Why Choose "Pasture Raised or Grass Fed" Anything???

It's no secret that I love Costco and shop there weekly for many of our grocery and household needs. I have found numerous high quality products and foods from brands I trust and my family loves. They even carry my favorite brand of Kombucha! 

I had been buying Nellie's Free Range eggs from Costco for months. I was so happy when I found them because of the quality and value. I don't eat eggs every day but at least 3 times a week. The kids love them scrambled or hard boiled, so they are great for lunches or snacks. And at the rate we consume them, it only made sense to purchase in bulk if available. 

I don't know what prompted me to browse Nellie's website one day (I'm always looking something up), but I came across their info page about their chicken raising practices. I WAS SHOCKED at what I read! According to their site, all of their chickens have access to forage but aren't forced to go outside and if they choose to stay in the hen house (which most likely they will because they are social creatures), they will feed on grains. And not just any grain but non-organic, non-gmo grains. GASP! I know, don't make fun of me, I can't help but get annoyed in these situations. 

My frustration stems from the fact that all of this labeling of grass-fed, grass-finished, free range, cage free, pasture raised, non-gmo, vegetarian fed, can sometimes amount to nothing, or at the very least, not what you expected. There is enough push back from large beef, dairy and poultry farmers regarding these terms and their significance, that when companies like Nellie's have blatant sub-par practices and loose definitions, it only adds more suspicion to the validity of pastured farming. 

So why am I sharing this with you and why does it matter anyway? 

I wholeheartedly support evidence that suggests eating locally, organically and pasture raised is healthier for us. "WE ARE WHAT THE ANIMALS EAT THAT WE EAT". It makes sense that a cow fed a diet high in processed genetically modified grains would produce meat that is higher in saturated fat content, while grass fed beef is leaner and contains higher amounts of the beneficial fats (omega & CLA) as well as antioxidants and minerals. I also agree that sustainable farming and agriculture is better for the environment and the animals. 

However, for every study in favor of grass-fed, pastured or organic you'll find another rebutting the very same facts with their own evidence. Often times these studies are funded by the very industry they are trying to support (eh hem, big agra) but THAT'S a whole other issue!

So what's the take away? 

Do what you can for your family and your economic situation. Can you afford to buy better quality eggs and meat from local sources and maybe do with less? Then do that! Can you afford to do one or the other and maybe dabble in organic produce? Then do that! 

If nothing else, work to incorporate LESS processed food, sugars and dairy in your diet. Simply eating more whole plant based foods and less factory meat and eggs will help keep you, your family and our world healthier. 

Lastly, my hope is that organizations like American Grass Fed continue to push for tighter regulations and standards and that each industry follows suit. Transparency is key for consumers to be able to make informed decisions about the health and wellness of their families. 

Be Well,
Melissa

P.S.  here are a few local (to PA) farms that have pastured products.
Cherry Grove Farm
Birchwood Farm
Beechtree Farm 







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August 12, 2017
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Disappointed to hear about Nellie's eggs as they are one of the brand's I buy often. Terrific blog with great info!
Anonymous
August 11, 2017
Anonymous
Wow! That is eye opening for sure. I definitely need to become more aware of what I'm buying and putting in our mouths. Great post!