Grass-Fed - a popular keyword that adorns more and more meat- and dairy products. What does grass-fed milk mean? It means that the cows that gave the milk live and graze on pastures (almost) all year long. Regions like Allgäu or Münsterland in Germany come to mind when you think of cows grazing freely on green fields and meadows. But year-round grazing is not possible in these regions: The grass is often brown and burned in summer and covered in snow in winter.
How many days do cows have to spend pasturing to be considered grass-fed?
In Germany and other countries, there is no law that decides this. Some cows spend most of their lives on pastures but are still fed grains, because higher-calorie food means more milk.
Irish grass-fed milk is REAL grass-fed milk
In Ireland, you can be sure that cows actually spend most of the year on pastures and actually eat the grass. Because grass-fed farming is a regulated and certified standard in Ireland. You can read more on Ökotest. Ireland has two significant advantages to Germany when it comes to grass-fed farming:
Perfect climate: The mild Irish climate and all the rain are perfect conditions for green meadows.
80% of agricultural land in Ireland is pasture. Ireland specializes in grass-fed farming like no other country.
While most countries use concentrated feed, Irish farmers rely on grass as natural and affordable feed. Even in the short cold season that Irish cows spend in the stables they are fed hay.
Irish farmers - resourceful by tradition
Instead of demanding high performance from their cows by feeding them concentrate and keeping them in the stable all year, Irish farmers focus on keeping their animals content and in their natural habitat. They practice a science of growing fresh, healthy grass and leading the herd to the next green pasture at the right time.
In Germany, small farmers keep being displaced by larger, mass-production focused farms. Ireland on the other hand still mostly has small family farms, that work with each other and partly world-renowned cooperatives. Grass-ded farming is the standard for farming in Ireland. Huge indoor-firms with milking rotaries like in Germany are (luckily) nowhere to be found.
Organic Milk vs. Irish Grass-Fed Milk
Isn't organic milk even better than grass-fed milk?
Let's look at the sad truth: For milk to be labeled "organic", no pasturing is needed. It's enough when there is small outdoor-area at the stable - even if it's made of concrete.
Irish cows eat what they naturally are supposed to eat: Grass. No "organic" - labels are needed to know that this is the healthiest and happiest a cow can be. Pasturing even makes economic sense for Irish farmers, due to regulations and due to the natural, affordable and all-year-long availability of fresh grass. There is no better guarantee for grass-fed milk.
Sadly, it is almost impossible to buy Irish milk in central Europe. That is the reason why we not only sell protein powder from Irish milk, but also pure Whole Milk Powder from Irish milk.
Now you never have to miss out on good Irish Grass-Fed Milk.