Progressively more consumers wish to know the source of the merchandise they buy, so it is on companies to utilize the best ingredients.
What lengths would you head to find humanely treated, sustainably raised cows? For me personally, the answer was Kilkenny, Ireland. I lay out with a summary of requirements in mind to match my imagine “changing the human diet for the better,” and that’s where I ended up having the ability to check all of the boxes.
I’m not by yourself in my own quest. Welfare of the animals used to create food products is vital that you consumers. Based on the ASPCA, “94 percent of Americans concur that animals raised for food deserve to live clear of abuse and cruelty. The most the nearly 10 billion land-based animals, plus countless more aquatic animals, farmed for food every year in the U.S. reside in unacceptable conditions that usually do not align with consumers’ stated values.” Furthermore, most Americans consume animal products. By August 2018, Gallup found “5 percent of Americans say they are vegetarians, unchanged from 2012” and “3 percent say they are vegans, little changed from 2 percent in 2012.”
Simultaneously, individuals are seeking more transparency from the meals brands they support. According to the recent article from Food Dive , “75 percent [of shoppers] say they’ll switch to a brand that delivers more in-depth product information, beyond what’s provided on the physical label. When shoppers were asked the same question in 2016, just 39 percent agreed they might switch brands.” And as consumers arm themselves with an increase of knowledge, brands will need to stay honest about every last detail, including how their ingredients are sourced, particularly since it pertains to animal welfare.
Why isn’t every company going the excess mile to search out farms that do it the correct way?
It isn’t really an easy require brands, especially those just getting started. While scouring the earth to find a satisfactory dairy protein source for our products, I came across that the expense of sourcing conventional milk products was considerably less (up to 50 percent of the price) than sourcing certified grass-fed dairy protein. The same could be said for other milk products including butter, ghee, milk, etc. This harsh the truth is particularly true inside our case, since we get our dairy from overseas. Obviously it could cost us less overall and present fewer challenges to source within the U.S., but these core values of sustainability and animal welfare were non-negotiable for all of us. While a lot of the dairy industry in the U.S. moved to cheaper corn and soy feed for cattle that traditionally eat the grass they graze on, countries such as for example Ireland kept permitting them to graze in open pastures. The added bonus is that the vitamins and minerals and taste is way better from dairy that’s sourced this way.
Generally, “grass fed” is a term without an excessive amount of regulation or standardization at this stage, unfortunately, so consumers prioritizing this facet of their food cannot depend on labels alone and must dig deeper into specific brands for information regarding these claims. Be skeptical of brands advertising “completely grass fed” with little to no supporting evidence.
Additionally, both farm we source from and our products have the pet Welfare Approved seal from A Greener World (AGW). THE PET Welfare Approved Certification upholds a hard-earned standard for dairy calves and cattle which demonstrates the farmers’ commitment to the care of their animals, the land and the neighborhood community. Some standards of the certification include:
- Continuous outdoor pasture access is necessary for all dairy cattle.
- Close confinement in cages, crates or by tethering is prohibited.
- Abuse or maltreatment (hot branding/prods and electric shocking) of animals is prohibited.
- Newly weaned or separated calves should be kept in sets of familiar animals. The utilization of isolated pens is prohibited. Sale of calves to farms which have confinement, crated or slatted veal systems is prohibited.
Although task might seem daunting, the unfortunate simple truth is: consumers thinking about supporting animal welfare, sustainability and food clear of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics should do just a little homework before voting with their dollars. It’s great to find products with “Non-GMO” or “Organic” seals, but it’s a lot more vital to understand the complete sourcing process of the maker. These days, we must look beyond organic, because that label doesn’t indicate humane and sustainable sourcing. Though there are no certifying organizations which have branding quite as strong as the old standbys (ie: organic, Fair Trade), here are some that consumers can begin to watch out for when researching brands: Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World, Global Animal Partnership Step 2+, Certified Humane.
AMERICA has a good way to go with regards to sourcing, brand transparency and clear food labeling. For the present time, the very best that brands and consumers can do is abide by values supporting animal welfare ra