Animal Welfare Approved

Grass-Fed Beef

Bansley’s Berkshire Ridge Farm – Harrison, AR

By Animal Welfare Approved | July 18, 2014

In 2013, Sean and Carol Bansley moved their family and farm from Iowa to Harrison, Arkansas, in search of an area with a little less winter and a more moderate climate. Bansley’s Berkshire Ridge Farm is a 294-acre farm surrounded by mountains in northern Arkansas. The property is flanked by creeks on either side, enclosing a mix of open pasture and hardwood forests. “The farm is full of shade and beauty,” says Carol. “We love it here.” The open pasture provides plenty of room for Sean and Carol’s Certified AWA beef cattle and pigs to roam. “The plentiful oak trees not only provide shade for the animals,” says Carol, “but they also provide acorns for the pigs—their favorite snack!” Carol and Sean share the daily farm chores with their son, Tyler, his wife, Santana, and their daughter, Natalie. As Carol says, “We’re all getting in and doing it!”

A Meat-Free Superbowl Party? Not For Me…

By Andrew Gunther | January 30, 2013

As I join the 110 million or so Americans who will watch the San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, we will collectively chomp our way through an incredible 1.23 billion chicken wings, plus millions of burgers, hot dogs and steaks. That’s a staggering amount of meat.

Big Ag Profits from Food Waste

By Andrew Gunther | January 10, 2013

We know that most of the world’s hungry live in the developing nations in the South. They are hungry because they cannot afford to buy food or grow it themselves, usually because of poverty, but also due to conflict, poor infrastructure, poor agricultural practices, and the over-exploitation of the environment, among other things. They are also hungry because much of their agricultural production is focused on generating food and livestock feed to supply Western markets. Recent price rises caused by harvest failures, commodity speculation, and the diversion of grain to produce biofuels over recent years have hardly helped matters (see for example Tom Philpott’s excellent blog on the horrendous impact U.S. biofuels policy is having on global food prices – and hunger).

Food Claims: Who can you trust?

By Andrew Gunther | May 31, 2012

Despite the recent recession, it’s great to see that demand for high-welfare, sustainable meats, dairy products, and eggs continues to grow. As the public wakes up to the negative impacts of intensive farming, they’re looking for food labels that provide real assurances that the food they buy is healthful, and produced with animal welfare and the environment in mind.

Many different businesses have now set up programs to offer consumers certain assurances about the food they buy. It goes without saying that the many different labels offered by food businesses vary enormously in terms of their scope and operation. However, most of the claims are centered on claims that farmers are using humane, sustainable farming practices, or that animals are fed a strictly controlled diet, or that medications or hormones are restricted or even prohibited. Since it’s impossible for each of us to go out and check the farms ourselves, we effectively take it on face value that the food label we choose to support really does deliver the benefits that it promises.

National Trust – ‘What’s Your Beef?’ Report

By Andrew Gunther | May 16, 2012

A recent report from the UK’s highly respected National Trust has confirmed what Animal Welfare Approved has been advocating for a long time: Feeding cattle on grass throughout their lifecycle is the most environmentally sustainable way to raise beef.

The new report – entitled What’s Your Beef – is an important contribution to the on-going debate about how to increase food security while reducing the environmental impacts of food production. Published by an organization responsible for the management of more than half a million acres of land across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on behalf of the nation, the messages in the report resonate with the arguments that AWA has presented for the wide-spread adoption of pasture-based livestock farming systems.

Will Yours Be A Sustainable Super Bowl Sunday?

By Andrew Gunther | February 2, 2012

No one takes health and fitness more seriously than today’s top football players. So isn’t it kind of absurd that as we watch Sunday’s game we will all be bombarded by advertisements for some of the unhealthiest junk food imaginable? And as we admire the speed, strength and agility of our gridiron heroes, chances are that most of the millions of chicken wings and burgers that will be consumed at Super Bowl parties across the U.S. will have come from industrialized livestock farming systems that are damaging to the environment, to animal welfare, and ultimately to our own health.

As two titans of the football world clash this Sunday, there is one Titan football player who is already leading by example. Will Witherspoon is linebacker for the Tennessee Titans – and a sustainable farmer. Will is passionate about producing healthy and nutritious food on his Animal Welfare Approved Shire Gate Farm near Owensville, Missouri. As a professional athlete involved in one of the world’s most physical sports, Will is particularly aware of the health benefits of grassfed, high-welfare farming.

“My cattle are raised as nature intended, on grass, and aren’t fed growth hormones, antibiotics or other unnatural additives,” says Will. “As a pro football player, I can’t take over-the-counter cold medicine without letting my trainer know about it. So why would I want my kids eating beef from cattle fed hormones or routine antibiotics?”

Top 11 of 2011

By Andrew Gunther | December 28, 2011

Dear Friends,

As the year comes to an end, it’s a tradition of mine to write a note of gratitude to our friends, farmers and ranchers, consumers, advocates, donors, and everyone else who has helped give the future of sustainable farming room to grow and flourish.

And what a year it has been! Animal Welfare Approved has yet again experienced a fantastic year of growth and innovation, driven by the ever-increasing demand for healthy, environmentally friendly and high-welfare products. Here are some highlights of significant milestones we have achieved over the last year. None of this could have been achieved without your continued support.

AWA Announces Landmark Sustainable Meat Conference

By Animal Welfare Approved | September 14, 2011

George Washington University’s Urban Food Task Force, Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) have joined forces by providing a platform for DC’s vibrant culinary community to focus on strengthening the supply chain for sustainably raised meat.

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