What does 'Truly Grass Fed' mean?

Truly Grass Fed is a revolution in modern dairy and a premium brand of dairy ingredients brought to you by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland. When you see the Truly Grass Fed seal on a product, it signifies that the dairy ingredients inside meet the highest industry standards of quality, safety, animal welfare and environmental consciousness. Glanbia is currently working with a focus to make Truly Grass Fed a third-party certification for grass-fed farms, and we hope to have this certification standard established in 2017.


Truly Grass Fed products are 95%+ grass-fed, Non-GMO Project Verified, free from synthetic hormones and antibiotics, dedicated to animal welfare and focused on having a positive environmental impact.


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When was Truly Grass Fed founded?

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, the dairy ingredients company behind the Truly Grass Fed revolution, has been working with farmers to produce dairy ingredients to the highest international standards for over six decades. In 2016, the Truly Grass Fed brand was born from our company’s natural farming platform.

Why was Truly Grass Fed created?

While there are many food safety and quality standards out there, none are like Truly Grass Fed. We saw the opportunity to push the industry forward to a place of greater attention on what matters most: happy, healthy cows who live most of their lives outdoors, a 95%+ grass-fed diet, small farms and herds and positive environmental impact.


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Where is Truly Grass Fed located?

The Truly Grass Fed headquarters are located in a small village called Ballyragget in County Kilkenny in the southeast of Ireland. Our national co-op of 4,800 family-run farms dots 21 counties along the eastern seaboard and into the rich pasturelands of Ireland’s midlands.

Where are Truly Grass Fed products available?

Currently, our Truly Grass Fed whey can be found in Garden of Life’s Certified Grass Fed Whey products, which recently launched in the United States. Garden of Life products are carried in organic and natural food retail outlets and vitamin retailers nationwide as well as online retailers for natural products and supplements.


Truly Grass Fed also continues to work with a range of valued partners in sports nutrition, bakery, butter, cheese, infant formula and more to extend the distribution and range of our offerings. Check back to this website soon to see where our seal will show up next.


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How are Truly Grass Fed dairy farms different than typical U.S. dairy farms?

The short answer: size. The average Truly Grass Fed dairy herd is only 80 cows while the average herd on a typical U.S. dairy farm in 2015 was 214, with farms in some states supplying milk from confinement facilities with thousands of cows. In California, for example, the average number of dairy cows is 1,214 per farm.


Almost 100% of Truly Grass Fed farms are inherited family farms. In many cases, the same farm is being operated by several generations of one family. The U.S. also has a large number of family farms, but the larger herds tend to be run by corporations.


Next, there is the issue of confinement. While Truly Grass Fed cows are free to roam in open pastures, the typical U.S. dairy uses a confinement system in which cows are held indoors and the feed is brought to them. With this system, the diet itself is dramatically different than that on Truly Grass Fed farms. The main feeds on confinement farms are corn, grass silage, alfalfa, soya beans, wheat and other grains—many of which are difficult for cows to digest. An estimated 70-80% of milk globally is produced from grain based diets in confinement systems.*


Lastly, there are different regulations in Europe than there are in the U.S. For example, the hormone recombinant Bovine Somatatrophin (rBST) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. since November 1993, and it is used by some U.S. farms. rBST is a synthetic form of the natural hormone in lactating cows and is used to increase milk yield. rBST is not approved for use in the European Union, and is not used on any Truly Grass Fed farms.


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* Sources:
United States Department of Agriculture
National Agricultural Statistics Service

Who are the Truly Grass Fed farmers?

Truly Grass Fed operates within a co-op structure, so our milk suppliers are also our shareholders. Our network of 4,800 small, family-run farms spans some of Ireland’s most fertile land, and our farmers spend their lives caring for their land and herds. Many of our farms have been handed down through generations, which makes them a true national treasure. This inheritance culture in dairy farming ensures that Truly Grass Fed farms maintain a natural way of farming.


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Who are the Truly Grass Fed cows?

Truly Grass Fed cows are the lucky ones. They get to live on Truly Grass Fed farms with lots of room to roam in outdoor pastures, familiar family masters and a diet of fresh, nutritious grass. There are many breeds of dairy cow that supply Truly Grass Fed milk, and the most common types living on our Irish farms are Friesian and Jersey crosses.

How are the cows treated on Truly Grass Fed farms?

Truly Grass Fed cows live peaceful lives on small family farms. They spend up to 300 days a year outside, grazing in fields of lush, green grass with plenty of room to roam. A diet of natural grass provides complete nutrition and easy digestion, and the slow-paced lifestyle is exactly how our happy cows love to live. They have the freedom to eat when and how much they want and are well cared for by their dedicated farmers.


Small herds mean farmers get to know each cow individually, which leads to a deeper level of attention every single day. Truly Grass Fed cows are never treated with growth hormones or milk producing hormones, and our dedicated veterinarian guides our milk suppliers on all aspects of animal health and welfare.


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What do Truly Grass Fed cows eat during the winter?

Over the winter months (typically December and January), when the temperature drops and grass growth slows, we give our cows shelter and feed them grass silage that has been collected from the green fields during the summer. We add very small amounts of concentrates to fill the nutrition gap while our cows take a break from producing milk during the cold months. Truly Grass Fed cows’ diets are at least 95% grass with only 5% or less coming from other natural sources.

Why do Truly Grass Fed cows only consume 95% grass?

Truly Grass Fed cows spend most of their time grazing outdoors. The natural green grass provides all the nutrition they need. During the winter, we give our cows shelter to stay warm. During this time inside from the pastures, they continue to consume ensiled grass that was collected and saved during the summer months. At times, we also supplement their feed with a small amount of concentrates (less than 5% of their diet) to maximize their nutrition during critical phases in milk production. The late gestation and early lactation phases have the highest energy demands, which cannot be met by grass alone. That’s where the other 5% comes in.

Are Truly Grass Fed products organic?

While we appreciate the merits of organic dairy farming, we believe that Truly Grass Fed cows have an equally high quality of life. We might even argue that it’s a little better.


On U.S. certified organic farms, cows are only required to be outdoors for 120 days each year if the geographic or grazing conditions don’t allow for longer. On the other hand, Truly Grass Fed cows have all the luck: they live on the most fertile acreage in Ireland where the climate is mild, the sun shines and the rains are abundant. As a result, our cows can comfortably graze outdoors for up to 300 days each year, giving them a chance to take in the fresh air and live long, healthy, natural lives.


What’s more, the milk produced from our grass-fed cows is derived from just that: nutrient-rich natural grass. Cows on organic farms often consume significant quantities of grain in their diets, which impacts the flavor and nutrition profiles of the milk. Truly Grass Fed products have been shown to have higher concentrations of certain nutrients as well as a more desirable taste (per testing panels).


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Are any allergens present in the Truly Grass Fed manufacturing facilities?

Yes. Dairy and soy. A strict clean-down and change-over protocol is used when changing from soy to sunflower lecithin during manufacturing. We understand and respect the importance of allergen sensitivities, so we uphold a very sensitive level of analysis during these changes. To validate the effectiveness of our protocol, we run tests using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which uses antibodies and color change to identify the presence of allergens.

Are Truly Grass Fed products kosher?

Yes. All our products have kosher and halal status.

Are Truly Grass Fed products pasteurized?

Yes. All Truly Grass Fed milk is pasteurized when it arrives at our processing facility.

Do Truly Grass Fed products have genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

No. Truly Grass Fed products have been verified by the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project is a US based non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. It is North America’s most trusted seal for GMO avoidance for consumers who are concerned about what’s in their food.


The Non-GMO Project Verified seal is trademarked in the United States and Canada and can only be used on products sold within those markets.

Isn’t dairy fat bad for you?

It is highly recommended to consume milk and dairy foods as part of a healthy balanced diet. The National Dairy Council agrees that milk and dairy foods are recommended as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Grass-fed dairy also has significantly higher concentrations of certain fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acids and a more optimal omega-6/omega-3 ratio, which has been shown to suppress the effects and development of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

How are Truly Grass Fed products manufactured?

Quality. Safety. Ingredient integrity. Those are just a few of our top priorities when it comes to dairy manufacturing. Our state-of-the-art facilities are located in the heart of the Irish dairy producing countryside, and we come to work every day knowing that every drop and every detail matter. Our products are sustainably and minimally processed, microfiltered, fully traceable and manufactured by experienced professionals with a passion for the Truly Grass Fed philosophy.


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Are Truly Grass Fed products really sustainable if they’re shipped all the way from Ireland?

Truly Grass Fed’s methodology for measuring on-farm carbon has received the PAS 2050 certification from the Carbon Trust in the UK. We have been measuring and reducing the level of CO2 associated with our production since 1999, and we continue to work actively with our farmers to ensure world-class, low-carbon dairy production standards.


Ireland is one of the lowest emitters of carbon in Europe and the world for milk production, and our nation’s grass-based dairy system means that Truly Grass Fed milk can be produced and shipped to the US at 1.26kg CO2e compared to the FAO’s figure for milk production on a US dairy farm of 1.8kg CO2e.