Some of our most commenly asked questions answered below. Feel free to email us with questions we didn’t cover here!
- What’s the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished? There is a lot of confusion surrounding grass-fed beef, mainly because it’s not a USDA-regulated term. In 2016, the Agricultural Marketing Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dropped grass-fed as an official term, leaving things more open to interpretation. With the removal of the USDA term, almost any beef product could be labeled grass-fed. Most cattle raised by responsible farms graze in open pastures throughout the warmer months. However, it’s pretty difficult to allow animals to roam freely in the winter, when snow covers the ground. During these colder months, most cattle eat corn-and-soy based feed. But, since they ate grass for part of (or for the majority) of the year, they could be labeled grass-fed. In these cases, there is not much of a difference between grain-fed beef raised by a responsible farmer, and grass-fed beef. Our cows are raised entirely on grass, never eating grain of any kind.
- Is grass-finished beef also organic? Short answer: No. Organic and grass-finished (or grass-fed) are two completely different things. “Organic” is a USDA-regulated term. Farmers need to complete a certification process, which can take up to three years, to use the organic label. Organic foods (such as organic beef) must be produced or raised on a farm that doesn’t use harmful pesticides, genetic engineering (GMOs), or sewer sludge. As it pertains to beef, it is possible to buy organic, grain-fed beef. Cows from an organic farm are usually fed organic feed (i.e. organic corn- or soy-based products) during their lifetime. We welcome you to come for a visit to our place and see how we are “beyond organic.”
- Do I need to cook grass-finished beef differently from conventional beef? In some ways, yes. Our beef is leaner and more flavorful than conventional beef. We highly reommend cooking the beef more slowly and enjoying steaks medium or medium-rare. For our steaks, searing the meat first on an outdoor grill or hot skillet and then finishing it slowly in a low temp oven is usually a great method. For roasts, short ribs, and other “lesser” cuts, slow cooking techniques such as slow roasting, sous vide, and braising are going to bring out the tenderness and flavor. Get in touch with us for recipes and more cooking questions for specific cuts.
- Isn’t eating beef terrible for the environment? It doesn’t have to be! Our cows are raised on pasture, moving every day in a technique called high-intensity grazing. This improves the pastures, improves soil health, increases moisture retention, and sequesters more carbon over time by building topsoil. Cows can be part of the solution to environmental problems. Come take a tour to see for yourself.
- Can I really come for a visit? Yes! We love to give folks a tour of our farm and talk about why we do what we do. Just give us a call or send an email to set up a time! We host people all the time from large groups to one person who is interested in learning more.