Certified Organic and All Natural Grass Fed Beef
Our Galloway cows on pasture, August, 2008
What exactly is Grass-Fed?
The definition of grass-fed that we follow is defined by the American Grassfed Association (AGA):
"The AGA defines grass-fed products from ruminants, including cattle, bison, goats and sheep, as those food products from animals that have eaten nothing but their mother's milk and fresh grass or grass-type hay from their birth till harvest."
For our farm, this means NO GRAIN, EVER, for our beef cattle. Our pastures and baled hay consists of multiple grass and legume (clover) species providing all the energy and protein a ruminant could want!
If you've never cooked grass-fed beef, it is a different experience than your basic store bought meat. For some cooking tips, click on the following link: COOKING GRASS-FED BEEF
Animals Built for Grass!
If you're going to raise grass-fed beef, you need to start with the type of animal that can produce high quality beef on grass. We spent a number of years researching breeds that would flourish on a grass-based diet and determined that the Galloway breed was right for us. To add some color and style to our rural Wisconsin landscape, we chose the "Belted Galloway." Sometimes referred to as the "Oreo cookie cow," the Belted Galloway has a distinctive white belt around it's midsection that contrasts with it's black, tan, or sometimes red head and tail.
But the real benefit of these animals is their hair coat. With approximately 4,000 hairs to the square inch, the Belted Galloway is perfectly suited for a cold Wisconsin winter. And best yet, because of all that hair, they have a minimal amount of backfat and a leaner carcass. This means you get more meat for your money when you purchase Belted Galloway beef.
Certified Organic vs. All-Natural
All of our beef is raised to meet or exceed USDA organic standards, and we offer a number of animals each year that are "certified organic." However some of our animals cannot be sold as "certified organic" under USDA guidelines, but do meet the requirements for the "all-natural" label. This is because some of our animals have been purchased as a calf from a farm that isn't certified organic, or it received care for an injury or ailment that required medication. In all cases, we can produce a complete history for each animal on our farm.
Dr. Tilak Dhiman of Utah State University is one of North America's leading researchers on the relationship between CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, which is found in the fat of grass-fed ruminants) in meat and milk and human health. Speaking at the University of Nebraska's conference on "The Future of Grassfed Meats and Milk." Dr. Dhiman said that he was now convinced that grass-fed food products were "not only preventative but regenerative as well."
By this he meant that grass-fed foods could not just prevent health problems but could help people who already have chronic health problems get better. He said current research with animals indicates that CLA not only reduces the incidence of cancer in animals but that it also suppresses the growth of cancer cells. He said that definitive human studies would take many more years. Until then the health benefits of grass-fed foods would have to be legally stated as "potential health benefits."
Currently, animal studies suggest that CLA is:
Dr. Dhiman said to keep in mind that CLA was additive. In other words, eating grass-fed meat, cheese and milk all helped to accumulate CLA in body tissue. A French study of 360 women found that the higher the CLA level was in their breast tissue the lower their incidence of breast cancer was. He said the minimum effective level of CLA was 0.5 percent of the total diet. While this was a tiny amount, this was almost impossible to achieve eating normal American supermarket food.
However, he said grass-fed foods are so high in CLA that a single eight ounce glass of grass-fed milk, plus one 30 gram (one ounce) slice of cheese from grass-fed milk and one 84 gram (2.5 ounces) serving of grass-fed meat provided twice the minimum amount of CLA needed for both prevention and regeneration.
Dhiman said that 100 percent grass-fed meats and milk were up to 500 percent higher in CLA than other meat and milk fed conventional high-grain diets. The key element here is "100 percent grass-fed."
In addition to CLA, Dhiman said that grass-fed foods also had the following:
Grass-fed beef is not only much lower in fat and higher in protein than grain-fed beef, but it is also much safer to eat due to the relative absence of E-coli.
Nutritional Information for Beef and Veal:
In order to assist retail stores that sell meat and poultry products to post point-of-purchase nutrition information, FSIS has created downloadable charts for printing. These charts show nutrition information for the major cuts of meat and poultry. Click on the following to view the nutritional information for beef and veal:
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