Our beef comes from Black Angus cattle, which were developed in Northern Scotland, dating back to the 18th century. They made their way to the United States in 1873, and have had a lasting impact on the beef industry. Angus are naturally polled, or hornless. They are solid black in color, though they may have a small bit of white behind the navel or on the udder. They are a very maternal breed, and though calves are small at birth, they grow rapidly. The Angus' dark skin offers advantages in that they avoid "cancer eye" and sunburn in comparison to lighter skinned cattle. Angus are well-known for producing high-quality beef. Their beef has a marbling quality, which makes the meat more tender and palatable.
Why "Grass Fed"?
We believe the healthiest animals thrive in fresh air, sunshine and lush-green pastures, additionally producing a higher-quality and better tasting meat. Our cattle is on pasture their entire lives, which consequently boosts their health and the quality of the meat they produce.
There are several reasons to consider purchasing and consuming grass fed beef, especially when one compares it to conventionally raised beef. In most cases, beef cattle are fed grain because it makes them grow fast, and does so economically.
When cattle and other livestock (goats; sheep; deer) are fed grain on a regular basis, they can develop a disease called acidosis. Acidosis occurs because of the bacteria in the rumen that help the animal digest their food have to work to ferment the carbohydrates in the grain. These bacteria are slightly different than the ones that work to digest cellulose based plant products. When these gut bacteria work too rapidly, they acidify the rumen, dropping the pH, and increasing their numbers. This drop in pH can cause a host of issues, including a decrease in the number of viable rumen bugs, liver abscesses, and a sloughing of the rumen lining. Many scientists believe that most feedlot cattle would be dead by the age of two if they were not slaughtered first, due to acidosis caused by the high volume of grain they are fed. Cattle were made to eat grasses, and we believe they live better lives when they do so.
Cattle are much healthier when living and feeding on pasture. Steers on pasture have better feet and legs and less lameness than cattle that live on cement. They tend to live longer, and there is less calf-hood mortality. The animals are generally cleaner, because they are not laying in areas where manure becomes concentrated in confinement building or feedlots.
Consumers who make grass fed beef a part of their diet benefit from the animals’ diet, as well. Grass fed beef is lower in total fat than conventional beef, and is higher in “healthy” fats”. “Healthy” fats include Omega 3s, which are thought to help improve and maintain brain function. They also support heart function and help the human body absorb nutrients. Grass fed beef contains more vitamin B12; vitamin E; and vitamin A than conventional fed beef.
Grass based production is also much better for our environment than conventional. Pastures act as a carbon sink, meaning that they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and concentrate it in plant tissues. This is especially important in an era where we are very concerned about greenhouse gases. Grass prevents erosion, with its strong root systems, holds the soil in place. The plants absorb and hold the rain water, unlike cement-like surfaces, which encourage rain water run-off. Since the animals fertilize the pastures with their manure, 75% of the plant nutrients remain in place, keeping the soil healthy and keeping us from having to use artificial fertilizers.
Our beef is dry aged for 2 weeks, a process makes the beef more tender, as well as concentrating flavors and producing meat that is exceptional in both taste and texture.
Our beef is nitrate and nitrite free, and no growth hormones or antibiotics are ever used.
"Grass Fed" FAQ
Why is the fat on grass fed beef yellowish in color vs. pure white in conventional beef?
Grass fed beef has yellowish fat due to the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) contained in the grass and plants consumed by the cattle, as their daily diet.
Why is grass fed beef a bit more expensive than conventional beef?
Just like anything else, when you buy food, you get what you pay for. Grass fed production requires land area and a longer period of time, much longer than conventional practices, to result in the quality product you will get with grass fed beef.
Does grass fed beef taste differently than conventional beef?
Yes it does. However, most people agree that the taste of grass fed meat is superb and much more flavorful than conventional beef. Many describe it as a more “full-bodied” flavor.
Is the slaughtering process humane?
Yes it is. Many slaughterhouses, including the facility we use (Lehigh Valley Meats), must follow the “Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act”
A variety of beef cuts are found in our farm store, located on the farm. A complete product and price list can be downloaded below.