WHY DEFINING “GRASS-FED” MATTERS
With grass-fed beef on the tip of everyone’s tongues, new brands are sprouting up like alfalfa. Rushing to join in, many of these newcomers are cutting corners to lower prices… and the quality, flavor, tenderness and integrity of their beef. So, are you getting the real deal? To help, here’s what truly grass-fed means to us.
REAL GRASS – it seems obvious, but some “grass-fed” standards permit cattle to be fed on – well, not grass. Feeds like dry distiller’s grains (DDGs), pelletized feed, and even corn and grain roughage (without the seed head/kernel) can be permitted. None of these have the nutritional profile of actual grass pasture. It’s real grass that provides the healthier fatty acid ratios and higher levels of CLA, vitamins and antioxidants in grass-fed beef. Our cattle graze on grass all their lives.
FREE RANGING ON PASTURE – Cattle should be free to roam on pasture year-round, grazing at will and free to exhibit natural behavior. Some programs allow cattle to be confined in sheds for months at a time, fed harvested grass. We believe that these feedlots are counter to the tradition of grass-fed, pastoral animal rearing. Free ranging cattle are happier, healthier, and need less treatment. Look for the “Free Range – Never Confined” statement on your beef.
GROWING NATURALLY – With grass growing freely and naturally animals can grow at their own pace. There is no pressure to push them through a corporate system or treat them with chemicals to promote faster growth. Our animals are selected only when ready, and never fed antibiotics or treated with hormones or steroids.