Frequently Asked Questions
Organic vs Natural: what's the big beef all about?
The term "natural beef" often misleads people into assuming it's the same as "organic beef." Far from it. "Natural" beef allows of the use of antibiotics, hormones, fertilizers, pesticides, irradiation, carbon monoxide, and other harmful additives. Additionally, "natural" beef does not require third-party certification.
All stages of production and processing of Verde Farms beef are certified to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards by accredited 3rd-party agencies.
As the world's highest standard for organics, certification to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards ensures that all stages of our production and processing are accredited by third-party agencies. While this organic certification takes additional time and expense, it ensures you receive a high quality product that you can trust. Uruguayan production is certified by SKAL and American processing by NOFA-NJ, Bay State Organics, and GOA.
Uruguay is a quiet little country bordering Argentina in South America. The ranchers of Uruguay have long raised cattle using traditional methods that were used by American farmers before the industrial agricultural complex rose post-WWII. With a well-suited climate and grassy plains, the land in Uruguay is ideally suited to beef production.
You betcha. All Uruguayan and Australian facilities are required to meet the same level of requirements as facilities in the US and are even inspected by the USDA. Our cattle have fstrict raising protocols and traceability capabilities.
Our organic grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle roam on the open range throughout their entire lives. Since they do not receive growth hormones, cattle typically live a healthy 20-30 months in a stress-free environment which results in a great tasting, tender product. In comparison, in the US cattle typically begin their lives on small farms but eventually are "finished" in massive factory feedlots of 50,000-100,000 cattle where they are rushed to slaughter in less than 15 months on a steady diet of antibiotics, hormones, and grains. Just like a tomato can look bright red and shiny, if it grows too quickly it is just flavorless and full of water; the same is true for cattle.
Verde Farms beef is shipped fresh from Uruguay in vacuum-packed, refrigerated containers which maintain product integrity at the highest quality. This is the same method used for New Zealand lamb, Chilean fruits, and much of the fresh products that Americans enjoy every day.
Verde Farms fully supports pasture-based farming methods whether domestic or international. Since domestic supply of pasture-based product has been extremely limited, the main alternative until now has been conventional, factory-based raised beef. By creating demand for pasture-based farms, Verde Farms intends to shift demand back to local farmers, wherever they exist, as an alternative to the corporate giants who currently dominate the industry.
We like to use the analogy of it's like comparing a Budweiser with a Samuel Adams. Huge difference. You'll find that 100% grass-fed beef has a clean, refined flavor not found in grain-finished beef, the current standard in 99%+ of American supermarkets today. You don't have to be a food connoisseur to notice the unique and robust flavor of grass-fed beef.
Grass-fed beef is 20% lower in calories than grain finished beef and has higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA's (conjugated linoleic acid -- an essential fatty acid that fights cancer and inhibits body fat), and Vitamins A and E. It is also easier on the environment and the animals since the cattle are not subjected to life in a feedlot, which also creates a waste management problem. Finally, feeding cattle grain, a food source that nature did not intend for ruminant animals like cattle, leads to conditions requiring antibiotics to keep the animals "healthy".
Many chefs consider grass-fed beef to have a taste profile equal to or superior to that of prime. And because grass-fed beef averages 91% lean meat, you taste the flavor of the meat, not the fat.
After WWII, the U.S. had excess chemical production capacity which was converted into the production of fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, massive federal agricultural subsidies for the corn industry greatly increased chemical and corn production at very low costs. The cattle industry uses this corn in combination with the feedlot system to produce beef in the fastest time and lowest cost possible while sacrificing taste, health, and environmental sustainability.
The USDA does not allow the importation of any meat cuts from Uruguay that still include the bone due to potential health concerns. This means that there will be no t-bone steaks, porterhouse steaks, bone-in prime rib, short ribs, etc.
Verde Farms ensures that its packaging selection is consistent with the theme of minimizing environmental impact while ensuring food safety. We
believe that you, the consumer, should know all the facts and then let you make the appropriate decision. And if you have any ideas for how we can
reduce our environmental footprint, please let us know.
Click here for additional info on recycling various materials
No. Carbon Monoxide is prohibited by organic regulations and will never be used in Verde Farm's products.
Yes, Verde Farms provides the raw material for the Kirkland Signature organic ground beef sold at Costco.