After the 2009 scandal where Rubashkins, the world’s largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse at the time, was found to be mistreating workers and animals while seriously violating the laws of kashrut, consumers put out a call for more ethical kosher meat choices. In the last few years four companies have answered this call by putting out six different natural beef products. Of these companies two, “Grow and Behold” and “KOL Foods”, are small start ups that are only available online and espouse higher standards as their #1 selling point, with prices that reflect these claims. The other two companies, “Teva Meats” and “Tevya's Ranch”, are parts of larger corporations and can be purchased in supermarkets throughout the country. These bigger players promote themselves as natural or healthy and offer a lower price point, but do not espouse their meat to be ultra-ethical. Are these small niche companies better? Is it worth it to spend the extra money on any of these brands? I’ve been getting questions like this more and more, so I've decided to put my expertise to work. I'm going to compare and rate these companies so you can know which beef comes out on top.
Please note that my reviews will focus mainly on animal welfare but worker treatment and sustainability will be considered as well. I wont be rating any poultry or lamb in this series, just beef. I'll also be splitting up the products into 2 categories, grass-fed and grain finished. I want to make sure that people understand what the differences are between them so I'm including this explanation of the different practices below. Also please note that my reviews, explanations and term usage only applies to beef cattle and not dairy cows which differ greatly.
All cows raised for meat start out on pasture only consuming grass but after about one year they split up and usually take one of three very different paths.
I think that's more than enough info for one day. Next week I will profile and review the companies, but in the meantime here are the contenders!!!
About the blog:
Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment.