posted on February 26, 2014 08:00
At Heinen's, knowing our food sources is an important part of our business. One of our sources is Niman Ranch, a community of more than 700 small, sustainable family farms and ranches located in 26 states. Niman Ranch livestock are never, ever given antibiotics or added hormones. Heinen's has many pork products from Niman Ranch, including sausage, bacon, ham, pulled pork, baby back ribs and pork loins.
"It's taken us a long time to partner with a company that produces antibiotic-free pork,” says Eric Besselman, Heinen's Meat Merchandiser. "Niman Ranch does things in a back-to-basics, traditional way, and that really appealed to us.”
Niman Ranch livestock are raised in the traditional way, meaning that sustainable farming practices are used, many of which have been passed down generation to generation. The livestock is raised outdoors or in deeply bedded pens, allowing the animals to roam freely, as nature intended.
"Like Heinen's, Niman Ranch is all about a good quality product that's good for you and for the animal,” says Besselman. "And that's important to us. I don't want my food to be pumped with a bunch of stuff to add weight and water.”
Niman Ranch animals also never receive antibiotics. However, since they are raised humanely with plenty of room to roam, the need to treat sick animals with antibiotics is very low. If an animal does get sick and require antibiotics, it is treated and removed from the program; it is never sold as Niman Ranch meat.
How can you be sure that the Niman Ranch meat you purchase adheres to their strict protocols? All ranches and farms are third-party verified, and each farm and ranch is inspected before it is accepted into the program. Field agents also regularly visit and inspect the farms and ranches to ensure that all protocols are being met.
All Niman Ranch livestock are born, raised and processed in the United States and can be traced from birth. In addition to pork products, Heinen's also carries Niman Ranch's Fearless Beef Franks.
For more information, visit www.nimanranch.com