Please use these resource lists as a guide. Information changes frequently, so it’s best to double check with the farmer or rancher on how they feed and raise their animals. Please share with us your findings!
Before you buy from farmers, ask questions about what the farmers feed their animals, how much the animals are out on pasture, and whether they spray their produce with pesticides. Never assume anything when buying from farmers—many small local farmers spray pesticides on their produce and feed soy and GMO grains to their animals (they need to feed organic grains to guarantee non-GMO). Sometimes, how they define pasture is really a small pen that is outdoors. Much of the beef found at farmer’s markets is grain-finished rather than 100% grass-fed. Also, most of the meat chickens currently available at local farmers markets and stores are fed soy and GMO grains. You can find soy-free pastured eggs at some farmers markets.
Also ask questions about how the butcher prepares sausages. These typically do not have organic ingredients. You may also want to know how they are curing meats, such as bacon and hams. Each butcher is different, and this information will be as important as how the animal is raised.
If you are concerned about how the animals are treated, you can also ask farmers about their slaughtering practices, which can be very revealing.