The Grass Fed Claim — Whey Protein

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The Grass Fed claim for Whey Protein

We’ve all heard it before, “Our protein is the best and here’s why….” What typically follows may be a barrage of phrases which include the infamous “Grass Fed” buzzword. This commonly pitched catchword is often abused by brands that buy whey from China or New Zealand along with other poorly regulated sources (see our blog: Unregulated Sources & Blind Spots).

How often have you seen the phrase “Year Round Grass Fed”? This particular phrase happens to be a reliable indication that the product is, in fact, sourced abroad. This holds true in almost all cases, excluding very few products sourced from select farms located in a small region of northern California.

Why should you question the “Year Round Grass Fed” claim? The logic is that American farmers like foreign farmers share large incentives for producing milk—the more milk the better. In the winter months, with demand for milk production unwavering, feeding cows nutrient-rich grain is the solution most widely used to meet demand. Therefore, it pays to be skeptical of all “grass fed” claims if the geographical origin of your whey is impacted by the four seasons.  

Not only does New Zealand have snowy winters, but the majority of milk produced in the country is exposed to high temp short time pasteurization processes rendering all micro nutrients associated with a "grass-fed" claim useless.  Save your money, If you're paying premium prices for "grass-fed" products, make sure they are certified by an accredited association.  If the protein is "grass-fed" certified, believe us when we tell you, the certification will be on the packaging as a proud symbol of quality. 

A quick, simple tip for weeding out the misleading grass fed claims (aside from relying on blind faith) is to look for any of these 3 certifications on the packaging:

American Grassfed Association.
This label is verified and the standards require 100% grass-based diet and continuous access to pasture.

Grassfed + USDA Process Verified.
When the “grass fed” claim is accompanied by the “USDA Process Verified” seal, it means that the USDA has verified that its definition of “grass fed” (100% grass-based feed over the lifetime of the animal) has been met. Cattle can be confined during the non-growing season, but must be fed non-grain feed stuffs such as grass, hay, and silage.

Food Alliance Grassfed.
This label is verified, and requires that cattle must be on pasture or range for their entire lives. Grain feeding is prohibited.

Bottom line: If you see this "grass fed" claim with little to support it, especially if the claim includes "New Zealand grass-fed Whey"… walk away, "no certification" means "no good". Don’t settle; you deserve peace of mind. Paying premium prices for uncertainty is a mistake. Any questions please contact us directly.



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