Why Grassfed Beef?
What does grassfed mean?
It simply means that cattle are raised their entire life on natural grasses. They eat a diet that is made up of grass, legumes, herbs and forbs. They live outside, in natural conditions, and are humanely raised from the time they are born until they day they are processed.
Aren't all cattle raised in this way?
No. In fact 99% of all the beef you buy has been raised in a factory-farm setting where cattle are raised in the stressful confinement of overcrowded feedlots where they are exposed to disease and fed diets that are not natural for them.
One reason to prefer a pastured, grassfed cow is that it's had a dramatically better life than its feedlot cousin. Grassfed animals remain on pasture from birth to market, roaming around in fresh air and sunshine.
The Feedlot Fiasco
The diet of grass-fed cows is what it was always meant to be: fresh pasture, hay, or grass silage. Cows are ruminants. They are endowed with the uncanny ability to convert grass into food that they can digest. (This is done by virtue of a rumen, a 45-gallon “fermentation tank” in which resident bacteria convert cellulose into protein and fats.)
In feedlots, cows are switched to a diet based on grains – at times with a dash of poultry litter and a sprinkle of restaurant waste, as we've learned from the news of the first U.S. case of mad cow. Grain feeding changes the chemical reactions that take place in the animal’s rumen and results in unnatural, unhealthy chemical changes within the animal. To speed their growth and reduce the health problems that come from being fed this unnatural diet and from their stressful living, these animals are treated with hormones, feed additives, and daily doses of antibiotics (leading to disease resistant bacteria). It is this environment that fosters things like e. Coli bacteria, Mad Cow and other silent killers.
Compare this with the happy life of pastured animals, who don't partake in the daily stress of modern life. They don't need drugs and antibiotics to keep healthy, and their growth is determined by genetics, not by genetically modified, growth-promoting hormones.
Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed. But what you'll find in grocery stores around the country today is almost all grain-fed, feedlot beef. The reason? Economics. Cows grow faster in feedlots and they are more profitable.
If your food is loaded with chemicals cooked up in a lab then you can rest assured that you will become the toxic waste site where these chemicals will wreak havoc over time on your body. If you want to live longer and healthier, take a moment and learn where your food comes from and why it's important.
The Taste of “Real” Meat
Grassfed beef has the robust, original taste that comes from how cattle are supposed to be raised – never eating anything but grass, as nature intended. This beef is made for rare to medium-rare cooking. The main reason for tough or “gamey” tasting grassfed beef is overcooking. See our “Cooking Tips” section of this website to learn more details on how to cook your grassfed beef to enjoy it at its best. Grass fed beef not only tastes better, it's far more healthy.
The Health Benefits of Grassfed Meat
Grassfed meat is low in both overall fat and lower in artery-clogging saturated fat, and it provides a considerably higher amount of healthy Omega-3 fats than grain-fed meat. The benefit to a diet high in Omega-3 is a lower risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit and Alzheimer's disease.
For example, a 12-ounce steak from a grassfed animal would not only have 1/3 as much fat as a grain fed animal, it would have 200 fewer calories, and six times more Omega-3. And there's more. Meat from pastured cattle has up to four times the amount of vitamin E than meat from feedlots, and is much as five times higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a nutrient associated with lowering cancer risk.
Why Devons for Grass Fed Beef?
Devons have the right genetics for being a star performer on grass. If you read the “About Devons” section of this website, you’ll learn that Devon cattle were the first cattle brought to this country, chosen for the very reasons they make excellent cattle today – they have the genetics for fine flavored, tender grassfed beef as well as for producing high quantities of butterfat-rich milk to feed their calves. A calf that gets a good nutritional start from its mother will end up being a strong, healthy grassfed animal, thus providing you with excellent quality, healthy meat. Devon cattle are often crossed with other hearty breeds to produce offspring for use as beef, that will excel on grass alone.
Grassfed Beef Saves Small Farms
By purchasing our grassfed beef, you keep our small farm and other small farms in business and preserve farmland. We promote the return to grass farming and are working with other farmers to develop the market for healthy meat, by reaching out to consumers who care about the quality and safety of their food. We are always looking for other farmers and landowners who have high-quality pastures and are committed to raising cattle with our exact standards of grass only diet, no hormones or antibiotics, and humane handling. By moving animals from one fresh paddock to another, grass is continually being grazed when the vitamins, minerals, and proteins are at their best. Consequently, cattle get the best possible nutrition, manure is spread evenly across the land, and the farmland actually improves with use.