We just received our certification for the Naturally Grown program in the mail. This is similar to the Certified Organic program. Frankly, naturally raised is better than organically raised. It means more. You can grow organic chickens by feeding them organic feed but that doesn’t mean the animals got to get out and enjoy catching bugs and grazing on green mountain pastures like ours do.
The whole organic certification system was cooped by the government and big business because they saw that consumers were interested in better quality products. The big players wanted in on the action. They feared losing market share to small farmers who were growing vegetables, fruit and meat organically. So they made it illegal to say you raise things organically, even if you do like we do. They made the ‘organic’ label available to a lot of things that I would not consider to be really organic thus diluting the meaning.
Update 2010: First we can’t say Organic after the government stole that and diluted the meaning. More recently the government stole the term Naturally Raised and banned Certified Naturally Grown from our labels. To put how we do it on our labels we must go through a very extensive and time consuming process with the USDA. Even then they won’t let us use the term “Certified” despite our having certification. Their excuse is the certification is not from the USDA. I work through the whole label process but better yet I simply explain what we do here on my blog, our web site and at NoWeirdStuff.org which is a handy short link to the way we raise our food.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” –C.S. Lewis
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