“Grass Fed”

The natural diet of beef cattle and dairy cows is grass and high-fiber forage. Beef and dairy products from cattle that were fed a 100% grass-based diet have important nutritional benefits, as well as animal health benefits. The “grass fed” claim on meat and dairy product labels should mean that…

Rainforest Alliance Certified

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal means that some or all of the ingredients are sourced from farms that comply with the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network, which aims to promote sustainability in farming and protect farmers, forests, wildlife, and local communities. The seal is verified through on-farm inspections. Note:…

Non-GMO Project Verified

The Non-GMO Project Verified seal is verified and is a highly meaningful label for consumers wishing to avoid GMOs in the foods they buy and to support farmers who don’t use GMOs. It means producers complied with the Non-GMO Project’s standards, which are aimed at helping consumers find foods without…

American Humane Certified

The American Humane Certified label is somewhat meaningful and verified. While the American Humane Association says its standards aim to ensure the humane treatment and improve the welfare of farm animals, the requirements fall short in meeting consumer expectations for a “humane” label in many ways. Most Americans think that…

Certified humane

The Certified Humane Raised and Handled label is meaningful and verified. The standards behind the label require improvements to the industry norm in how farm animals are raised; for example, there are requirements for clean litter in chicken houses, bedding for pigs, and environmental enrichment for chickens and pigs. However,…

Highly Meaningful

The Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) label is highly meaningful and verified, and means that animals raised for meat, dairy or eggs were raised humanely on a family farm from birth to slaughter, on well-managed pasture or range. Standards also address other areas of sustainability, such as prohibiting the use of antibiotics…

“Cage Free”

On an egg carton, “cage free” means that the hens that laid the eggs were not raised in caged housing systems, which is how the vast majority of laying hens in the U.S. are housed. In a caged housing system, each hen is typically given enough space to stand upright,…

“Free Range”

Highs Ranging freely outdoors is important for animal welfare In combination with meaningful labels (see below), the claim means the animals were not continually confined indoors Lows On-farm inspection is not required There is no common standard that producers have to meet for eggs and dairy A “free range” claim…

“Pasture raised”

What this claim means A “pasture raised” claim on meat, poultry, dairy, or egg labels means that the animals were raised for at least some portion of their lives on pasture or with access to a pasture, not continually confined indoors. Raising animals on pasture is not the industry standard;…