One of my New Year's resolutions was to buy better meat. So instead of grabbing the cheapest package of meat in the case, I've been looking more closely at the labels.
Meat labels are notoriously difficult to decipher. I wrote a post many years ago about demystifying the meat counter and it's surprising that not a whole lot has changed in the 5 years since I wrote that post.The term "all natural" is still widely used even though it has very little true meaning. Organic meat is more common but is still at a price point that is prohibitive to many.
One label that I've seen cropping up more frequently is American Humane Certified. The American Humane Certified seal ensures that animals live under humane conditions that allow for natural behaviors and provide adequate living space. All products labeled American Humane Certified are:
- Third party certified
- Vegetable and grain fed (no animal by-products)
- Given no hormones or steroids
- Fed no antibiotics
- With ready access to fresh water
- Free of discomfort and pain
We tend to eat a lot of chicken in our household and I was happy to learn that Minnesota based Just Bare Chicken was recently approved as American Humane Certified. You can find the seal on their packaged chicken at the grocery store.
I did a quick price comparison and found that Just Bare boneless, skinless chicken breasts were only a 5% price premium over another national brand that is not certified humane. Totally worth it to me.
The American Humane Certified seal can also be found on beef and pork as well as eggs and dairy products. You can find a list of producers who are American Humane Certified here.
Do you look for meat, eggs and dairy that are certified humane?
(Full disclosure: I was sent samples of Just Bare Chicken in exchange for my honest opinion.)