I was having a conversation about meat labels today via Facebook with a fellow mom. I would like to disclose "some" of the problems with marketing labels. If I was a mother with no education about agriculture with my two children ramming the cart into innocent people, asking for things they don't need, and I was still trying to figure out what I am making for the next five meals, trying to remember what was on the list I left on the kitchen counter, and had to read meat labels I would be furious.
This is what I will share with you about a couple I have seen and one I have heard about.
1. Labels that read this animal was fed an all vegetarian diet. Seriously, all animals we eat except pigs and chickens are herbivores. Since most hogs and chickens are raised in confinement (for now) farmers know everything they have eaten. Which leads us to number two.
2. These animals were raised caged free - If chickens and hogs were raised caged free, there is less control on what they have eaten. The chicken label below says that this chicken was raised caged free on a vegetarian diet. So you mean to tell me they will swear that the chicken has never eaten a worm or bug. I think not. If you want caged free, I don't think you can have vegetarian also.
3. The final item I am going to mention is one I only heard of from some really great chefs in Washington DC. I do not spend as much time as I should by the beef counter. However they mentioned that beef is sometimes labeled grass fed and grain finished. Most beef in the country is grass fed and grain finished.
Please remember if the meat is in the counter it is safe to feed your family. Remember to always keep and cook meat at the proper temperatures. If you have concerns ask. It is really important to me that if you feel paying a premium for a special production technique you understand just what you are paying for - so ask questions and educate yourself.