What is Pasture-Raised?

What is Pasture-Raised?

Pasture-Raised animal products come from pasture: open fields full of grasses, sunshine, and other natural diet foods for ruminants (cows, bisons, yaks, sheep, lamb, etc), chickens, pigs & hogs, bunnies and other animals.

A pasture environment is very close to what these animals evolved on, it intentionally mimics how they evolved for millions of years and allows them to absorb and take advantage of all the nutrients available to them from their food.

Typically, animals raised on pasture are moved every day or two. After the cows, bison or sheep roam a field, they are followed by chickens which help ensure the grass grows back better the next time around.

The Cycle

These animals work with one another and give back to the land in the form of their manure which fertilizes the land. Typically, cows & bison will eat the grasses and leave manure behind. Their hooves help drive the nutrients in the manure into the ground. These animals are followed by chickens who peck away at the bugs in the dirt, further helping mix the manure into the ground.

When rain arrives, the water helps the soils reabsorb the nutrients into the ground, sequestering carbon in the process and feeding the grass seeds to grow again. This cycle continues over and over again.

Because this is a natural cycle where the soil feeds the grass, grass feeds the animals, and animals replenish the soil there’s no concern over introducing greenhouse gasses to the environment. In fact, often times this process will net negative the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

This is in contrast to Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFOs) that produce positive amounts of methane and green house gases- largely because they are not part of the cycle eating their natural environment. These animals are fed grains that are sprayed with terrible chemicals.

Nutrient Values

Animals raised on pasture, eating their natural diet are more nutritionally dense than the CAFO counterparts. The nutritional profile is better across the board, and the Omega 6:3 ratio is better, too.

Pasture Raised vs Grass-Fed

Pasture Raised refers to where the animals were raised, and this means they have the freedom to roam on open fields. (Chickens are required to have 108 sq ft of space per bird).

Grass-fed refers to what the animal ate- grass or grass type hay. 

Most of the time, when an animal is raised on pasture it is fed grass from birth to harvest. However, the legal restrictions on grass are pretty loose, and include silage from corn stalks.

Legal Implications

Unfortunately, there are no legal definitions for most types of farming and ranching. Food manufactures can easily bend and stretch the truth. What one rancher considers pasture-raised might not align with the other.

Technically speaking, a pasture raised animal could be fed grains or supplemental grains.

Superfarm Standards

Superfarm sets the highest standards for our products. We will only carry and partner with farmers and ranchers who are grass-fed, grass-finished, and pasture raised animals. We care about the well being of the animals, the environment, and our customers.