Natural foods consumers have become increasingly sensitive to how farm animals are treated. In response, more dairy companies are offering milk from grass-fed cows. This has led to the use of various “grass-fed” terms that can be confusing because these terms are not regulated. What does ‘pasture-based’ dairy mean? Let’s take a look!
What does pasture-based dairy mean?
Grass-Fed, Pasture-Based, Pasture-Grazed…What’s the difference?
Grass-fed is the most commonly used term, but other phrases such as pasture-raised and pasture-grazed carry the same meaning. They all let the consumer know that the cows have lived some portion of their lives outside. Therefore, their diet–rather than being exclusively made up or grains as is the case on confinement lots– includes grass. There is no technical difference between these 3 terms. The choice of which one to use is a marketing preference.
If the dairy product is also certified organic, the consumer can be sure that the cows were outside a minimum of 120 days. It’s important to remember that grass-fed products are not necessarily organic.
The term 100% grass-fed indicates the cows have been fed grass exclusively. If the cows live in temperate zones with harsh winters, farmers harvest and store hay to feed over the winter.
The term ‘100% grass-fed’ is not regulated, just like the terms grass-fed, pasture-raised, and pasture-grazed. Therefore, the standards and practices may vary greatly.
Certified 100% Grass-fed
For consumers who want to know exactly what practices were used for 100% grass-fed products, we recommend that you look for a third-party certification on the label. Several organizations monitor farms and require them to meet their standards. This provides the consumer with the best information as to exactly how the cows were raised.
Grass-fed Claims on Kalona SuperNatural Products
Our products fall into two categories: most we label “pasture-grazed,” while our kefir is 100% grass-fed.
All Kalona SuperNatural products are certified organic. This means that our pasture-grazed products meet or exceed organic standards for access to outdoors and grass feeding. In addition, Kalona SuperNatural 100% Grass-Fed Kefir is third-party certified by the American Grassfed Association.