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  1. #1

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    Default Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    As I've shifted more to organic shopping the past few months, I've been looking for other options for meat. In my area I've had trouble finding a local place to buy grass-fed beef.

    I was as Giant Eagle, and came across meats under their store organic label Nature's Basket.

    The labels on the meat packages said no hormones, antibiotics, etc... so I decided to find out more to see if this would be a good choice. so I came home and searched and found the meat page for Nature's Basket. It says "Our all-natural meat is carefully bred, humanely farmed, and fed only a 100% grass, grain, or vegetable diet. Our livestock receives the time and attention needed to develop naturally, without growth hormones or antibiotics."

    What I'm not clear about is the diet part. It says grass, grain, or vegetable. Does this mean the cows are fed grain too? Or does the 'or' imply that the 3 diets cover the cows, pigs, and chickens, and the cows only eat grass?

    Is there anyway to find out where the meat comes from for the store brand?

    Also anyone have any other tips for buying store-brand organic products? It looks to be my best option as the closest Whole Foods/Trader Joe's are a good distance away and could only be used for an occasional shopping trip.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    I don't have an answer for you, unfortunately. (Vegetarian here. ) My guess - and this is only a guess based on some reading that I've done regarding the meat industry - is that they are fed a mostly grass diet, with corn added at the end of their life to get to slaughter weight, b/c corn is what fattens them up the quickest.

    It's hard to get direct sources for store brands, b/c sometimes the same suppliers supply high-end brands under different packaging for more $$.

    However, you may TRY to contact Giant Eagle and see if they give you a response. It never hurts to try. Good luck!
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    Thanks for the suggestion :), I emailed them and got this response:

    "The diet for our Nature's Basket animals varies depending on species.
    Poultry's diet is a combination of corn and soy beans. Pork eats
    primarily corn. The beef is pastured for most of it's life where it is
    allowed to graze freely (this can be supplemented w/ alfalfa and /or hay
    in the winter). For the last few months of the steers life it also
    receives corn and silage. The only totally grass-fed beef item we have
    is the Australian beef tenderloin. we are testing a couple other grass
    fed Australian items, but I do not have any time line as to when they may
    be available."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    I'm glad they responded back to you! Are you happy purchasing their meat with that info?
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    I haven't decided yet. I have to check around my area a little bit more to see what other options are available.

    I have read about farms 'finishing' the cattle by feeding them grain for a period of time before they are slaughtered so I assume that's what they're referring to with the comment on the last few months of their life.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by awm8604 View Post
    I haven't decided yet. I have to check around my area a little bit more to see what other options are available.

    I have read about farms 'finishing' the cattle by feeding them grain for a period of time before they are slaughtered so I assume that's what they're referring to with the comment on the last few months of their life.
    Yes, that's what they mean. As I've said above, corn fattens cows way faster than grass does, so they feed them corn a few months right before slaughter to "beef" them up. heh. Here's a little something I found through a quick google search just now: The Food Revolution
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Giant Eagle Nature's Basket Brand

    Grass "finishing" is very important. Feedlot grain fed (finished) animals do not mature naturally and do not have CLA (look that one up), have lower Omega 3 and higher saturated fat and colesterol. Google the benefits of eating grass fed meat and pay particular attention to the health issues. It costs more to raise a steer longer (24 months versus 17-18 months) and totally on grass, so expect to pay more. However, you might also expect more flavor with the animal to be allowed to mature naturally on grass without hormones, etc. Eat healthy; live long.

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