What Is Grassfed?

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Authentic Grassfed may seem like a new term, but it’s certainly not a new practice. Raising livestock on grass has countless benefits for our land, animals, and communities.

Why grassfed?

For millennia, grazing animals like buffalo, cattle, and sheep were not just food, but land stewards. Their trampling and chomping helped fertilize grasslands, contributing to soil health and biodiversity. By raising livestock, humans could turn inedible grasses into milk, cheese, meat, and countless other foods. This alliance between land, animals, and people was honed by Indigenous populations around the world. But as American agriculture industrialized, most animals were moved into confinement.

Today, raising animals on grass can feel nostalgic, but it’s an essential practice for restoring land, fighting climate change, and creating a healthier food system for us all. Individuals and institutions putting their purchasing dollars behind Authentic Grassfed products is one of the many levers needed to support a grassfed supply chain.

What is Authentic Grassfed?

Farming this way isn’t simple, and it’s a journey. For farmers, ranchers, and brands that raise and sell Authentic Grassfed products, it can be difficult to explain to buyers how their meat and dairy are different. Non-Authentic, non-verified brands that have claimed the label and diluted the marketplace confuse buyers further. In partnership with the leading grassfed certifiers in the U.S., we developed ten Authentic Grassfed Principles to help buyers understand what practices are core to grassfed and to know what labels to look for.

These principles center around transparency, quality, and care for land, animals, and people. Beyond these ten core on-farm practices, we believe that grassfed stands for care for every farmhand, butcher, and community along the supply chain.

Grassfed Meat & Dairy:
What does the research say?

A growing body of scientific research validates what grassfed producers already know—that Authentic Grassfed meat and dairy production is regenerative and provides highly nourishing meat and dairy products. Authentic Grassfed animal agriculture can improve the health of the land and ecosystem.

According to research published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, “with appropriate grazing management, ruminant livestock can increase [carbon] sequestration in the soil to more than offset their GHG emissions.” Likewise, researchers have reported in Agricultural Systems that the adoption of improved grazing management facilitates soil [carbon] sequestration,” and that “the finishing phase of the beef production system may serve as an overall GHG sink.”

Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing was found to be an effective conservation practice on grazing lands for enhancing water conservation and protecting water quality, as published in the Journal of Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment.

Authentic Grassfed meat and dairy products are not only high in protein, but they deliver nutrients not found in plants, including vitamin B12, heme iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, vitamin D, and vitamin K2. Many chefs and culinary experts prefer the depth of flavor of Grassfed meat and dairy.