What does beyond Organic mean?

   
 
 
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  Consumers must educate themselves. Simply looking for the term "Organic" does not guarantee a good product.
 
Our chickens are:
  • Fed certified Organic feeds
  • Fed pure kelp meal for a natural vitamin supplement
  • Not fed any avian or mammalian by-products.
  • Given free access to pasture grasses every day
    (weather permitting). We use outdoor pens and fences for predator protection and move them regularly (every 1-7 days depending on the pen size). They get plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
  • Raised in accordance with the standards set forth several different humane farm animal agencies.
  • Moved frequently from paddock to paddock to allow grasses and insects to regenerate and avoid over application of nitrogen to the soil.
  • Not subjected to the practice of starvation to force molting.
  • Do not have their beaks trimmed
The Industry Labels†
The vast number of consumer labels affixed to egg cartons can leave a shopper feeling as dazed and confused as a laying hen trapped in a battery cage. One carton may label its eggs "Natural." Another carton may call them "Free Range," while yet another may claim its eggs are "Certified Organic." How are thoughtful consumers supposed to know what these labels and claims really mean?
The truth is that the majority of egg labels have little relevance to animal welfare or, if they do, they have no official standards nor any mechanism to enforce them. Only three labels listed below are programs with official, audited guidelines, but even those vary widely in terms of animal welfare.

What’s Natural and What’s Not?
What exactly is “natural ” anyway? According to USDA, the term “natural” means “no artificial ingredients or colors were added, and that it was minimally processed.” But what, then, does “artificial” mean? And what about “minimally processed”? Right now there are a lot more questions on this topic than there are definitive answers. All-in-all, the term really means next to nothing. “Natural products may still contain GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and growth agents which are certainly not “natural”.

Certified Organic*: The birds are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, and are required to have outdoor access (although there have been concerns about lax enforcement, with some large-scale producers not providing birds meaningful access to the outdoors). They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. Compliance is verified through third-party auditing. Certified Organic is process oriented. Food products produced in compliance with the standard set forth in the USDA's National Organic Plan (N.O.P.) Producers with less than $5000 in annual sales of organic products are exempt from certification but MUST still comply with all of the N.O.P. regulations including record keeping.

Pastured Poultry:
While this remains a largely undefined term, it generally means that the poultry lives close to or on pasture, will daily access to living grasses. A high intake of living grasses will affect the way the meat tastes, will improve the health of the birds and can substantially affect the nutritional value of the meat and eggs. Pasturing poultry is not a method generally seen in large scale farms.

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