LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Natural Grocers has developed a ranking system for fresh and frozen meat items in all its grocery stores. The new system assigns a bronze, silver or gold ranking to a product and is based on criteria the company says matter to consumers and provide transparency.

To qualify as Bronze, products must be:

  • Sustainably farmed
  • Humanely raised
  • No antibiotics, hormones or growth promotants
  • No animal by-products
  • No cloned or genetically modified animals

Products with a Silver ranking include all Bronze requirements and: 

  • Non-GMO feed
  • Non-GMO alfalfa (ruminants)
  • No synthetic colorants (seafood)
  • Free range (poultry)
  • 100% grass fed and/or certified organic (ruminants, seafood)
  • Sustainably sourced (seafood)

So, which attributes win gold? All Bronze and Silver requirements in addition to:

  • Certified organic and/or other regenerative farming practices (beef, poultry, pork)
  • 100 percent US domestic (ruminants, poultry, pork)
  • Wild caught and sustainably certified (seafood, boar)

“The unique thing we've done is create real transparency and information about animal product labels so that customers can better understand, and more importantly, trust the food they’re buying, and eating is really what it claims to be,” said Heather Isely, executive vice president. “There are so many loopholes in each animal species industry and we've done our best to bring light to those areas of confusion and provide information that is usable at the point of purchase. Often there is a disconnect on how food gets from the farm to the table and we want to help bridge that information gap.”

These standards apply to a variety of meat and seafood items on offer at Natural Grocers such as bison, beef, yak, wild boar, elk, venison, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, ostrich, cod, mahi mahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp, tuna, pollock, rockfish and sole.

“Our standards ensure that all of our meat is naturally and humanely raised, and our seafood is sustainably sourced, which we believe is the best for our customers, the animals and our environment,” said Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers co-president. “We also believe our customers appreciate that we make this incredible quality and variety affordable.”