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  • Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between organic, natural and grass-fed?

Products labeled as organic can be certified and labeled organic and not labeled with the “USDA Organic” seal. To receive the USDA seal, beef must be certified as defined by the National Organic Program. Products must be free of synthetic chemicals and cattle must be raised humanely. While the standards are very high, Rusty Star goes above and beyond the program’s requirements to raise pure, “beyond organic” beef.

Products labeled as natural can be many things. Some farmers, in fact, may raise cattle without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics, however, there are no standards or labeling requirements for using the term “natural”.

Grass-fed beef has no legal definition. The term implies animals are pasture-raised, however, this term is also used loosely by producers who feed grains or keep cattle in confinement for short periods. Rusty Star cattle are 100% pasture-raised their entire lives with no grain, supplements, antibiotics or confinement. This method contributes to the unique, exquisite flavor of our meat.

What is a quarter, half or whole beef?

Rusty Star sells portions of beef in quarter, half or whole packages. Each package contains various cuts of mouthwatering steaks, delicious roasts and the best ground beef you have ever tasted.

Can I order Rusty Star Beef anywhere in the U.S.?

Yes, we can ship your order anywhere in the continental U.S.

What is CLA?

CLA is conjugated linoleic acid. It’s a recently identified fat component that has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties in scientific trials. In addition, it appears to have anti-atherogenic properties, anti-diabetic (type II) effects, and helps improve bone mineralization. One of the best sources of CLA is grass-fed meat.

What are Omega-3s?

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that lower cholesterol and cannot be synthesized by our bodies; they must be obtained through our diet. Fatty fish are a good source for omega-3s, but animals that eat grass (which makes omega-3s) also store this essential nutrient. Research also pinpoints Omega 3 as the important building block of “beefy” flavor.

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

Essential Fatty Acids are the “good fats” that help improve circulation, oxygen uptake, rheumatoid arthritis, skin disorders and diabetic neuropathy. Some even aid in cancer treatment. Missing out on the “good fats” can cause depression, decreased memory, poor vision, learning disabilities, irregular heartbeats and more. Most Americans are missing the “good fats” because they’re eating foods that use synthetic fats like olestra. Synthetic fats don’t stick to the body, making people think they can get the taste of fat without gaining weight. Unfortunately, when those “fake fats” exit the body, they take vitamins with them that are a daily necessity. As a result, foods containing synthetic fats often have no nutritional value and can even cause scars by leaving undigested material in your body. Cholesterol, produced by your liver, naturally heals the scars inside your veins and body. Unfortunately, if you aren’t getting enough cholesterol, your body doesn’t have the ability to heal those scars. Eating “good fats” rather than “fake fats” eliminates this problem.

How is grass-feeding good for the environment?

Essentially, our grass-fed cattle grow their own food. The manure of pasture-fed cattle become soil nutrients for the next cycle of grassland, which the cattle forage. In addition, Rusty Star cattle are managed on a well-planned grazing cycle. The herd is moved from one patch of grass to the next to ensure the grass is never overgrazed but allows a fair amount to be trampled into the soil building rich organic matter. Mimicking the great herd migrations of long ago, our pastures are intensively grazed with long periods of rest and recovery to follow. True sustainable ranching; land feeding the cattle, the cattle feeding the land. Alternatively, the corn used to feed the cattle on feedlots takes massive amounts of chemical fertilizer. The chemical fertilizer takes massive amounts of oil. In his lifetime, the typical feedlot steer uses 284 gallons of oil. The wastes of feedlot cattle build up in huge piles, becoming a large source of water and air pollution.

What does “humanely raised” mean?

Here at the Rusty Star, our animals get to live in their natural habitat. They have a healthy diet without being force fed. While grazing, our cattle are never exposed to pesticides or chemicals as they have all-native perennial forages to select their diet. It’s a stress-free environment without the need or use of hormones or antibiotics but with the stewardship they need for healthy living. Humane, cruelty-free processing is also a part of raising the cattle humanely, so our cattle do not suffer. With the freedom to roam, they are never confined to feedlots.

How are your cattle processed?

The Rusty Star cattle are processed at a clean, USDA inspected facility that maintains a calm, humane animal handling standard. Our managers have inspected every facet of the facility to ensure that our standards are met as well.

If you don’t see your question answered here, please e-mail us at and we’ll get your question answered as soon as possible.