This blog was jointly produced with Farm Forward and authored by Mike Callicrate: a Colorado rancher, rural advocate, and owner of Ranch Foods Direct.
If you’ve ever perused the packaged meat aisle at your local grocery store, you’ve probably noticed the sea of labels with a variety of claims and definitions. You may have even made your selection based on these labels. Unfortunately, not all of them are truthful. Consolidated corporations like Tyson and Smithfield use misleading labels to sell their generic, industrially produced meat at a premium, while retail conglomerates and the USDA look the other way. According to recent research, antibiotic residues were discovered in beef labeled “raised without antibiotics” and Animal Welfare Certified™ by Global Animal Partnership (GAP).
Meat with GAP’s label can sell for 40% more than “conventional” meat, so customers are deceived into paying more for products that don’t align with their values. Shoppers can’t support farms that meet their expectations if they can’t distinguish between product labels. It’s time for the USDA to crack down on mislabeled meat. Learn more in our “News to Chew on” blog.