Any food that has a label specifically stating that it was "Certified Organic by...." a third party organization such as USDA is considered certified organic and meets the standards set by that organization. Organic foods are foods produced by organic farming. While the standards differ worldwide, organic farming in general features cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers are not allowed, although certain organically approved pesticides may be used under limited conditions. In general, organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.
The verification seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through our verification process. Our verification is an assurance that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO avoidance:
Read more at http://www.nongmoproject.org/
Cattle were not designed to eat grains so our beef and dairy cows get no grain, ever
Grass-fed beef has an omega 6:3 ratio of 0.16 to 1. This is the ratio science suggests is ideal for any mammal that eats beef. This is about the same ratio that fish has. Grass-fed beef usually has less than 10% of its fat as saturated. If your favorite pet is pregnant or nursing young, the extra omega-3 from the grass-fed beef will provide incredible nutritional benefits. Read more at: http://products.mercola.com/organic-beef/.
Also, milk from 100-percent grass-fed animals is much healthier than ordinary milk. It has a higher concentration of vitamins and antioxidants, fewer “bad” fats, and more “healthy” fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Learn more at www.realmilk.com.
An heirloom seed is a seed from a plant that has been passed from one generation to another, carefully grown and saved because it is considered valuable. The value could lie in its flavor, productivity, hardiness or adaptability. Many heirlooms have been grown, saved and passed down for more than 100 years. Some have history reaching back 300 years or more. To have been saved and preserved for so long, these seed varieties have shown their value to many people and families for an extremely long time. Most heirlooms have been saved and selected because they have the best flavor and production in home and small market gardens.
Learn more at www.rareseeds.com
"Free range" refers to chickens being allowed to range freely outdoors where they can eat whatever grass, weed seeds, insects and worms they choose. This results in more nutritious eggs and meat for pets, and more healthy, humane conditions for the birds.
Raw food is food that has not been cooked or processed and can include things such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, meat and dairy products. Also, when referring to milk raw means the milk has not been pasteurized or homogenized.
Forest Fed Pigs are rotated through a 60 acre wooded lot and through the rotation they get about 50% of their feed off the land. The pig never touches the same piece of land once it is moved for it's entire time on the farm to refrain from uncleanliness and overgrazing. The land is rested for 6 months after being used to allow regeneration and regrowth.
The traditional method for preservation of milk, vegetables, and meat involves a process called lacto-fermentation. In the fermentation of raw milk, beneficial lactic acid-producing bacteria naturally present in the milk initiate the digestion or breaking down of milk sugar, known as lactose, and milk proteins like casein.
When enough lactic acid is produced by these friendly bacteria and fermentation is complete, milk is protected from spoilage for several days, weeks or even years as is the case with aged cheeses.
Meat can be preserved by lacto-fermentation as well. Hard, aged sausages, such as traditionally prepared salami, are lacto-fermented foods.
The process of lacto-fermentation works in a similar manner with plant foods, transforming cabbage into sauerkraut and cucumbers into pickles. While not traditionally lacto-fermented, fruit can also be transformed into chutneys and marmalades using the same process.
Lactic acid preserves food by inhibiting putrefying bacteria. This organic acid is produced by a beneficial bacterium present on the surface of all plants and animals – even our own skin! Traditional cuisines from around the world prized lactofermented foods and beverages for their medicinal properties as well as delicious taste. Most traditional cuisines included at least one fermented food or beverage with every meal, which worked to improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
Lacto-fermented foods are rich in enzymes as well as beneficial bacteria. Think of lactofermented foods as “super-raw” foods; the enzymes in lacto-fermented foods more than compensate for the enzymes lost in the foods that are cooked.
Now, we are seeing many bowel dysfunctions in our favorite feline or canine friends who can benefit from these living foods to add good bacteria to their gut.
Pastured chickens are raised in hoop houses that are moved 1-3 times a day every day across green pasture. This allows the chicken to have access to fresh green grass and bugs as a main source of their diet.
Beyond Organic products go much further than the USDA organic standards focusing not only on healthy produce and animals but also on holistic land management practices. While these products do not have the label of being certified by a third party organization such as the USDA, the produce is never sprayed and conventional fertilizers are never applied and chemical wormers are not used. Animals are never fed anything other than what their body can process (ex. cows only eat grass/hay, NO grain). Animals are rotated frequently allowing them to have access to fresh greens while nurturing the land. Everything on the farm (soil, animals, plants, etc.) has an integral function which work in harmony to create an entire living organism.
Products listed as "Corn and Soy Free" are produced with a certified Non-GMO or Organic feed that does not contain corn or soy. Commonly it has wheat, canola meal, sunflower oil and minerals/vitamins.