Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)


After reading this, you may never think about another piece of supermarket meat the same again. That is our hope here at Healing Gourmet.

Why? Because meat from CAFO animals is vastly different from that of animals that are raised as nature intended. And while the animal’s welfare is most obvious, your welfare is also at stake. Here’s why.

The old saying goes, “you are what you eat”. But the truth is “you are what they ate”. And if “they” came from a CAFO, your dinner includes numerous toxins, an imbalance of fats (more omega-6 and less omega-3) and a deficiency of vital nutrients (beta-carotene and CLA).

Let’s take a look.

What is a CAFO?

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations.

CAFOs congregate animals, feed, manure and urine, dead animals, and production operations on a small land area. Is that not enough? Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures, fields, or on rangeland.

CAFO animals are also allowed “candy” (it’s true!) and other industrial refuse (like chicken litter – or excrement) as food.

But what they’re eating now may not be as important as what they were eating before. The nutrient profile of grass-fed beef is vastly different than CAFO beef. Learn more here…

Is Your Meat CAFO Meat? Here’s how the EPA defines it…

  1. The producer confines animals for at least 45 days in a 12-month period
  2. There’s no grass or other vegetation in the confinement area during the normal growing season

Can Organic or Free-Range Meat be CAFO Meat?


In fact, most consumers think they are enjoying a free-roaming chicken or a grass-eating cow when they pick up a piece of expensive meat labeled “organic” or “free-range”. But that’s far from the truth. The labeling guidelines for foods are getting looser and looser. The term “natural” now can include cloned meat.

Healing Gourmet Recommends:

Taking a deeper look at your food. Who raised it? How was it raised? What did it eat? You’ll find the most wholesome foods are those that are raised on “old-school” farms. If you have the space, you may even consider raising your own cow and chickens (that work together, naturally).

But, if time, space or desire does not allow, simply go to EatWild to find local farms that will provide you with real, healthy meat.  One of our favorites is U.S. Wellness Meats – family owned and the highest-quality food and people we’ve found.

Learn more about grass-fed beef here.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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