Grassfed vs. Feedlot beef
Our family herd of cattle are fed and finished on natural grass pastures and shaded forests. This give the herd a low stress environment with the natural diet that cattle have eaten throughout 10,000 years of domestic production.
The idea of finishing cattle on grain is a relatively recent method of industrial farming. Grain feeding produces unnaturally fat cattle that have a very unhealthy digestive system. The high carbohydrate diet changes the whole digestive bacteria system of the cattle and puts the body into a state of stress much like starvation, which causes the cattle to store more fat under great endocrine stress. Only grain fed cattle have the harmful ecoli bacteria that is deadly to humans. For all these reasons, grain feeding is usually limited to about 200 days before slaughter, as longer times result in breakdowns of the stomach and intestine and a high rate of animal sickness and death. Historically, this digestive trick would allow cattle to survive an occasional 3-6 month drought, but it was never meant to be a standard diet.
Our first principal in making healthy, great-tasting beef is to assure the animals are healthy and comfortable. Our family of animals are not separated, which causes a great amount of stress. They always have access to natural pastures of grass, forbs, trees and weeds so they can choose their own nutritional needs. The only winter supplement they get is hay that is harvested from the same pastures during the summer months when grass is in abundance. They never have GMO soy or GMO corn that makes up the bulk of the diet of feedlot cattle.
The proof is in the product! Grassfed beef is naturally leaner, and the fats present have a much higher percentage of Omega-3 “healthy fats”. Also the broader nutritional profile of minerals and micronutrients of the whole grazing “salad bar” shows up in the beef as well.
Grassfed beef is often hailed for superior environmental benefits and ethical animal treatment benefits. But for us, we are trying to make the best tasting, healthiest beef available. Our product proves we are doing a pretty good job of it!