USDA weighs label for beef from cattle fed only grass
Farmers contend their product is a cut above feedlot animals in health and taste; some experts doubt claims
By Matthew Chayes
Washington Bureau, Chicago Tribune
MIDDLETOWN, Md. — The image that schoolchildren conjure up when they imagine how animals live probably looks a little like Eric Rice’s Country Pleasures Farm: a half-dozen steers on acres of hill pasture, gnawing lazily on orchard grass.
On a recent Saturday, Rice, a mustachioed farmer in filthy khakis, was throwing homegrown apples at the herd in an attempt to get their attention. The animals, responding with a collective “moo,” stayed put, savoring the verdant countryside.