Often our ghee customers will ask if our butter source is from grass-fed cows, and the answer is “yes” it is because our cows are eating a diet of mostly grass, foraging and being out on the range; however we could not officially certify them as “grass-fed by the American Grass Fed Association, because the cows, even though they are 100% certified organic, they do receive some grain as a supplement to their grass diet. According to the American Grass Fed Association and other online sources the cows must forage 100% of their lifetime on grass and other vegetation, never receive any antibiotics or hormones, and never be fed any grain at all to be considered officially 100% certifiable “grass-fed”.
I’m finding that many dairy products claim “grass-fed” on their labeling; however are not officially certified.
You can find the below information from this link: http://www.animalwelfareapproved.org/consumers/food-labels/:
Grassfed (also “100% Grassfed” or “Grassfed, Grass-Finished”)
Multiple definitions. Truly grassfed animals are fed a diet of grass or other forage throughout their lives and have constant access to pasture or range. They are not given any grain feed, animal byproducts, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics to promote growth or to prevent disease. Unfortunately, some “grassfed” labels do not guarantee that animals were pastured or pasture-raised – for example, farmers using the USDA grassfed logo can confine cattle on feedlots while feeding trucked in cut grass or forage. To ensure animals were not confined look for the American Grassfed Association logo, which verifies a 100 percent forage diet and ensures that animals are raised on pasture with no confinement, no antibiotics and no added hormones.
On the American Grass Fed website they list out all of their certified producers. You can check out the link and see for yourself: http://www.americangrassfed.org/producer-profiles/producer-members-by-species/#dairy There is not a single one listed that is selling certified grass-fed butter. There were 4 certified dairies within the United States with certified grass-fed dairy products, but again, no butter. The dairies were: Cedar Summit Farm (New Prague, MN), The Swiss Connection (Clay City, IN), Trader’s Point Creamery (Zionsville, IN) and Windsor Dairy (Windsor, CO).
So, not to bash any of my competitors who are claiming grass-fed ghee on their labels, but truly it is not grass-fed, or at least not certified grass-fed. I talked to an old timer this weekend out at the Farmer’s Market, and he was reminiscing about milking cows as a boy. He commented how difficult it would be to milk the cows if they didn’t have the grain bucket for them to stick their head down in to get them to stand still while they milked them. Hah.
I’m sure there are other methods to get the grass-fed grazing cows to hold still while you milk them, but I have to wonder if a tiny bit of grain at milk time is really all ‘that’ harmful.
There are so many benefits to having grass-fed. The cow is smart. And when she sets out-a-grazing each day, she knows her body, and knows which grasses she is needing that day. To us, when we look out on a pasture, we might just see a field of grass, but to her, there are hundreds of different varieties of greens. Some with higher vitamin C’s if that’s what she’s needing for the day, and some loaded with other nutrients and minerals. She is drawn to what her body is needing and will eat those grasses. (I heard, but I can not find my source now, that a certain hormone is produced in “grass-fed” cows that is present in their beef and milk that is important and powerful for us to consume and have present in our own bodies that is only found in pure “grass-fed” products.) I am 100% convinced that grass-fed is the way to go when it is available.
I’m sure there are grass-fed dairies in New Zealand that produce grass-fed butter, but so far in the U.S., even though there are butters and ghees claiming to be grass fed, I think it is just not the case, and looking through the certified producers on the American Grass Fed Association website shows that.
I have had potential customers walk away with out buying my ghee because they wanted it to be grass fed. My label does not say grass-fed even though the cows are raised out at pasture and eat mostly grass. Our butter is AA grade 82% butter fat, cultured, certified organic!!
If anyone has a true grass-fed butter source for me, I am definitely open to it. I welcome your comments and feed back on this. I was greatly perplexed when I saw that my competitors are claiming grass-fed ghee on their labels, when it actually is not. We need to educate each other, not try to trick people into buying something that is other than what they are led to believe.
Mama Sattva ghee is made with the highest standards. We follow the traditional practices of the ancients while making our ghee. We make it only under the full moon (5 days on either side of the full moon), and sing or play mantras while it is cooking. We keep the temperature extremely low while making it, to ensure that all of the antioxidants stay intact and that the enzymes stay folded up. Once the lactose is completely removed, the ghee is aged (at 75 degrees) for one month before it goes out.
Saraka Chambhita, an ancient Vedic Scholar said: “Ten-year aged ghee is the miracle cure for any ailment”. When I read that, I thought ‘wow, I’ve got to try this’. So I aged some ghee for two years (that was as long as I could contain myself) and then opened it up. It was like churned gold; like a cloud of gold in my mouth. It immediately absorbed into the lining of my cheeks and tasted like nothing I had tasted before. And the lights came on. I thought right there and then: “this is the future medicine for the world”. I’ve got to do this, and it all has to be aged.”
I have not managed to age any for 10 year YET, but one day, …….it will happen. I will come out with my 6-month aged batch this summer (2013).
For now, it is all aged for 30 days. The aging process not only enhances the flavor and graininess, it also makes the healing benefits more potent. It makes all the healing benefits of butter condense and magnify.
Because the lactose is completely removed, it will never ever ever go bad. There are accounts of 100-year-aged ghee in India. They revere the ghee so much, they pass it from family to family; generation after generation. As long as it is kept free of moisture and out of direct sunlight, the shelf life is endless.
I once had a historian come and tell me that the Vikings used to war over their aged-butter. She said it was like a currency for them because it was such a powerful energy source. I have looked for further information to validate this, but have found nothing. Once again, if anyone has any information on this, I would love to hear the source.
That is all for now.
Blessing to you all.
Eat Ghee! Be Happy! and Love much.