Bridgewater, New Jersey-based Applegate Farms LLC has launched the Do Good Dog hot dog, the first nationally available hot dog made with beef raised on verified regenerative U.S. grasslands.
Beef for the Do Good Dog hot dog comes from SunFed Ranch in Northern California and has the Savory Institute’s Land to Market Seal, the world’s first regenerative sourcing verification.
The Do Good Dog is Applegate’s latest evolution of the hot dog and is a part of driving forward the company’s mission: Changing the Meat We Eat.
Applegate reimagined the hot dog more than 15 years ago with Applegate Organics The Great Organic Hot Dog, made with four ingredients – 100 percent grass-fed beef, water, salt and spices. With the introduction of the Do Good Dog hot dog, the company has ambitions to take regenerative agriculture from niche to norm.
Until now, regeneratively sourced beef has mostly been available at farmers markets or high-end restaurants. Applegate’s size and experience scaling specialized supply chains in the meat category aims to make regenerative agriculture familiar and accessible in the mass market. According to the Savory Institute, the cattle that supply the beef for the Do Good Dog hot dog are part of a system that is contributing to the regeneration of up to 260,000 acres of U.S. grasslands, making it one of the largest verified systems for regeneratively-sourced beef.
“It’s fashionable to argue that the only way to fight climate change is to eliminate meat. In fact, the opposite is true,” said John Ghingo, president of Applegate. “Animals have a vital role to play in restoring soil health, sequestering carbon and safeguarding the land against drought, wildfires, erosion and other devastating results of climate change. Our mission is to scale regenerative practices beyond small farms and niche markets. It’s the only way to make a big enough impact.”
With two out of three U.S. adults saying they eat meat frequently and cattle consistently spotlighted for their negative impact on the environment, there’s a need to shift the way meat is produced to both meet demand and improve the planet. Applegate is starting with beef, where the evidence of positive animal impact is most clear, but the company is also at work to develop evidence-based regenerative practices for non-grazing animals and plans to grow its regeneratively-sourced product line to pork and poultry.
Applegate’s commitment to support and market regeneratively sourced beef has helped SunFed Ranch double its grass-fed cattle production, according to Matt Byrne, co-founder of SunFed Ranch, diverting cattle out of the commodity feedlot system and accelerating environmental benefits to its ranchlands. SunFed Ranch, which manages more than 1.5 million acres of U.S. grasslands both directly and through its ranching partners, is committed, across all on-ranch operations, to being 100 percent carbon neutral, from production to product, by 2024 and fully carbon negative by the end of 2027.
“We are thrilled to join Applegate in taking a leadership position to make regenerative, 100 percent grass fed beef that is better for the planet and healthier for families more widely available,” said Byrne. “Applegate’s commitment accelerates our shared mission to move the beef industry away from the commodity, corn-based feedlot system as we continue to scale one of the largest pastured cattle ranching environments in the country. We’re proud to partner with Applegate on this innovative product and facilitate the regeneration of the land we are fortunate enough to have in our care.”
Applegate’s contribution to regenerating U.S. grasslands and healthy soil is being measured by the Savory Institute, a pioneer in regenerative agriculture. Baseline measurements of soil health, biodiversity, water retention and other ecosystem services were taken in spring 2021 and will be revisited annually to assess progress. This is a hallmark of the Land to Market seal, which does not set standards, but measures outcomes, ensuring that a ranch is making continuous improvements to the land.
“While Land to Market verifies outcomes rather than practices, we find that those that implement holistic management and planned grazing double their likelihood of improving land health. We are big believers in the old adage that what gets measured gets managed and that measurement is actually a function of optimization,” said Chris Kerston, chief commercial officer of the Land to Market Program at the Savory Institute. “By working closely with SunFed Ranch and Applegate, we can quantify environmental improvement and the ranchers can optimize their management to maximize those results ongoingly. This approach has the adaptability and scalability to drive the entire global meat industry forward.”
The new Do Good Dog hot dog is available now at select major retailers and on Amazon with an SRP of $6.99. It is gluten free, a good source of protein and contains no added sugar. For more information, visit applegate.com.
Founded in 1987, Applegate Farms LLC produces high-quality natural and organic hot dogs, bacon, sausages, deli meats, cheese and frozen products. Applegate became a stand-alone subsidiary of Hormel Foods in July 2015.