding the cattle grain after they have reached adolescence. We strongly believe this is the best way to raise the cattle to be healthy and provide YOU (our customer) with the best product possible. 

We never use growth hormones in our cattle and only administer antibiotics if the animals ABSOLUTELY need it. If the slight chance that the animals are really sick and need to be doctored, they are taken out of our beef supply and we do not sell the beef to our general customers. Antibiotics are completely safe and we make sure to have detailed records to ensure that they are safe for everyone, but we understand that some of our customers have concerns about antibiotics, and therefore we do not sell the beef to those customers. Our customers wants and concerns are our top priority.

Comments? Questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Hannah EschComment