Hello Hello! I hope you all are well. This week my blog post comes as an answer to an email we received from a brand new customer. This customer posed some very interesting questions, which got the head cowboy and I to thinking. We take for granted that a lot of the information and knowledge we have is not widely known or understood by the general consumer out there! There are so many misconstructions of knowledge, terms, labeling, etc out there that this seemed to be a great time to have an educational blog post.
So if you’re interested in why Mariposa Ranch is not labeled organic, if we use anything GMO, if we use antibiotics, etc, then please read on!!
Here’s the original question that was emailed to us:
Do you spray GMOs (chemical herbicides, pesticides, parricides, antibiotics, larvacides, de-wormers and hormone implants) on your pasture? Are you USDA Organic certified? This is very important to my family besides just being grass fed. We want to know this info before placing our first order.”
Here is what we had to say:
“Thanks for getting in touch. Good Question! Thanks for asking. Let me break this down…
GMO– (Genetically Modified Organisms) are not something that anyone sprays. GMO’s are plants that have been in some way genetically altered to be resistant to some chemical or pest common to their production. There is no such thing as genetically modified grass and we don’t use anything that is a GMO.
Herbicides – Nope
Pesticides – Nope
Parricides – Used in killing parasites common to farm animals. (These are topically applied to the cattle and not sprayed on the pasture.) These include but are not limited to round worms, grubs, mites, lungworms, lice, horn flies and flukes. We did use this in the past, but not now, as they disrupt the life cycle of dung beetles (and we like dung beetles). Instead we use a pasture rotation system that can disrupt the life cycle of most of the parasites.
Larvacides and De-Wormers – Would fall under Parricides (see above).
Antibiotics – These are not sprayed on the pasture but applied directly to the cattle, either orally or through injection. We do use antibiotics on the occasion that our cattle come down with a respiratory infection (think pneumonia) or other sickness or injury. Antibiotics are a very useful tool for animal health when used selectively. In fact, I would argue not using antibiotics on animals that can be helped by antibiotics is inhumane; it essentially allows an animal to suffer for no good reason. Where the problem lies with antibiotics is when they are fed sub-therapeutically (to increase feed efficiency) as in a feedlot situation and their constant presence tends to select for bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics. We do not use sub therapeutic antibiotics. Any cattle that receive antibiotics in the course of treatment for disease are pulled from our beef program.
Hormone implants – Are applied directly to cattle not sprayed on pasture or fed. We do not use them.
USDA Organic – We are not USDA Organic. That is an economic decision for us as Organic standards are certified with the land; since we rent our pasture it does not make sense for us. If we lose a lease on a ranch we then lose the certification that goes with it and could not recoup the financial benefit. Also I do not place a lot of faith on the Organic label, it means less and less and regulation and enforcement are not what they could be. I recommend you just know and trust your farmer whenever possible!
For the record we DO NOT USE – Hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics on our cattle and we DO NOT USE commercial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides on our pastures.
WE DO USE vaccines and medicines (like antibiotics) on our cattle we they are necessary. (Because it is irresponsible and inhumane not to).
Our cattle are 100% raised and finished on pasture and graze on natural grasses that grow there.
I know that was a very long answer to a very short question, but I got the feeling you wanted as much information as you could get.
Please let me know if this raises any further questions! Thank you for caring about what you eat, this is why we do what we do and raise beef the way we do!”
So, what do you guys think? Was this a very long answer to a short question? Does this post bring up any further questions for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section. Constructive conversations and discussion are a great way to learn and share new information!
Have a great day! And don’t forget, January is almost done. Did you use your ground beef and short ribs coupons yet? If not, head on over to the online store and place your order today! Need the coupon codes, you can find them here!