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Shopping for Natural Meat – Labels, Claims and Attributes…Oh My!

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when shopping at the meat case? With multiple labels and different claims being made—it’s hard to know which ones are accurate.

My name is Kristen. I am a member of the team behind Open Prairie® Natural* Meats, but first and foremost, I’m a full-time momma and natural living enthusiast.

I believe in sharing lessons I’ve learned from working in the meat industry with like-minded women who strive to cultivate a natural lifestyle for their family. Allow me to dig in...

What does natural mean?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a standard definition for the word. It basically states that natural products don’t contain artificial ingredients or added color and is processed in a way that doesn’t alter the true product essence.

Simple enough, but that doesn’t help when you are standing at the meat counter and have five different products that all look the same and claim to be natural. 

Let me help you with the process of elimination.

The USDA requires brands that make a natural claim to define it on the label. So, of those five natural products you are looking at, do they all have a disclaimer explaining the definition of natural? No? Then move along.

When I look for my natural products, I look for brands that go beyond natural. I look for other attributes such as: no added hormones and no antibiotics ever, as well as a transparent brand that can take me all the way back to the ranch.


Learn what to look for when shopping for natural meat


Here are a couple things to keep in mind when you see the no antibiotics ever or no added hormones claims:

  1. A brand can’t make either of these claims unless they have provided proof to the USDA.
  2. Animals have naturally occurring hormones—so the claim no added hormones simply means no additional hormones were given to the animal.
  3. Animals receive antibiotics when they get sick—so the claim no antibiotics ever promises you the animal was healthy its entire life.

Let’s look back at those products you are trying to decide between. If they don’t make additional claims, go ahead and put them back.

What are you left with?

I can tell you what I always end up with: Open Prairie Natural Meats. I know you may be thinking, of course I would say that—but the difference is that the brand, and my team that supports it, believe in living a natural lifestyle and Open Prairie Natural Meats helps us to accomplish that.

This brand team understands the importance of being transparent and ensures labels aren’t misleading.


Open Prairie Natural Pork LabelOpen Prairie Natural Beef Label


This straightforward, clean message states that with this product you will always get meat that goes beyond natural.

Feeling more confident for your next trip to the meat counter? Comment below and let me know about your experience and additional questions you may have.

Talk soon, Kristen



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