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Other Grassfed Meats


White Belt
Jul 23, 2003
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So I know that organic grassfed beef is supposed to be the healthiest form of beef you can eat and I've seen a number of folks that have noticed good things after switching to grassfed beef. Conventional grain fed beef (including organic, but not grassfed) has way lower nutritional value in the form of good fats, etc. I've basically been trying to buy mostly grass fed beef these days.
However, I'm wondering about other meats now, like pork and chicken. I haven't actually found such thing as "grassfed" chicken or pork. I've seen organic chicken, free range chicken, and humanely raised pork. These terms seem a bit more ambiguous. Like an organic chicken may just be fed grains that are organic and not be as healthy as a chicken fed a natural diet (I'm not even really sure what chickens eat naturally).
So, for those of you that are into the grassfed beef thing (or naturally raised meat in general), how do you select your other meats like chicken or pork where it's not as clear as with grassfed/grainfed beef?
I don't think chickens or pigs eat grass naturally. The best chicken I think is corn fed free range. Not sure about pork.
Yeah, chicken's don't eat grass. Thats why they're not called grass few chickens, they're free range chickens.

Free range chickens = grass fed beef
Chickens do eat grass, it doesn't say it directly in wilhelm's link there but if you read it carefully it says it.

The way you know is because the omega-3's the eggs are supposed to contain that they don't comes from the grass. They don't eat it because they prefer it though, they eat it because it's there amid the things they go for when you raise them free-range. If grains were a sufficient food source for them then they wouldn't be lacking in any nutrients. But it's not, so they do. You'd be surprised what animals eat what when they're let to gather their own food sources.

Pastured Poultry:
Thousands of small farms in the US and worldwide produce what is called "pastured poultry". To these farmers, pastured poultry means chickens and other poultry raised right on top of living grasses. This is accomplished by keeping the birds in low, wide, bottomless cages called "chicken tractors" that are moved to a new spot of fresh pasture once or more often each day.

This enables the birds to eat all the varied, living grasses, other plants, insects, etc., that they can find. Since chickens also need grain, they cannot be totally grass-fed, according to several experts. In the chicken tractors are grain feeders, and watering devices. Chickens will eat up to 30% of their calories in grass (and that's a LOT of grass), if allowed access to unlimited supplies. Pasturing the poultry assures that they have these supplies of living grass at all times.

A few purists want to reserve the term "grass-fed" for animals raised exclusively, 100%, on grass and nothing else. Now, ruminants, such as cows and sheep, can be raised totally on grass, but by all accounts, poultry cannot. (Nevertheless, certain of these purists claim they are raising their private poultry stock on 100% grass.) This confusion of terms has given rise to a false rumor among city meat handlers and restauranteurs that there is no such thing as "grass-fed poultry" because chickens cannot eat grass!!

A few purists say that "pastured poultry" cannot be raised in cages, that pastured poultry means poultry that is free to roam over pasture without physical restrictions. These folks include the addition of grain-based feeds for their "pastured" birds.

But in general usage around the world, "pastured poultry" means chickens raised in chicken tractors that are moved over fresh grass very often, with grain feeders available.

The term grass-fed poultry is a larger group, of which the pastured birds are a sub-set. Grass-fed poultry, among those who are discussing the topic, means birds that are allowed to forage on as much living grasses as they desire, whether in chicken tractors, small coops surrounded by pasture, or the exclusive French "Red Label" birds raised on glamorous par-courses. As long as they get all the grass they want, they qualify to be called "grass-fed." (Experts, please comment below ~ thank you!)

The public, especially in cities but also in the country to a large extent, have no idea how badly the term "free-range" is abused. It is virtually meaningless as a marketing term. One thing must be understood about chickens: they will not walk very far out of their line of sight; they feed on what they see close to them. They won't go around a see-through fence for water. But commercial poultry farmers, I'm told by many sources, have put little doors at the ends of their huge chicken barns, doors that open onto a bare dirt lot, and by doing so, are able to call their product "free-range," whether the chickens ever go outside or not.

Free Range:
"Free range," as used commercially today, simply indicates chickens that are not in cages and do not have a physical barrier between them and the outside of their building. They do not get any living grass. In fact, one prominent health-food-store poultry producer who has slid the advertising words "forage on native grasses" into their advertising, admits to me on the phone that those birds have four square feet of dirt space per bird (2 feet inside, and 2 feet outside), no open range or living grass of any kind. The company cannot find anyone on their premises who can explain to me what "forage on native grasses" means to them. As of this writing, I have not found one company, health-food-store, restaurant or website that sells grass-fed poultry at anything like a fair price (one company will ship, but it comes to $18 per chicken, minimum four birds).

The sad part is, pastured poultry farmers have to allow their birds to be marketed under the term "free range," because the public heads for that term like iron to a magnet. No other marketing term works as well to sell supposedly healthful birds. The fact is, out in the country, and in smaller cities, with some careful searching, people can undoubtedly find some grass-fed poultry among the birds called "free-range." Almost always, it will be found at local farmers' markets, where the small farmer is allowed to sell a certain minimum number of birds a year.

The term "pastured poultry" makes people think of pasteurization; it's hard to say, confusing, and unsexy. It won't sell a flea. "Grass-fed" is just now catching on, but again, the public is still uninformed of its benefits, in fact of the necessity of switching to this method of feeding poultry. It is an unknown term, requires education, is better than "pastured," but it still isn't as sale-worthy as "free range." "Free range" conjures up a picture of chickens running around a healthy, bustling farmhouse, eating grass and other things to their hearts' content. It is the term of choice.

There's the breakdown of the terminologies.
Hey guys, thanks for the great info. That really clears things up. Hopefully grassfed and pastured poultry increases in popularity. Right now, I know Whole Foods sells grass fed beef, but I don't think their poultry is grassfed or pastured. Their poultry says "Naturally Raised", so I'll have to ask what exactly that means now that I know about these categories.
Do you guys know if there is such thing as grass fed/pastured pork then? Or perhaps it's under another name? I'm guessing "Certified humanely raised" is just regular grain fed.
Stay away from grass fed fish... that just aint natural.
Stay away from grass fed fish... that just aint natural.

Hate to break it to you but some fish feed on kelp and seaweed. So in some sense it kind of is natural.
King Kabuki said:
Hate to break it to you but some fish feed on kelp and seaweed. So in some sense it kind of is natural.

Mod on Mod action.....I feel dirty...

BTW, I love seeing the "Happy Cows" that the California Dairy council advertises all the time. Anyone who has ever drivin through Coalinga will tell you that's some bullshit. They look pissed off and they're covered in their own feces.....On a side note, damn are they delicious!
Tomorrow I will ask my botanist whether seaweeds are grasses, and she will say no, and we'll have a good laugh at your expense... then a cup of tea.
How about this...you and your botanist can go ahead and have the laugh at seaweed, because I used the incorrect term. The correct term would be seagrass:


And then this:

Seagrass beds are highly diverse and productive ecosystems, and can harbor hundreds of associated species from all phyla, for example juvenile and adult fish, epiphytic and free-living macroalgae and microalgae, shellfish, bristle worms, and nematodes. Few species were originally considered to feed directly on seagrass leaves (partly because of their low nutritional content), but scientific reviews and improved working methods have shown that seagrass herbivory is a highly important link in the food chain, with hundreds of species feeding on seagrasses worldwide, including dugongs, manatees, fish, geese, swans, sea urchins and crabs.

So I'll still have my protein shake (I don't drink tea all that much) and have a laugh at you saying it's unnatural for fish to feed on grass. Sound good?
King Kabuki said:
How about this...you and your botanist can go ahead and have the laugh at seaweed, because I used the incorrect term. The correct term would be seagrass:


And then this:

So I'll still have my protein shake (I don't drink tea all that much) and have a laugh at you saying it's unnatural for fish to feed on grass. Sound good?
Can a mod yellow card another mod or does that tear a hole in the fabric of cyberspace?
lol I wouldn't yellow card Urban even if I could. Some guys weren't around these parts when it happened, but he's basically the main reason I became a Mod in the first-place. But we get each other's senses of humor anyway. He's one of the first people I ainticipate to fuck with me or call me on it if I post bullshit.
I have not yet spoken with my botonist, but I have consulted an admin... and yes, if one mod cards another a hole in the space time continuum will be made and it could potentially destroy 68.834% of the known universe... the damage done to the unknown universe is predicted to be far less.