When it comes to nutrition—for your pets as well as yourself—it’s smart to read the labels, and it’s important to know your terminology. Use of the term ‘grass-fed’ for beef, for example, can be misleading.
Typically, all beef cattle spend the first 6 to 12 months of their lives on pasture. Then, most go on to another 3 to 6 months of ‘finishing’ on a feedlot where they are fed primarily grains to rapidly increase their weight. Because these animals do spend the majority of their lives on pasture, they can be labeled grass-fed. USDA standards regarding grass-fed are voluntary, and don’t prohibit confinement, or the use of of hormones and antibiotics.
Why 100% grass-fed is better
Grass-fed beef has been shown to have lower levels of saturated fats, cholesterol and calories, and higher levels of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, and 2 to 4 times as much omega-3s. It is also far less likely to harbor e.Coli and other harmful bacteria.
Look for 100% grass-fed
If you want to be sure that the beef you are feeding is from cattle who spent their entire lives on pasture and never set hoof on a feedlot—make sure that somewhere on the label it is clearly states that it is 100% grass-fed. (You'll notice that our entrée is called simply "Grass-fed Beef;" that's because regulations prohibit us from saying 100% Grass-fed Beef here as that might mislead consumers into thinking the entree is 100% beef, and our beef entrée also contains fruits, vegetables and vitamins and minerals). But if you look at the top right of our beef entree package, you will see that the beef comes from "100% grass-fed cattle." Raw Bistro beef entrées and treats are sourced from Midwest family farms where cattle are 100% grass-fed and are never given antibiotics, added hormones or grains. This is extremely important to us, and you can rest assured that the animals were raised humanely and that the nutrient value is as high as possible. Want to learn more about grass-fed beef? Here are a couple of web sites we like. http://eatwild.com/basics.htmlhttp://localfoods.about.com/od/meatpoultry/tp/meatlabels.htm