I am a grass-fed and pasture based farmer because I believe it is the most respectful way to raise animals for meat and to increase the carbon cycle of farm land. As a group of passionate grass farmers, we raise critters outside on pasture, in a grassy field, not in a barn.
The animals enjoy their lives grazing and roaming the various pasture fields on our farms. They are converters of grass, it is why cattle, who are true herbivores, have four stomachs, to break down grass. And they enjoy being outside in all seasons.
The Beef, Bison, Elk, Goat and Lamb we sell is 100% grass-fed. This means they are fed fresh grass/pasture in summer and in the winter hay, which is cut and dried grasses and pasture plants. The hay fields are fertilized naturally with composted manure and not sprayed with herbicides or pesticides.
Each large round bales of hay each weighing 700 to 800 pounds.
Did you know, a fully grown and pregnant beef cow will eat approximately 10 rounds bales of hay for one winter? Farmers plan for this to be 6 months, because we are in Canada, and who knows what each winter will bring!
Grass-fed beef, are a little smaller in size, older when ready for processing and leaner than conventional beef. At processing, the animal is between 24 to 28 months, instead of 15 months as conventionally raised, corn-fed or feed lot beef. This ensures each animal is on pasture for two seasons, lending to the great flavour and texture of grass-fed meats.
Grass-fed beef from Hereford and Galloway cattle marble naturally at around 24 to 30 months. Marbling refers to the fat being distributed in the muscle, and not just under the skin, and increases the tenderness and flavour of the meat. Other breed marble and mature a little sooner, but they tend not to be as good at converting pasture grasses in to protein. Heritage breeds like Hereford, Galloway, Highland and Murray Grey are more efficient grass converting breeds.
The photo below is grass-fed beef, dry aging in a cooler at the butcher shop.
See how lean it is!
There are many environmental and health benefits to eating grass-fed beef. Grass fed meat is very lean – Extra Lean, which means the meat has less than 17% fat. The meat has a finer texture, are raised longer and have a unique taste! Grass fed beef also has 50% LESS saturated fat than conventional feedlot beef, but more vitamin E, beta carotene and vitamin C. For more info on the health and environmental benefits of grass-fed food, check out www.eatwild.com.
Pastured meat offers a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids and less cholesterol. A less risky choice for people who suffer from gluten or wheat allergies and contains good cancer fighting CLA’s that minimize free radicals.
Pasturing animals is beneficial to the environment as it reduces the use of pesticides and herbicides used and maintains a steadier carbon cycle than when grain crops are planted. Fence lines to keep cattle, goats, lambs, elk and bison in becomes a home to pollinators and many creatures, encouraging diversity in our environment.
Grass, is sunshine converted into food, and the cattle, lamb, goats, elk and bison eat it to grow. To us, eating grass-fed beef is like eating an accumulation of sunshine. For more info about the environmental and health benefits of grass-fed meat can be found at a great website, www.eatwild.com.