Perdue Farms Glossary of Food Terms


Don’t know the difference between free range and pasture raised? Not sure why you should care about nitrates or whether or not a product is certified organic, humane, halal or paleo? We get it: Food industry terms can be confusing. Here, we break down lingo into layman's terms so you can shop with confidence!

100% All Natural

When we say natural, we mean a product that contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product is processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The pork in Coleman Natural products, the beef in Niman Ranch products and the poultry in Perdue products are all natural. SHOP ALL PRODUCTS

100% True Angus Beef

We offer both Choice or Prime cuts of true Angus Beef, produced by Niman Ranch. The brand’s Angus cattle are born and raised on small, family ranches across the Midwest to the West. They have ample grazing room on pasture and are finished on grain. Calves are weaned at an older age than the industry standard to allow more time on pasture with their mothers. Strict standards dictate the humane handling of cattle during transport, providing a low-stress environment throughout their lives. SHOP ANGUS BEEF

Air Chilled

Our Sonoma Red Poultry is bursting with flavor for a reason. The brand uses purified air to chill chicken in temperature-controlled chambers. This process helps to maintain the product’s natural flavor. SHOP AIR-CHILLED CHICKEN

American Humane Certified

Coleman Natural is one of only two pork producers in the country to hold this certification. American Humane Certification is based on the Five Freedoms, a globally accepted measure of animal care that goes beyond the basics of food, water, shelter and health to include freedom from distress and the freedom to express normal behaviors. Each farm raising hogs for the brand is audited by an independent auditor, who assesses the farm’s compliance with hundreds of specific standards. SHOP AMERICAN HUMANE CERTIFIED PORK

Animal By-Products (“offal”)

Animal by-products (everything but muscle meat) are often produced when livestock is harvested for food. These ingredients may be added to pet food, livestock feed and processed meats, such as sausages and hot dogs. But not our premium products! Coleman Natural and Niman Ranch hot dogs and sausages are made with all-natural beef and pork and no fillers or by-products — ever! And the feed that keeps our Perdue poultry healthy is 100% vegetarian – no added by-products.

Cage Free

The family farmers who raise Perdue chickens ensure their health and comfort, and work with Perdue to continuously improve animal care practices. Farmers use temperature controlled, cage-free housing with fresh-air ventilation. Perdue chickens have constant access to food and water, periods of light and dark and move about freely. Perdue’s flock advisors regularly check on the flocks and share information with farmers, and Perdue veterinarians who specialize in poultry watch over the health of flocks, providing any necessary treatment. SHOP CAGE-FREE CHICKEN

Certified Humane

Niman Ranch meat carries this certification. Why is it important? This certification and labeling program, established by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), an independent third-party organization, designates food products that come from facilities that meet precise, objective standards for farm animal treatment. Animals must be raised cage or crate free, fed a quality diet that does not include animal by-products, antibiotics or growth hormones and cared for by farmers and ranchers who comply with food safety and environmental regulations. SHOP CERTIFIED HUMANE PRODUCTS

Crate Free

Did you know that Coleman Natural is the largest pork producer to source 100% crate-free hogs? Yes, indeed! This means that hogs are not confined to crates when they are gestating (expecting) or farrowing (nursing) their young. Coleman farmers give hogs ample space to relax, move about and care for their young in a low-stress community housing environment. SHOP CRATE-FREE PORK

Free Range

The farmers who provide poultry for Perdue Farms’ Harvestland brand go above and beyond when raising their chickens. Free range to them means chickens are free to explore the outdoors. Birds live in houses that have windows to let in natural light, doors that let them come and go and perches and pecking bales so that they can roost and do what comes naturally. And pastureland outside of the houses offers chickens area to roam, peck for food and enjoy dust bathes. SHOP FREE-RANGE CHICKEN

Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.) Certified

Both Perdue poultry and Panorama Organic meats are sourced from farms that are G.A.P. certified. G.A.P. uses independent, third-party certifiers to audit farms and verify compliance to G.A.P. animal welfare standards, including that animals are raised without antibiotics or added hormones and fed a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products. Under the program, the higher the animal welfare rating number, the more G.A.P. believes the animal’s environment mimics its natural environment. SHOP GAP-CERTIFIED PRODUCTS

Gluten Free

Whenever possible, we try to accommodate specific dietary needs. Many of our brands offer products that do not contain gluten, a protein found in grains, including wheat, barley and rye. Products contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten, as independently verified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). SHOP GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCTS

Grass Fed and Finished

We are proud to offer beef from Panorama Organic, a brand whose ranching families raise cattle on open pasture and rangelands. Cattle are never feedlot-confined and consume nothing but their mother's milk and the available natural grasses, legumes and range forages from the open pastures they graze — their entire lives. Unlike conventionally raised cattle that are finished on grain to bulk up their weight, grass-finished cattle are rotated through pastures and consume the available grasses and forages at their leisure. SHOP GRASS-FED BEEF

Halal Certified

All Niman Ranch lamb, which is raised by independent U.S. family ranchers within the brand’s network, bears this certification. Halal means that products are sourced from approved livestock and processed using equipment that has been cleansed according to Islamic law. Further, products can never come in contact with or be in proximity to unapproved substances during processing and storage. SHOP HALAL-CERTIFIED PRODUCTS

Heritage/Specialty Breed

In an effort to farm the old-fashioned way, many of our brands raise non-commercial breeds of livestock and poultry that date back a century or more. These animals were bred over time to develop traits that help them survive in their environments. Heritage breeds are better able to fight off disease, adapt well to their environments and thrive on pasture.

Hormones and Growth Promotants

At Perdue Farms, we are serious about raising animals in a way that farmers did a century ago. That’s why no products offered by our brands are sourced from animals treated with growth hormones, drugs used to enhance an animal’s lean muscle. Note: Federal regulations do not permit the use of hormones in poultry.


We are proud of our Coleman Natural brand, which worked with the USDA to define what the term "natural" meant in the meat industry to ensure consumers were confident in the quality products they were putting on their plates. When we say natural, we mean a product that contains no artificial ingredients or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product is processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product.


Sometimes nitrates and nitrites, synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals in our environment, are added to processed meats, like hot dogs and sausages, to extend shelf life. Studies have linked both agents to cancer, and nitrates may damage blood vessels. To make products as healthy and delicious as possible, Coleman Natural and Niman Ranch never add these ingredients to their processed meats.


Today many staple crops, including corn, cotton and soybeans, are grown from genetically modified seeds. Most animal feed includes GMOs. For consumers who prefer to avoid products or ingredients that are genetically modified, we offer products from our Perdue Harvestland Organic, Perdue SimplySmart, Panorama Organic and Skagit Red brands. Note: The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. SHOP NON-GMO PRODUCTS

Non-GMO Project Verified

Many Perdue Farms products are labeled as Non-GMO, but don’t just take our word for it! To give our customers added assurance, we go a step further by having products, including Perdue Harvestland Organic and Skagit Red chicken, third-party verified. To be verified, a product cannot contain genetically modified ingredients or be genetically engineered and must follow the Non-GMO Project Standard, which includes stringent provisions for testing, traceability and segregation.

Paleo Certified

All Panorama Organic beef cuts are Paleo Certified by the Paleo Foundation. Certification means that products are free of grains, legumes, dairy, artificial coloring, artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavor enhancers. SHOP PALEO-CERTIFIED PRODUCTS

Pasture Raised

Sonoma Red and Pasturebird products are sourced from chickens that live on pasture and enjoy fresh air, sunshine and a no-antibiotics-ever diet that includes forage, insects and grains. SHOP PASTURE-RAISED CHICKEN

USDA Certified Organic

Perdue Farms offers a wide array of products that are Certified Organic by the USDA. In fact, in some cases, our brands’ farming protocols exceed USDA standards for certification. A meat and/or poultry product is certified by a USDA National Organic Program-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations. Organic meat and poultry must be produced without excluded methods (e.g., genetic engineering), ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge; produced per the USDA National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances; and sourced from livestock and poultry that are raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage and not administered antibiotics or hormones. SHOP ORGANIC PRODUCTS

USDA Choice offers choice cuts of Niman Ranch beef that were previously only served in fine restaurants. Choice is a grade of beef determined by a USDA meat grader, based on official grade standards. Second only to Prime, choice cuts are well marbled and are tender, juicy and flavorful. SHOP USDA CHOICE BEEF

USDA Prime offers prime cuts of Niman Ranch beef that were previously only served at fine restaurants. Prime is a grade of beef determined by a USDA meat grader, based on official grade standards. Prime cuts have the highest degree of fat marbling and are known for superior flavor, texture and tenderness. SHOP USDA PRIME BEEF

Whole30 Approved®

All Panorama Organic beef cuts are 100% compliant with the rules of the Whole30 dietary program. Whole30-approved products that contain animal protein have met the program’s Animal Welfare Standards, as created in partnership with The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®). SHOP WHOLE30-APPROVED PRODUCTS

More About Perdue Farms

story of Perdue Farms


We are an over 100-year-old family owned and operated company.

Learn more about Perdue Farms' family of U.S. farmers and ranchers


Our selection of chicken, beef, pork and more comes from our own farmers and ranchers.

reasons to buy from Perdue Farms


On the fence? Here are six reasons to shop our premium products.