Naturally raised is a voluntary standard, which producers may request through the USDA. Not as stringent as organic standards, it is similar in several ways:
- Livestock must be raised without growth hormones or antibiotics.
- Livestock must never be fed animal byproducts derived from the harvest process. This includes meat and fat, animal waste materials and aquatic byproducts.
- Ionophores (antibiotic molecules naturally synthesized by microorganisms) to prevent parasites are allowed to be used.
Material excerpt from “Decoding our Food Supply”, Grit Magazine, December 2014