Hey Hipsters! You like your grassfed meat, right? Well from now on we are going to pretend that “Made in the USA” sticker actually means what it says. You won’t need to feel guilty about that rancher in California who got screwed because “Made in the USA” now means that meat can actually be from other countries with cheaper land. The global market has got him by the balls and he may or may not be able to keep up his farm. When only five percent of ranching in the US is 100% grass-fed from start to finish, do we really need to be making it harder for farmers to compete? And what about the consumer? This also puts us at a disadvantage when we can’t make informed decisions about the food we purchase for our families. This is dismal but there IS something we can do about this! The USDA needs comments on a proposed rule change before August 17th. Please post a supportive comment to end the deceptive country of origin labeling snafoo. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you issues like food ingredients banned in other parts of the world, how to extend the period organic food stays fresh, & which deodorant brands are the safest, now join with us as we explore the dark side of American grass-fed labeling and what you can do to brighten the future.
Certified Grass-Fed Ranches Compared to the Dread of Factory Farms. It’s No Wonder The Consumer Is Choosing Grassfed.
Quality meat is a staple in the homes of families aware of the problems with factory farms. First of all it’s the environment, factory farms generate millions of gallons of manure that leak from storage lagoons into waterways and produce air pollutants and contaminants that pose a threat to human health. Ew! Secondly, over-crowding animals are the makings of a stressful affair, which in turn lowers the immune system and causes illness galore. Then out comes routine antibiotics to tightly packed herds of cattle. Don’t worry if you aren’t sick yet, you will be eventually. Stew around the overuse of antibiotics with crowded spaces and presto chango you get disaster–a rise in the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which kills over 23,000 people and infests millions in the United States every year.
So it’s no surprise that consumers, especially millennials and moms, are willing to pay more for USA-raised grass-fed beef knowing the standards of quality. It exceeds USDA standards, is a healthier meat with more omega-3 fatty acids, it’s better for the environment because it captures CO2 back into the soil, and we get to support American farmers in a tangible way. It’s like supporting a fairyland where unicorns poop tootsie rolls and Santa Claus is real. So obviously you would think with all that demand that business is booming for American ranchers. But something fishy has been going on that has cut them out of that market. Cheap imports from overseas are undercutting them on price and driving them out of the market. And this is all happening with the help (or willful ignorance should I say) of the USDA. That’s right, the USDA is standing by as the American grass-fed industry is wilting away.
And here’s a great example of one of America’s most famous American Grassfed Certified ranches, White Oak Pastures. Learn what Will Harris, 4th generation farmer, is fighting for.
Just as the demand for grass-fed meat is booming, only 5% of all beef produced in the United States is grass-fed from start to finish. Cheap imports from other countries account for 75-80% of total grass-fed beef sales here in America. That means US grass-fed cattle farmers are forced to compete on two fronts, with local factory farms and international grass-fed beef producers dominating the market and it’s simply unfair. And don’t forget about us. We often depend on government standards to ensure truth in labeling, which is the crux of the current policy problem.
Long story short. Go pick up some grass-fed beef tonight for dinner and take a look at where it says the country of origin. If it says “Made in the USA” assume that’s a lie about 80% of the time and you’ll be golden. If you want to ensure you are getting beef from an American rancher that is 100% certified grass-fed check out this directory of certified ranches by the American Grassfed Association.
Current Grass-fed Beef Policy Misleads Shoppers
Currently, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) allows internationally-produced grass-fed beef that passes through a USDA-approved inspection site, whether inside the United States or not, to carry the ‘Made in the USA’ label.
It doesn’t matter to them. It’s just a sticker. So you can imagine how rife with fraud that inspection site is becoming. American beef–What does that mean exactly? There is no actual way for us to tell where our beef is coming from today unless you know the story behind your food. Having distrust in a country of origin labeling is problematic.
This is clearly a policy in place to increase profits, but is it in our best interests? I understand getting a portion of our grass-fed beef from overseas, but 75- 80% isn’t sustainable. Nothing against my brothers and sisters in the world down under (Sidebar: Loved the “Thunder From Down Under” show in Las Vegas during my bachelorette party forever ago) But is it in our best interest to put American ranchers in harm’s way just to flood the market with a cheaper product? This also makes it hard for families to make informed decisions about the products they purchase. That’s why it’s so critical to participate in the petition to put a stop to this USDA blunder.
Sign The Petition for Policy Change of Grassfed Country of Origin Labeling
OCM and the American Grassfed Association filed a petition for the change in policy to ensure only US domestic meat products can be labeled “Product of USA.” The current policy that allows foreign meat to be imported into the US and bear the label ‘Product of USA’ if it simply passes through a USDA-inspected plant encourages the abuse of the label and makes it impossible to distinguish between products. Right now, the FSIS has opened the petition for policy change to public comment, and we’re calling on all consumers to file their individual original comments of support by August 17, 2018.
The FSIS policy allows global interests to profit from mislabeling the country of origin on their meat which is a direct affront to America’s family farmers and ranchers who should be given a fair opportunity to market their products to American consumers who care where their food comes from and want to support products made in the United States.
Take Action to Support Truth in Labeling
Here are the three most important steps you can take to encourage this positive policy change. We have to come together and make our voices heard to protect our families, our farmers and our labeling integrity.
- Support the petition for policy change by posting an original comment at this link: https://www.regulations.gov/
docket?D=FSIS-2018-0024. Please note that comments must be originally written and cannot be copied and pasted. There are only 112 comments so far, so let’s get to work!
- Consider donating to the campaign to stop misleading food labeling: https://www.gofundme.com/sto
- Inform your friends about the petition on social media, and share the fundraiser campaign on as many social channels as possible.
Thank you for taking action on this important issue! We at Mamavation support our local farmers and ranchers and have a special relationship with the American Grassfed Association, including having Will Harris on our advisory board. This gives us access to the real story behind what is heard in the news.