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2020 Grass-Fed Beef Harvest Q&A

January 27, 2020

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One of my favorite things about living in Colorado is the change of season.  I tend to eat intuitively and the cold Colorado winter has me switching up my recipes to warmer, cozier dishes.  In winter, grass-fed beef becomes an incredibly versatile star in my kitchen.  I'm just as excited as you are that our 2020 Grass-Fed Winter Beef Harvest has finally arrived!

We're all here for a reason, and usually, that reason is convenient access to the cleanest local foods possible.  Most of you already have a purpose for specifically seeking out grass-fed and grass-finished beef, but we're all on our own unique journies towards health and vitality, so I'll try to cover all of the bases and potential questions below.  If you'd like any more specific information on any of these points, I love talking about regenerative farming, and I'm happy to respond to emails or phone calls to answer more specific questions.

Q: Why is it important to eat pasture-raised, grass-fed, grass-finished beef?

A: According to our beef partner, "It’s important to know what you’re eating. And it’s even more important to know what you aren't eating. Grass-fed meat is lean, contains a high percentage of good fats like Omega 3s and CLA as well as antioxidant vitamins and minerals. CLA is a good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" that may be one of the most potent defenses against cancer, obesity, diabetes and the number of immune disorders. Did you know that grass-fed beef can have the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast? Cattle evolved to eat grass and not much else. Feeding them a diet rich in grains creates an acidic environment in their digestive systems, leading to disease and the need for treatment with antibiotics. Pasture-based ranching restores natural ecosystems and wildlife habitat, reduces reliance on petrochemicals, improves the soil with organic matter, and reduces greenhouse gasses.

Q: How is your beef raised? 

A: Our beef is raised entirely outdoors in the beautiful green pastures (100% pasture-raised) and eats a diet to consists entirely of grass (100% grass-fed and grass-finished).  They are never given any antibiotics, hormones or other medications. They are given an oral probiotic at birth to jump-start their own gut health and natural immunity.

Q: Where is your beef raised?

A:  Our beef is raised by our partners Scott and Katie of 3T Ranch in Franktown. The cattle move between pastures in Franktown and Simla (just east of Kiowa) depending upon the time of year.

Q: Does your cattle ever eat any grain?

A: NO!  Our cattle are never given any grain at all.  Oftentimes, cattle are fed grain for the last few months (this is referred to as "grain-finished") in order to bulk them up quickly. WE DO NOT DO THIS! Even if you see beef labeled "grass-fed" at the grocery store with no further information about HOW it was finished, per current labeling guidelines, it can be grain-finished and not have to disclose that to the consumer.  Finishing cattle on grain causes an unhealthy ratio of Omega 6's in the beef that is detrimental to our health. Truly grass-fed and grass-finished beef is higher in heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory Omega 3's.

Q: What does it mean that your beef is certified by The American Grassfed Association?

A: This certification is just an extra level of assurance to you that our beef meets these standards:

Diet - Animals are fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest.

Confinement - Animals are raised on pasture without confinement to feedlots.

Antibiotics and Hormones - Animals are never treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.

Origin - All animals are born and raised on American family farms and ranches.

Q: Do you process your own beef?

A: No, our harvest is processed locally at a USDA inspected and approved processing facility in Elizabeth.

Q: Do you sell bones and organs?

A: Yes we do!  We have liver, heart, tongue, oxtail, and soup bones.  It's important to us to utilize every part of the animal, so we save all other bones from our processing and use them for our collagen-rich bone broth (available on the website now)

Q: Do I have to purchase a whole cow or 1/2 cow or can I just purchase individual cuts?

A:  We only sell individual cuts.  This way you can cherry-pick exactly the cuts that you like and use the most without having to take up valuable freezer space for a whole cow.

Q: I've never cooked truly grass-fed and grass-finished beef before, is there a different technique involved?

A: Yes! Because our beef is so lean, you have to be careful not to overcook it!  Click herefor cooking tips from the American Grassfed Association (fun fact: grass-fed beef cooks 30% faster than conventional beef, so use an instant thermometer and watch it like a hawk).

Q: What is bone broth and what do I use it for?

A: Bone Broth is a nutrient-dense, immune-boosting, gut-healing, collagen-rich broth made from the bones of our grass-fed grass-finished beef bones.  We add organic apple cider vinegar to help extract the collagen and mineral from the bones, along with organic onion, organic carrot, organic rosemary and a touch of Himalayan salt.  You can flavor it to your liking and drink it as a satiating snack, or use it as a nutritious and flavorful base to your soups and stews!  

Happy eating!

Kristin

Kristin Varela-Schild

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