I am sure you have seen the signs at the local farmers markets and now even in the supermarkets. “Grass-fed”. What does it mean? What is so special about this meat?
Are you ready to make a change to your family’s food source? Have you been searching for healthy, locally produced grass-fed meat? Or are you curious about this “grass-fed” term that is all the rage right now? Come along with me as we dig deeper into this issue.
Grass-fed means simply what it implies: animals are raised from birth to finish on only grass. We feel that “pasture-raised” is a more accurate term to use. When you eat a salad it is not just iceberg lettuce for instance. Most of us prefer to have a variety of greens. It makes the salad more interesting to eat and more nutritious for our body’s. Well fed animals are no different. They also benefit from a variety of plants in their pastures. Each plant provides different nutrients that led to a healthier animal. In turn the healthy meat from these animals will impart that nutrition to us.
Ruminant animals, which include cattle, sheep, bison and goats were created to eat an herbaceous diet. For cattle, sheep and bison this would be grass based. Goats are able to consume a grass based diet, but thrive when they also have access to woody shrubs.
For centuries this was the “normal” diet for these animals. When the early European settlers came to North America they were amazed at the vast herds of bison grazing the grasslands. There was no on here planting grain crops for these wild animals to consume. They were strictly subsisting on pasture.
But, then in steps man thinking that we can do better than the Creator.
In the name of profit animal husbandry changed dramatically in the mid 1900’s with the advent of CAFO’s. What was once the accepted, most natural practice of raising animals on pasture from birth to finish switched to the unnatural idea that animals could be treated like a meat making machine.
Do you want to learn more about grass-fed meats? Join us as we try to make sense of it all. Over the next few weeks we will further explore what “grass-fed” means, how we practice pasture-based farming and what it all means for your family and ours.
To ensure you don’t miss a blog post simply click the button below to become a member of our farm community.