Grass-fed beef is better for the for the environment, as less energy is required to grow grass than to grow grain. It's also better for consumers with less fat and more good fats (omega-3s) and better for the cow as huge stinky feedlots are horrible and inhumane.
Because our farmers don't feed their animals antibiotics, hormones or other drugs, you can be sure that you are eating a natural product of the highest quality.
Don't all cows eat grass?
Well, yes, but for most cows, that's only in the first months of their lives. Unfortunately, most cattle end up at huge feedlots eating a mix of grains laced with hormones and antibiotics. This process more quickly fattens the animal (hence, the fat marbling) and reduces the time to slaughter. But it also decreases the nutrition of the meat and not in a good way.
Unlike beef available in grocery stores, meat from grass-fed animals contains high levels of omega-3s, fatty acids that actually reduce cholesterol and fight heart disease. This beef is a source of CLA, a type of fat with amazing cancer-fighting properties. Not all fats are bad, and these two fatty acids just might make grass-fed beef a health food.
Isn't grass-fed beef expensive?
Yes, this kind of beef is more expensive, but you do get what you pay for: a better, healthier, and tastier product that supports local farmers.
To reduce cost, seek out a local farmer or a CSA (community-supported agriculture) and buy in bulk.
Is grass-fed beef tough?
Grass-fed beef is delicious if cooked properly. This product has a clean beefy flavor but can be chewier than we are used to, and sometimes drier because it's leaner. Here are tips from Healthy Living Market to cook your grass-fed beef.
Although the best steak-house steaks are dry-aged, most supermarket beef is wet-aged in a plastic vacuum-sealed bag that prevents shrinkage but also precludes the concentration of beefy flavor that occurs with water loss.
What is the nutrition analysis of grass-fed beef?
Eatwild.com founder Jo Robinson reports on scientific research comparing the nutrition of grass-fed and grain-fed animals. She writes: "Conventional factory meat is so cheap because they've done everything to speed growth and lower the cost of feed. ... If you eat a typical amount of beef per year," Robinson points out in Pasture Perfect, "which in the United States is about 67 pounds, switching to grass-fed beef will save you 16,642 calories (or about 5 pounds) a year."
Read more about Jo's research summaries for the benefits of eating grass-fed beef here: www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm.
Links to Resources
Hardwick Beef brochure
Where to buy our beef
Guide to thawing and cooking frozen Hardwick Beef
Downloadable beef cut chart
from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock
An article on the Union of Concerned Scientists' website, asks, "Will the antibiotic prescribed by your doctor be able to fight [your] infection? ... Agricultural use for growth promotion and prevention of diseases due to overcrowded CAFO (confined animal feeding operations) conditions accounts for the vast majority of the antibiotics and related drugs used in the United States."
Not only do I love great beef, but I know what great beef really is. In fact, I would rather eat bees than buy chain supermarket meat. Having lived in Argentina, where they are known--and deservedly so for their properly fed and raised beef--I was knocked out by your amazing beef. Stopping at the Brattleboro Co-op, I looked through the meat section hoping that something would inspire me. ... there were your New York strip steaks, marbled better than a Bernini sculpture. The test of course was the hardwood grill. Magnificent! Your beef is the best I have tasted in many years here. Kudos! -- Happy Customer