It seems in raising animals or even in selling eggs, there is terminology that is used that appeals as an advertising campaign as much as anything, rather than sound and honest farming practices.
I get quite a laugh at the egg section in the grocery store. People want to purchase with their conscience, especially when the difference is pocket change, but they have no information to base their purchases on.
Brown eggs from hens kept the same as the hens that produce white eggs, seem more natural. Free range creates an image of Grandma's backyard flock, when it is actually far different. I could go on and on.
In an upscale grocery store near Detroit, their meat case is beautiful. Pricy, too. I saw a sign on some nice looking sirloins, " Pasture Raised". Most of the grain free beef I've seen was awful, so this sparked my interest. I started a conversation with the butcher. He explained that these cattle were pasture raised before they went to the feed lot for 6 to 8 weeks of fattening on grain.
40 years ago, the budding organic movement had all sorts of healthy sounding terms with no specific definition. Finally, the USDA brought the several organic groups together to hammer out a standard with requirements and a definition of terms.
Until a standard is set on eggs or beef, I expect to see misleading truths. We have 50,000 words in our vocabulary, yet what constitutes "pasture" is quite different from person to person.
I had a neighbor jump into the cattle business. He found several hundred acres of uncultivated land he could get for free. He mended fences and hauled in water tanks. The cattle had it all eaten down to nothing in a few weeks. He supplemented pasture with some old grass hay. By summer's end those cattle had grown, but the quality of beef was low.
In Columbia, there are vast acreages of lush, chest high grass with frequent rains and a long season. I think that Columbia"pastured beef" would be far better than Boondock's goldenrod "pastured beef".
It concerns me when a poorly funded homestead thinks they can avoid the cost of grain and utilize marginal fields while expecting a high quality, healthy product.
Chicken Tenders advertised as hormone free, when there has never been any chicken hormones. Eggs from hens fed a vegetarian diet, when few if any layer mashes contain any animal protein. Humanely Raised or Naturally Raised are terms that have no legal meaning.
If I told you that cage free hens live longer than caged hens, you'd accept that as true. But in reality, cage free hens death rate is higher than caged birds. I doubt you'd accept that as easily.