Where Does Your Grass Fed Beef Actually Come From? Choose A Source Verified, Higher Quality Product
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
The popularity of grass fed beef is growing, and people who want to purchase grass fed beef raised and produced in the U.S. deserve that option. Unfortunately, this isn’t what’s happening.
According to a 2017 Stone Barns report, 75 to 80% of grass-fed beef sold in the U.S. comes from abroad—mostly from places like Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South America. It’s not surprising these places export large amounts of grass fed beef; their vast expanses of grassland and warmer climates make for lower input beef that can be purchased at a cheaper price. The surprise comes when consumers purchase beef labeled Product of the U.S.A, and they discover the cattle the beef came from never even took a breath in the U.S.
On December 18th, 2015, Congress repealed the mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) that required non-processed beef and pork that was sold at retail to say where it was born, raised, and slaughtered. The World Trade Organization ruled Canada and Mexico could begin imposing tariffs on U.S. products as punishment for the effect labeling requirements were having on the sales of their imported products. Now, as long as imported beef passes through a USDA-inspected plant (a requirement for all imported beef), it can be labeled Product of the U.S.A.
There’s widespread disagreement on whether COOL should have been repealed. COOL supporters believe the repeal strips U.S. citizens of their right to know the origins of the fresh beef and pork they purchase, while others come to the table with concerns like food safety and support for domestic farmers. COOL opponents argue it provided domestic products an unfair advantage over foreign products. Some see it as a trade barrier designed to increase importers’ costs. Others say it implies that imported products are less safe.
The debate is ongoing, and now, since COOL’s repeal, domestic producers own much less of the grass fed, grass finished beef market in the U.S. According to the same analysis by the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, in 2014, U.S. producers owned around 60 percent of the domestic grass-fed market. By 2017, after the repeal of COOL, they owned 20 to 25 percent—a startling statistic for grass fed beef consumers in the U.S. who think they’re buying domestic beef.
None of this is a problem if consumers aren’t concerned with the origin of their beef; however, today’s responsible beef consumers ARE concerned. Those purchasing grass fed, grass finished beef deserve to know exactly where and how the beef was raised. Since the repeal of COOL, beef producers bear the responsibility for conveying this information.
Certified Piedmontese Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef
At Certified Piedmontese, we welcome accountability and transparency, and we’re proud to let consumers know exactly where and how we raise our grass fed, grass finished beef.
Our grass fed, grass finished cattle call the spacious grasslands of Nebraska home. Most of the cattle are raised in the Nebraska Sandhills, perhaps the best place to raise cattle in the entire country. The prairie-anchored dunes are an ecological wonder; the large array of plant life—around 720 species—provides a diverse and unique food source for cattle. The cattle eat grass, forbs (flowering plants that aren’t considered grass, like sunflowers and milkweed are) browse (like young shoots, twigs, and leaves), seeds that come from grasses such as wheat and millet, and roughage like hay and alfalfa. Certified Piedmontese grass fed, grass finished cattle never receive grain. They graze open pastures as much as seasonally permissible. Because winters in Nebraska can be harsh, the cattle are sometimes moved into smaller paddocks to ensure safety and well-being.
Certified Piedmontese ranchers employ low-stress handling techniques, which respond to the natural instincts and behaviors of the cattle to keep them calm and healthy. And just like all other Certified Piedmontese cattle, our grass fed, grass finished cattle never receive antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products.
Our grass fed, grass finished program—as well as our traditional Certified Piedmontese program and Dynasty Selection—is Where Food Comes From source verified by IMI Global, an established and accredited source for third-party verification of food production practices. By subscribing to self-imposed audits regularly through IMI Global and other progressive agencies, Certified Piedmontese verifies every process and claim—all the way from farm to fork.
Better Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef
The Certified Piedmontese commitment to progressive protocols also ensures our grass fed, grass finished product is the highest quality product on the market. Its nutritionals are truly astonishing.
For example, our grass fed, grass finished sirloin filet has 0 grams of total fat and saturated fat. Literally. There’s such little fat in this cut that it doesn’t even register on the fat scale. And it’s unbelievably tender. Certified Piedmontese grass fed beef is also an excellent source of omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid, which is a polyunsaturated fat that’s high in antioxidants and protects against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and has been linked to weight management. Plus, it’s an excellent source of stearic acid, which helps regulate mitochondria—the energy powerhouse of our cells.
Many grass fed, grass finished beef products boast similar nutritional benefits, but at the cost of flavor and tenderness. Certified Piedmontese beef delivers on all accounts. Its superior nutritionals, texture, and taste make it a go-to lean protein for those who aren’t willing to settle for less when it comes to the grass fed, grass finished beef on their plate.
Check out the Certified Piedmontese grass fed, grass finished beef selection available on Piedmontese.com!