Pastured Lamb is back in stock!


written by

Ron Thieme

posted on

February 24, 2024

You might have heard of the term "greenwashing." It means taking a product or concept that is environmentally unsustainable and metaphorically painting it over to make it look good for the environment and for human health. Make it look and sound like something it really isn't.

Last week there was a discussion amongst pastured poultry producers about greenwashing in the poultry business. The basic issue is that currently, the USDA's definition of "pasture raised" is that the chicken has access to the outdoors. Now, that chicken might live it's entire life inside a huge building with 10,000 of its closest friends, never seeing natural sunlight or green grass, breathing fecal dust and ammonia vapor day in and day out, but because there is a little chicken-sized door cut in one wall of the giant building, the chicken has "access" to the outside. It will likely never venture out that little door into that scary world known as "outdoors." But according to the USDA, that chicken is pasture raised. And the eggs that she may produce can be marketed as pasture raised, even though the chicken has never seen a blade of grass, and certainly not a proper pasture. If you've driven around rural Indiana, you might have seen one of these huge buildings with a little strip of green grass (with no chickens on it) on one side. That's your USDA pasture-raised poultry business in operation, folks.

It's irritating to me that people who just want to buy good food for their families can walk into a grocery store and buy a carton of eggs or a whole chicken that is labeled "Pasture Raised" when it so clearly isn't. I'd call it an outright lie because the common everyday meanings of the words "pasture" and "raised" are being twisted to mean just the opposite. Innocent people are being duped.

So what is a person who cares about their food to do? Unfortunately, the only way to get to truth is to know your farmer. Go see the chickens living their lives outside. Ask about what they are being fed. Observe how they are being treated. That's why we love when people ask us about how we raise our animals. We have nothing to hide. To us, "pasture raised" means exactly what it says.

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