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At EatLuv, we believe in transparency and we always want you to know what you are buying. After doing a lot of research, talking to farmers and health professionals, and visiting many farms, we learned that the cows’ diet and time on pasture heavily impact the nutritional value of the milk that the cows produce (and thereby, the butter!). We learned that cows’ natural diet is grass, and that introducing grain — especially in large quantities — drastically lowers the nutrients in the milk and can also negatively impact the cows’ health and digestion. On the other hand, grass-fed butter from cows grazing on pasture has an amazing nutritional profile — and when clarified, it’s even more concentrated goodness! Check out our page dedicated to all the benefits of grass-fed clarified butter.
When we started making clarified butter, we decided that we want to source the very best American butter we can find. To us, that meant primarily grass-fed, organic, traditionally-made, and from conscientious, pasture-based American farms. We visited the farms in person, talked to the farmers, and learned about their farming methods and practices. Check out some pictures from the farms we’ve visited!
Here are some important facts that pertain to the ‘grass-fed’ claim:
- The claims ‘grass-fed’ and ‘pasture-raised’ are not defined and not regulated. When you buy a dairy product that says ‘grass-fed’ or ‘pasture-raised’ on the label, you might assume that this means the cows’ diet comes almost entirely from grass. Unfortunately, that’s not true. At this time, there’s no definition on the percentage a cows’ diet needs to come from grass for it to be labeled ‘grass-fed’ or ‘pasture-raised’. In fact, most dairy cows receive at least some of their nutrition from grass, so in that sense all cows are ‘grass-fed’! It can get tricky and we’ve found the best way to ensure the cows are truly grass-fed (whether mostly or 100%) is to talk to the farmers and visit the farms in person, so that’s what we’ve done. You can trust that the farms we source our butter from are all pasture-based and that the cows are grass-fed.
- The claim ‘organic’ on dairy does not mean the cows are primarily grass-fed. The organic certification requires that dairy cows receive at least 30% grass during the grazing season (about 135 days per year). For the rest of the year, the cows are fed a mixture of organic grains and minerals. You will find dairy products that claim “100% organic and grass-fed” on the label — in that case, unless specified explicitly, the 100% only refers to the ‘organic’ and not to the ‘grass-fed’.
- Exclusively (100%) grass-fed cows on pasture produce less milk that is higher quality than grain-fed or partially grass-fed cows. Grain fattens up cows and stimulates milk production allowing for more frequent milking. Farmers who are focused on getting quantity are incentivized to feed more grain. This is why it is very difficult (and more expensive) to find 100% grass-fed local dairy.
- We source our milk from 100% grass-fed cows at this time. We’ve made it a priority to seek out truly grass-fed, organic diaries. As with anything of high quality, the supply is limited. We will continue to prioritize sourcing 100% grass-fed butter as much as we can, but if in the future we need to add additional sources that are not 100% grass-fed, we will be transparent about this so that you know exactly what you are buying.