Why Grassfed?

Commercial Grain Finished vs. Grass-Fed & Finished

Most commercial beeves raised today are weaned between 400-600 lbs. and then are finished on feedlots until they reach 1200 lbs. on a diet designed to add the most weight in the shortest time for the cheapest price. When the beeves are placed on crowded feedlots, they are given a time released growth hormone implant in their ear, which costs about $2.50 and guarantees about fifty pounds more weight per animal. Also, cattle on feedlots are given aggressive amounts of antibiotics in their daily feed. These antibiotics are preventative in nature because the crowded conditions foster many diseases. But the main reason for the high use of antibiotics is because their diet is changed from forage to grain, resulting in a pH change in the rumen that is more acidic. Since cattle are ruminants, their natural foods are forages not grain, and when grain becomes their primary source of food, many health problems can result; for example, many feedlot cattle have damaged livers due to the grain-rich diets. So with growth hormones and antibioitcs, the feedlots can finish their animals at 1200 lbs. or more in as little as 14 months of age. But as Jo Robinson, author of Pasture Perfect, states “this acidic environment speeds the growth of potentially dangerous E. coli bacteria and, even worse, makes the bugs more acid-resistant. Alarmingly, these acid-resistant bacteria are much more likely to survive the cleansing acidity of our own digestive juices and make us ill.”

Our beeves, on the other hand, are fed no grain and are 100% grass-fed and finished with the exception their mothers milk they receive when they are calves. Grass-fed in this context means forage, which includes plants in the legume (clover, lespedeza, etc.), forb (i.e., chicory), and brassica (turnips, rape) families. Our animals are over twice as old when they reach maturity–24 to 30 months, instead of 14 months. The extra age improves the taste of the meat. Veal, for example, although very tender, is relatively bland. Beef, like wine, improves with age. Also, to enhance the taste, we have our beeves dry-aged rather than wet-aged. Most beef today is wet-aged, which means it is sealed in a vacuum bag immediately after butchering. Moisture cannot escape and the consumer pays for the excess water. In dry-aging, the entire carcass (usually cut into two halves), or primal cuts (large distinct sections) will be hung and stored for 2-3 weeks in a cooler at near freezing temperatures. The dry-aging process evaporates excess moisture, thus condensing flavors; and dry-aging breaks down connective tissues resulting in more tenderness and flavor. Although dry-aging is more expensive, we feel the process is well worth it.