KEY VALUES

Return to Earth is guided by five key values. Focused around health, community, animal welfare, environmental protection, and food quality, our key values drive every aspect of our operations.

1. HEALTH IS KEY - WE ARE WHAT WE EAT

We believe that good begets good: healthy soil produces healthy vegetation which produces healthy animals. For this reason, we utilize a holistic and sustainable approach to animal rearing and land stewardship (regenerative farming). Through this methodology we improve the health of our land, the health of our animals, and the nutritional profile of our products. We’re proud of what we do and believe that the products we offer are as clean and healthy as it gets.

Our animals are pastured and grass fed. They are antibiotic free, hormone free, fed an unmedicated diet. Additionally, they are allowed to fulfill their natural tendencies and instinctual needs. We believe that raising animals on pasture creates healthier, happier animals that are more nutritious and better tasting. Moreover, research supports this theory! Studies have demonstrated that, in relation to conventionally raised products, pastured products are:

  • Leaner
  • Lower in calories
  • Have a healthier composition of fatty acids
  • Are generally more nutritious with greater levels of specific vitamins and antioxidants

2. GREEN IS THE BEST COLOUR

Our environment is the single most important thing that humanity has and we believe that humanity absolutely must act as responsible stewards of it. Simply put, it is our responsibility to do better! As such, RTE utilizes sustainable and regenerative farming practices which works to maintain healthy grasslands, protect water-sources and soil health, and foster the success of native flora. Our land is an element as critical to our business as our animals and maintaining its health is an absolute priority and one of our highest values.

Key to the success of pastured farming is land management. We operate within a closed-loop system in which our land takes care of our animals and our animals take care of the land. This means that, by definition, our pastures are everything! And, as curators of this system, we ensure that we:

  • Move animals to a new paddock every few days so as to prevent overgrazing
  • Employ methodologies that utilize the individual traits of different species to benefit the land
  • Match the number of animals to the capability of our land to absorb impacts
  • Fully utilize animal waste (manure = fertilizer) without overwhelming the soil

By promoting a healthy agricultural ecosystem, we use less fossil fuels, protect local water systems, support species biodiversity, and conserve – as well as build, fertile soil. Oh, and by maintaining a healthy pasture, we also benefit from the carbon sequestration abilities of healthy grasslands. It’s a win-win-win!

3. KEEPING IT LOCAL

We believe in community and knowing the people who service it, recognize that there is great value in fresh, safe, healthy food (and knowing where it comes from), and value supporting small businesses. Buying local results in the creation of local jobs, better public services, encourages entrepreneurship, and promotes environmental health. Moreover, this benefits not just the buyer, but the entire community through trickle-down economics! Does anyone need more reasons than that to keep their business local as much as possible?

While we are not strangers to Amazon (we have 2 kids… sometimes it’s inevitable), we are great purveyors of the ‘buy local’ philosophy. We subscribe to local CSAs, support family-owned businesses, and seek out local, independent, retailers / artisans / service providers whenever possible. Corporations and big box stores do (sometimes) have a place. However, keeping it local whenever viable offers a host of benefits for all. We live by this philosophy and trust that others in the community do as well.

4. RESPECT THE ANIMAL

We believe that all animals, including animals being raised for food, should be respected and treated humanely and ethically in alignment with their natural tendencies. Working against the natural rhythm of the animal often causes sickness, stress, and behavioural issues which then require otherwise unnecessary human interactions to “solve” man-made issues. Basically, we feel good about how the animals at Return to Earth are raised and we want our customers to feel that too.

While our animals may become dinner, that’s no reason to deny them access to a life that is anything less than respectable. And by that we mean that all basic life standards are consistently met. Our animals have access to fresh air, natural light, outdoor space, clean water, shelter, fresh bedding, freedom of movement, and have the ability to fulfill instinctual needs. For example, and among other things, poultry need to forage, ruminates need to graze, and pigs need to root. By pasturing our animals we’re able to provide our animals with a high quality of life by taking advantage of our animals’ innate ability to feed themselves, spread their own waste, and be comfortable. As an added bonus, we’re able to provide our community with healthier, cleaner, and higher-grade animal products.

5. SUPERIOR FOOD QUALITY & SAFETY

There is a massive disconnect between food producers and consumers in modern society. This is in part to the invisible walls that have been created via modern processes: confinement barns with “NO TRESSPASSING” signs, massive processors with limited (if any) public transparency, extremely limited information on where our foods are from / have been, etc. The food chain has become so twisted and disengaged from how and where plants and animals actually grow / live that it’s no surprise the average person has more questions than answers when it comes to food! In response, Return to Earth was literally started to ensure the quality and safety of our food. We are absolutely committed to maintaining the quality and safety of our products. Doing so is, and will forever, be one of our highest values.

As small-scale farmers, we are in control of every element that affects the quality and safety of our products. And, as small-scale farmers who consume and directly live off of our own products, we take great measures to ensure that what we grow is clean, healthy, and nutritious. Our version of “safe, quality meats” come from animals that:

  • Have been properly cared for
  • Aren’t stressed
  • Have access to clean water and open space
  • Are fed a hormone and antibiotic-free diet in alignment with their natural digestive systems.

We are directly and intimately involved in the handling of our products at every stage of production. This including travel to and from our local, inspected, abattoirs.