On January 12, the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) announced it had withdrawn its grassfed standard used in livestock and meat marketing due to lack of a clear congressional mandate to maintain it. While these changes at the USDA are largely procedural, this development could result in a proliferation of “grassfed” claims that do not meet consumer expectations. In light of the USDA’s announcement, transparent third-party certifications that clearly define 100 percent grassfed production (like Certified Grassfed by AWA) become more important than ever for protecting the interests of “true” grassfed farmers and conscientious consumers alike.
Some of the best burgers in the United States are now being made with humanely raised beef, thanks to Animal Welfare Approved, American Grass Fed Beef, and Dan Rosenthal, owner-operator of the Rosenthal Group.
The legendary Poag Mahone’s, of the Rosenthal Group, is the very first restaurant in Chicago to be serving this prized beef. Poag Mahone’s has been named as one of the best burgers in America by Oprah Winfrey, and GQ magazine declared Poag Mahone’s as serving one of “Top Twenty Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die.” Animal Welfare Approved director Andrew Gunther says “ the AWA label is going to help make Poag Mahone’s burgers NUMBER ONE .”
Dan Rosenthal says he’s proud to be serving meat that bears the AWA label. “There’s no question that the treatment of animals is one of the top priorities that we’re seeking in the continuation of our purchasing program,” says Rosenthal. He adds, “It’s not only the humane treatment of the animal, but what the animal is fed and what impact the farming system has on the environment and the quality of the meat people are consuming. AWA certification gives us the total package.”
Finding just the right humanely raised beef for Poag Mahone’s was no easy chore. Rosenthal tried meats from as far away as Uruguay until he came across the renowned stock of American Grass Fed from Missouri. AWA’s American Grass Fed worked extensively with Dan to get just the right blend of beef to maintain that classic Poag Mahone’s burger flavor.
Poag Mahone’s is using AWA beef in other dishes, too, and one of those is Rosenthal’s favorite—Guinness Beer Beef Stew. He says diners get two bonuses for the price of one out of the stew. “You get nutrition and you get a little high from having this Guinness marinated product. It’s such a great combination of flavors.”