The Omnivore's Green Grill
Photo: Ewan Rayment/Flickr
When shopping, meat and poultry bearing these certification claims are better choices for both your family's health and the environment.
American Grassfed Association
Requires that animals eat grass only and if they receive antibiotics due to illness they must be removed from the program; prohibits growth hormones. Grass-fed beef is lower in overall fats, yet has more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional beef, making it a healthier choice (americangrassfed.com).
Animal Welfare Approved
Sets high standards for health, shelter and handling, including spending most of life in pasture; prohibits growth hormones and antibiotics may only be given to sick animals (animalwelfareapproved.org).
Certified humane raised and handled
Animals get fresh air, water and exercise and are not overcrowded. Animal Welfare Institute works with independent family farms (certifiedhumane.org).
Demeter Certified Biodynamic
Prohibits synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, requires pastured livestock and promotes holistic farming and the preservation of high-value conservation areas (demeter-usa.org).
Requires little or no pesticide use, worker welfare, habitat protection, well-managed agriculture and humane care of livestock (foodalliance.org)
Animals are fed organic vegetarian feed, are not administered any antibiotics or hormones. Antibiotic overuse in conventional livestock increases the risk of creating drug-resistant bacteria. Vegetarian feed eliminates the risk of “mad cow” disease (ams.usda.gov/nop).
USDA Process Verified Grass-fed
Animals eat grass and forage only, but are allowed to receive antibiotics and growth hormones (ams.usda.gov).