Grass Finished Beef

So what’s this new hype about Grass Finished beef? Is it better?  Is it tastier?  Is it healthier? YES. We reap the benefits, and of course so do the cows.

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Let's start with the health benefits for the cow.


The cow is not treated solely as a commodity, but rather a contributing partner in the whole farm approach.
Let us explain.


The life of our farm is entirely dependent on the health of our soil.  Healthy soil grows nutrient dense food for ourselves and our  livestock.  When we are healthy, and our livestock are healthy we all  win.  It is all about give and take, and our animals do their part to  give back to the soil.
 

Vegetable Garden Benefits:

*Cow manure is a bonus fertilizer.
*Hay feeders are moved routinely, to spread out the alfalfa hay that is  left behind (perfect balance of carbon to nitrogen by the way) to be  worked into the soil the following spring.
*The cows feed on the leftover vegetables (whole corn stalks, carrots,  pumpkins, etc.) that are too fibrous to work into the soil.

    

Cow Benefits:

*Extra vegetables are available for feed ($$ savings)
*Continuous soil building strategies results in highly nutritious feed for the cattle.
* Happy cows that can express their natural behaviors.
*They can breathe fresh air, get exercise and grow at a natural, unstressed rate.

     

So what makes great beef?

Tenderness, good fat and good flavor are some very important factors,  but just as important is knowing where your beef came from and what it  ate. Knowing the cattle breed and the farming methods used are  ultimately what give you great beef.


Let's talk about fat!

We all need fat. Not just any old fat, we need QUALITY fat.  Fat is  what fuels our brains, gives us energy, and helps us absorb nutrients.   Quality grass fed meat contains increased amounts of healthy Omega 3  fats AND a favorable Omega 6 – Omega 3 ratio.  Nearly all chemical  communication throughout the body depends at least in part on the  correct balance between these 2 essential fatty acids.  In other words;  Problems will arise when you eat too much of one, because it makes it  difficult for the body to process the other. When there is good quality  fat, other valuable fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K are  naturally present, along with higher amounts of phytonutrients.   It’s  win-win, and it adds to the overall flavor.

We recently had our beef's fatty acid profile tested by Dr. Bazinet  at the University of Toronto.  The Omega 6:3 ratio measured in at 3:1.   Commodity beef measures in at approx. 30:1, industry standard grass  finished beef strives to hit a 5:1 ratio.  Needless to say, we were  delighted with our results.  The astounding news is that we were not the  only producer to achieve this success, there are many other Alberta  grass finished farms doing the exact same thing!  These findings  will advocate CHANGE in the Alberta beef industry, and we are honored  to be a part of such a project.


What about the flavor?

Fat alone does not equal flavor. Flavor in beef also comes from amino  acids and sugars in the muscle.  Different amino acids have a  difference in flavors like sour, sweet, bitter, salt and umami (savory  taste).  What your beef tastes like is a direct correlation to what it  ate.  When it comes to the flavor of your beef, it is our job to master  this balance in the form of pasture management.  This is where the kale,  peas and turnips come in, along with a rotation plan to build the soil.


Healthy soil = Healthy plants =  Nutritious Food

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