PCC beef and meat

Sound Consumer | February 2004

(February 2004) — Long before mad cow disease made headlines, the careful animal husbandry practices by PCC's meat vendors afforded a high level of consumer confidence.

Both of PCC's beef ranchers, Oregon Country Beef and Organic Valley, have confirmed a long list of differences between their beef and that from conventional ranchers.

These differences include:

  • All rendered animal by-products have long been banned from feed supply.
  • Compliance with feed standards is documented and enforced at every farm.
  • Compliance with feed standards is documented and enforced at the feed processing level.
  • AMR (Advanced Meat Recovery, in which bone material may be included with ground beef) is prohibited.
  • Milk replacer for calf feed containing animal blood products is prohibited.
  • Individual records are maintained for every animal.
  • "Downer" cattle have long been prohibited from entering the food supply.

These differences are no accident. PCC has long sought out vendors who operate with respect for the animals, the land and all who eat the food that comes from them.

All of PCC's other meats — pork, chicken, turkey and lamb — also come from animals fed an all vegetarian diet — no animal by-products in their feed, ever.

While disturbing, the appearance of mad cow disease in the United States is certainly prompting change, and for the good. Cows, after all, are herbivores, and forcing them to eat meat byproducts — worse, forcing them to eat their own kind — is an insult to nature.

Getting this story out in the open is raising awareness among consumers, and policymakers are starting to respond to the concerns. The silver lining in the headlines seems to be progress toward a healthier food system from the farm to consumers.

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