Good food starts with good ingredients. That's exactly what you get whenever you take a bite of a Wild Zora bar.
Wonderful taste and nutritional value are important to us, but we go even further. The ingredients we use are grown and raised with minimal environmental impact
. That's why we make our bars
with organic fruits and veggies. Our meats are locally sourced, to avoid the carbon footprint of international transportation.
Is your beef organic?
People often ask whether we use organic meats. The answer is shocking to some: No. We use animals from local farmers, which means we know how the animals are treated and what they eat. Why not just go with organic? Organic fruits and vegetables are pretty straightforward: you know they were grown naturally, without pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Meat production is a bit more complicated. Let's take a closer look at beef, for example. The organic label doesn't mean that the animals are grass-fed or raised on a pasture. For example, they can be raised in a feedlot, standing in their own you-know-what, eating "organic" grains (and getting the same metabolic diseases that we humans get when we eat too much grain!). So because the "organic" label didn't meet our standards for beef quality, we decided to visit local farmers and find meat that comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed, grass-finished, well tended and healthy animals.
The Label Confusion
"Organic" label is not the only one that can be misleading. When you shop for beef, you will notice there is grass-fed, grass-finished, natural, 100% grass-fed... what does it mean?
Definitions vary, but unless the grass-fed beef is AGA
certified, you can't be sure that the animals were raised solely on grass. USDA grass-fed certificate is based on written description of farming practices submitted by the farmer; the USDA does not visit the farms! To muddy the waters even further, farmers can choose to use the grass-fed label (as long as it doesn't say "certified") even when their cattle is grain-finished.
All US cattle start their life grazing on a pasture. However, the majority of them get "finished" with grain on a feedlot. With grain, they put on weight (and, unfortunately often get sick) quickly, resulting in a lower price of meat. But that meat can still be sold as grass-fed at a higher price point! What this means for you: if you want to eat truly 100% grass-fed beef, look for 100% grass-fed/grass-finished beef, like the kind used in Wild Zora beef bars
What's the problem with grain-fed beef?
It's not healthy for the animals
Cows are meant to eat grass. Eating grains is hard on their digestive system. They are more likely to get sick and require antibiotics. Also, the delivery of the feed matters. Grain-fed cattle stand in a feedlot instead of walking and grazing on a pasture. It is natural for them to walk and to be able to lie down. The crowded feedlots don't allow for that and the animals are often uncomfortable and stressed. At Wild Zora, we like using meat
from farmers we know: We know they treat their animals with respect and care. Clearly, a feedlot is not a humane environment for cattle, even if the grain they eat is organic.
It's not healthy for you
Commercially produced grain-fed beef is likely to contain antibiotics and growth hormones. And even if you choose meat labeled as "no antibiotics", you are still missing out: Grain-fed beef is significantly lower in Omega-3 acids and vitamins A and E. Eating 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef will provide your body with CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is a powerful nutrient. CLA is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease
How about environmental impact?
You might have heard that grass-fed cattle produce more methane, which is a greenhouse gas. Articles pushing this outdated claim tend to overlook all the benefits.
Carbon dioxide reduction
Well managed pastures contain a variety of green plants which use the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere far better than farmed grain fields.
Less dependency on fossil fuels
Because animals pick their own food, farmers need to use less gas-powered machinery and electricity than when they harvest, process and deliver the grain. The animal waste is dispersed on the pasture, so there is no need to use machinery to move it.
Unlike a grain field, a pasture is a diverse ecosystem with native plants. Grazing cattle also provide natural fertilizer, encouraging a healthy plant growth and improving the soil quality.
Did we mention that grass-fed beef also tastes better? To see for yourself, try some today!
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