Frequently Asked Questions
For those of us on specialized diets, what does “minimally processed” and “no artificial ingredients” really mean?
- Natural for fresh meat products, as defined by the USDA, refers to “minimally processed and containing no artificial ingredients.” In order to meet this definition, companies may only use traditional processes to make the food edible, preserve it or make it safe. Additionally, any physical processes used cannot fundamentally alter the raw product beyond separating the whole food into component parts or traditional forms. A good example of this is ground beef.
- Naturewell® products not only meet these requirements, they exceed them – absolutely no chemicals, “natural additives” or water is added to the meat during processing. Additionally, our cattle are fed a natural diet without added hormones or antibiotics, and the product is tested to ensure it delivers 100% natural beef every time.
What is the diet of the cattle before becoming part of the Naturewell program?
- Birth to weaning - cattle will graze on native pasture grasses along with their mother’s milk.
- Backgrounding - cattle may be backgrounded after weaning to allow them to develop prior to entering the finishing phase. This diet is traditionally a grass pasture diet or a low-energy, grain based diet supplemented with grass, haylage or silage.
- Finishing – usually begins when the cattle reach about 800 lbs. The cattle typically receive a high-energy, corn or grain based diet supplemented with roughage, usually ground grass hay.
What does the statement on your label, “As verified by 120 day affidavit” mean?
It is a common practice in the industry to ensure compliance with program protocols through legal affidavits. As added oversight, Naturewell also conducts regular visual audits of our cattle and conducts testing on our products to ensure that you receive the quality products you demand.
Naturewell is a 120-day withdraw program that delivers beef free of antibiotics and added hormones. Naturewell achieves this by prohibiting antibiotic and added hormone use during the final 120 days of feeding, ensuring ample time for any traces to be 100% metabolized out of the animal.
How is the Naturewell program verified?
The Naturewell Quality Assurance Program™ is a proprietary program that verifies that our strict standards for natural beef are being met. The Naturewell program utilizes a number of approved USDA marketing claims along with several checks and balances to assure you receive the high quality natural beef you demand.
- Our program has been reviewed by the USDA and our label claims have been approved with a submission of our written program and the USDA’s confidence that the program consistently delivers the attributes we claim.
- The claims we establish are verified by signed affidavit, monitoring, auditing, and third party testing.
- We take the additional steps of conducting testing for pesticides, antibiotics, and added hormones.
- All of our program oversight and labeling is open to USDA review and auditing.
What is the age of Naturewell cattle when processed?
The program mandates cattle are less than 30 months of age. Currently, our cattle are 18-24 months at processing.
How does the program’s humane handling requirements compare to other programs?
The cattle in our program are handled humanely and gently throughout all process phases with management procedures recognized by world-renowned animal welfare experts. Trained personnel monitor the program and it is verified by signed affidavits.
It is difficult to readily identify differences between other natural programs and our own, as most programs do not provide public information regarding the details of their programs. The generally accepted guideline for the value of a humane handling program is its acceptance by a respected third party reviewer.
We welcome your questions and feedback on the Naturewell Quality Assurance Program. Please click here to email us with your comments.