Meeting the Demand for Menu Transparency with Sustainable Meats
2 Min Read By Heidi Diestel
Today’s customers want to know about the food they’re eating. Where did it come from? How was it raised? And when they go out to eat, whether they’re at a fine dining establishment or a local sandwich shop, they’re looking for answers to these questions and seeking cleaner, high-quality meats from trust-worthy sources.
Millennials may have started this trend, but it’s carrying over into all age groups, and by understanding the farming practices and product attributes these consumers value and aligning with the right meat providers, restaurant owners can attract and keep a wide range of customers coming back for more.
For most, clean protein means meats that were raised healthy without the need for antibiotics, fed a vegetarian diet, and are free of hormones or growth promotants, nitrates/nitrites, and artificial ingredients and preservatives. These choices start at the farm level and directly and absolutely affect the taste and nutritional value of the meat served.
In addition to understanding how their meat was raised, customers are also placing high value on understanding where the animal on the menu came from. Third party certifications can help restaurant goers understand the farm-to-plate process and have confidence in what’s being brought to the table.
We recently aligned efforts with an organization called Where Food Comes From® to certify all of our products. This unique, on-trend labeling program is run by the most trusted resource for the independent, third-party verification of food production practices in North America. Their Where Food Comes From Source Verified label confirms the authenticity of all Diestel’s products and certifies that Diestel’s products can be source verified back to the farm of origin and that all associated facilities are approved under the Where Food Comes From program. Operating under the strictest animal welfare, quality and safety standards, our farms are also certified by the Global Animal Partnership, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Oregon Tilth Certified Organic. In addition, our plants are certified by the USDA and the Non-GMO Project.
Supporting positive environmental practices is also on the top of customers minds, leading them to appreciate farmers who give back to our land and actively work to restore it. In a nutshell, consumers’ priorities are evolving and they’re seeking menu transparency more than ever. They want to be informed about what they are eating and support food and farmers they believe in. Because of this, restaurant owners need to ask meat providers tough questions about their animal raising practices and how they are working to help the environment. That way, they’ll have answers to give, and not just when asked. Better farming equals better food. Customers know this now, they won’t settle for less, and they can truly taste the difference.
At Diestel Family Ranch, we pay close attention to our animals’ health, removing the need for antibiotics, and provide our turkeys the time they need to mature and grow naturally. We are one of the few small, family-owned and operated ranches left in the nation. Smaller, independently owned ranchers like us are able to pursue sustainable raising and smaller-scale production practices that your customers appreciate, resulting in healthier animals, plus a higher yield of meat that’s irresistibly juicy, tender and tasty.