We are pleased to announce that the in-depth guide to the benefits of grassfed beef is now available from Animal Welfare Approved. The Grassfed Primer: Your Guide to the Benefits of Grassfed Beef covers the history of U.S. beef production and the rise of modern intensive farming systems, and provides a detailed description of the wide-ranging benefits that grassfed cattle systems can have for human health, the environment and animal welfare.
As the range of products, labels, and brands making grassfed claims continues to expand, The Grassfed Primer is designed to cut through the confusion and provide an informative, easy-to-digest introduction to the benefits of real grassfed and pasture-raised beef.
The 20-page publication includes chapters titled “Grassfed, health, welfare and the environment,” “The problem with feedlots” and “How do I know it’s grassfed?” Written in an accessible and informal style, the booklet also contains full scientific references for further reading and research.
Some facts covered in the publication include:
- Today’s U.S. feedlot system is the largest and most concentrated in the world, with less than 5 percent of the nation’s feedlots marketing 80-90 percent of all U.S. beef. A single modern feedlot can hold tens of thousands of cattle in confinement.
- The official USDA grassfed definition has loopholes that potentially allow a farmer to raise their “grassfed” cattle on a confined feedlot and use routine antibiotics and hormones. As long as farmers feed the cattle on trucked-in cut grass or other forage, they can still label their beef as “USDA grassfed.”
- Real grassfed farming has a potentially vital role to play in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration, the process where atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the growing pasture and locked in the soil within the plant’s root system.
- Grassfed meat and dairy products also offer real human health benefits in terms of higher levels of omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vitamin E, and can reduce the risk of E. coli infection. Scientists now believe that CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.
Commenting on the publication of The Grassfed Primer, Dr. Patricia Whisnant, President of the American Grassfed Association and grassfed beef farmer, says, “Animal Welfare Approved’s The Grassfed Primer is a timely and much needed publication. As demand for sustainably produced grassfed beef grows it is vitally important that consumers understand the benefits of real grassfed beef – and that they can identify the ‘real McCoy’ from the growing mass of lesser ‘wanna-be’ labels. I believe that The Grassfed Primer will play a key role in helping consumers to make the right choices whenever they buy beef. It goes to the very heart of the grassfed story, describing a model of agriculture where animals are raised on pasture in a manner that is biologically and behaviorally appropriate for the animals, for our health, and for the health of the planet.”
The Grassfed Primer is available for free download from the Animal Welfare Approved website along with AWA’s recently published Food Labeling for Dummies.