Greenwashing🌱- - An In-Depth look into the Deception of Big Ag - Rebel Pastures

Greenwashing🌱- - An In-Depth look into the Deception of Big Ag

The Facade of Green

Greenwashing is a deceptive practice where companies persuade the public by spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly and ethical when they aren't. It's a practice that's been fleecing consumers for as long as there's been competition in the marketplace. Today, I want to delve into the heart of this issue, exposing the dangers of greenwashing and its cascading effects on both consumers and genuine sustainable practices.

In an era increasingly aware of environmental concerns, big Ag has donned a cloak of "sustainability". This is arranged through clever marketing, paying lobbyist to influence political rulings, and superficial initiatives.

What is "Pasture Raised"?

In the world of egg and chicken production, the "Pasture Raised" label is the biggest joke out there.

Let me tell you, Big Ag HAS YOU FOOLED.

👉Want to know how a farm receives permission from the USDA or from Whole Foods private label to put the claim "Pasture Raised" on their label?

They provide an affidavit that says, "our chickens had access to the outdoors."

Period. That's it. There are no standards, no inspections, no need for proof. Nothing.

An In-Depth Look at Greenwashing: Vital Farms.

Vital Farms has bright, vibrant labels with the words PASTURE RAISED all over it. The pictures on their website show hens in grass above their heads with no barns in site. I find it incrediblly ironic that their catchphrase is "Keeping it Bullsh*t-Free". Let's explore...

Aren't their hens raised outside?

When you dig into their practices (which are buried in the FAQ page on their site), you find where the Bull-sh*t lies.

To begin their life, the hens are raised for their first 17 weeks enclosed in a "Pullet House". Then they are sent to a Vital Farms barn where they are enclosed for several more weeks to get used to the operation. So the first quarter of their life is already done and the hens have never seen a blade of grass.

Once the hens become accustomed to the farm (not sure how long that takes), they live in stationary barns and walk on the same 108 sq ft for their rest of their (egg laying) life. In case you think this is a lot of space, it's not for a chicken. Raising chickens on this stationary space would render it barren in a couple weeks. Unless the hens aren't actually going outside...


90% of their hens have been locked inside to keep them safe from the Avian Flu. And this has been happening for many months (when did Avian Flu first arrive?). In case you can't believe a farm can be so misleading, the image below is directly from their website:

A little more digging led me to this:


You can also find it here. I'm not blowing your horn here.  

Yet, their marketing continues to proudly boast fresh air, sunshine, bugs, pasture, etc...

Now THAT's some Bullsh*t if I've ever heard it.

So why are their yolks a rich dark orange?

I'm about to burst another Vital Farms bubble...

Feed additives with both yellow and red carotenoids from natural and artificial sources are added to the chicken feed to produce darker yolks. How do I know? Because 1.) They say it on their site (see image above) and 2.) We have the option to do this, too. We don't. Because we want the nutrition of our eggs to be truthful, not bamboozled by food coloring.

They don’t talk about this in a direct way. But poultry people can read through the lines. There are two feed additives used in the industry Oro glo and Kem glo. Oro uses marigold extracts and Kem uses paprika extracts-along with a list of several other synthetic ingredients. And then add in the fact that their hens haven’t been outside for almost 2 years (as of writing this) and their yolks are an unnaturally radioactive orange color-this all equals the need for additives to maintain color. This is where color does not equal nutrition.

If you can't tell, this makes me mad - as a consumer and as a farmer. I'm sure it makes you mad too. Vital Farms isn't the only farm that's doing it. Here's a picture sent to me by a customer from a store in our area:

Different farm, same story.

This deceptive narrative is dangerous.

For you, greenwashing creates a treacherous landscape. In a market flooded with labels like 'natural,' 'organic,' and 'pasture raised,' the true meaning of these terms becomes diluted. Products from Big Ag masquerading as sustainable lead well-intentioned consumers astray, making it increasingly challenging to make choices that truly align with their environmental and ethical values. The impact of this deception goes beyond just consumer choice—it dilutes the market, making it harder for genuinely sustainable products to get the recognition and market share they rightfully deserve.

Perhaps the most disheartening impact of greenwashing is felt in the shrinking fields of the farmers who dedicate their lives to sustainable and regenerative agriculture. We are on an uneven playing field. Authentic practices, which often require more time, effort, costs and a deep understanding of ecological balance, are overshadowed by the superficial 'green' claims of Big Ag. It's a narrative that muddies the waters, making it increasingly difficult for guardians of the land to thrive and continue their essential work.

What can you do?

It's the most simple but most difficult solution. Vote with your dollar. Support farms you know and trust. Know where your food comes from. Often that means the food is more expensive (because we don't take government pay outs), you may have to really search to find it, and you have to think in a more sustainable mindset (chickens are more than just boneless chicken breasts).

It's time to cut through the Bullsh*t.

Because we give a damn,

Jenni Bajema
Rebel Pastures

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Keep this excellent education and content coming pls! Just reinforces why I purchase all my meat and eggs from your farm!


Hi Jenni!
Great article! And good timing with the Mercola article that just came out!

I am curious what supplemental feed you give your chickens and hogs…both are delicious! (Brunch today!)

I avoid all processed, conventional, and fake foods but have not considered the high amounts of Linoleic Acid in foods.

Would love to know your thoughts!

Thank you for all you do! Having grown up on a farm, I know and appreciate all the hard work and dedication!



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