Win a 12 Pack of Seven Sons Sweet Pepper Beef Jerky
Grass-fed, pasture-raised beef jerky
All entrants receive a coupon code for free delivery on a future Seven Sons order of $95 or more.
Entrants must reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District Of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin to claim their prize.
In my Complete Guide to Sustainable Protein, I laid out the different standards for raising livestock animals:
- Pasture-raised: Birds are raised on an outdoor pasture and are free to roam.
- Organic: USDA-certified organic eggs come from uncaged hens with some outdoor access. The birds’ feed is organically raised, and they can’t receive antibiotics.
- Free-range: Birds are uncaged and have some outdoor access, but the type and duration of that access are not specified and may be limited (e.g. to a screened porch).
- Cage-free: Birds are uncaged and able to freely roam a barn or other facility, but usually don’t have outdoor access.
- Vegetarian-fed: Birds receive only vegetarian feed with no animal byproducts. However, since chickens and other poultry are natural omnivores, this label also means the birds are raised indoors and are unable to eat grubs, worms or other bugs.
- All natural: The USDA has no standards for birds’ living conditions and feed under this label and considers all eggshells natural.
- Grass-fed: Animals must be fed grass, legumes and forage and not grain and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
- Organic: Animals must be raised under USDA-certified organic management from the final third of gestation to harvest. Their diets must be 100% organic with no genetically modified feed crops, and at least 30% of daily intake during the growing season must come from forage.
- Natural: Most fresh, conventional cattle and dairy qualify as natural, which only requires that a product is minimally processed and does not contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives.
- Conventional: Calves graze alongside their mothers until five to eight months old and are then moved to a feed yard and fed on a high-energy, grain-based diet. Antibiotics may be used therapeutically, and ionophores and growth-promoting implants may be used to enhance feed efficiency and weight gain.
Most of those descriptions sound pretty nice. But a close reading reveals the differences. For example, organic, cage-free chickens get organic food, can’t receive antibiotics and are free to roam in a barn. But those descriptions say nothing about the conditions of that barn. Birds might not live in cages, but they might be packed one on top of the other, pecking, scratching and pooping on each other.
If we care about the well-being of animals and the nutrient value of animal products, what we really want is pasture-raised. That’s the only way we know the animals can roam freely and aren’t overcrowded. And healthy, happy animals lead to nutrient-rich food.
Since I composed the Complete Guide to Sustainable Protein, I’ve been seeking out more sustainable, animal-conscious and nutrient-dense food choices. In my search for pasture-raised eggs, I discovered Seven Sons Farms. Seven Sons is local (160 miles from my home in Chicago), and their eggs have the brightest orange yolks I’ve ever seen:
Because pasture-raised hens eat a wide variety of foods, including those with yellow-orange pigments, the yolks of their eggs are a bright orange color. By contrast, hens that are fed wheat, barley or corn produce eggs with yellower yolks. So an orange egg yolk is a good sign that the hen that laid your egg was truly pasture-raised and had access to all the food available in its natural environment.
Unfortunately, eggs don’t ship very well, so it’s hard to include them in a giveaway. Fortunately, all Seven Sons meat and animal products are pasture-raised and/or grass-fed and are free of hormones, steroids, antibiotics and other drugs. So all of their animals are treated humanely and their grazing system puts nutrients back into the soil. That includes their pasture-raised, grass-fed beef jerky (much easier to ship than eggs).
You can win a 12 Pack of Seven Sons Sweet Pepper Beef Jerky by entering the giveaway above. Plus, every entrant will receive a coupon code for free delivery on a future Seven Sons order of $95 or more.
However, Seven Sons only ships to Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District Of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. So you must live in one of those states to take advantage of either prize.