Recently, we sat down with Renee West from Grady Ranch, a local fourth generation family farm located near Whigham, Georgia, to find out the skinny on their grass-fed beef.
Here's what she had to say...
Live Naturally: How is your beef different than what one would find at a grocery or discount store?
Renee: Our beef is raised with no hormones or antibiotics - ever. The cows are born on our farm and are with us until they're taken to the butcher. They're never confined and are completely grass-fed.
Live Naturally: Are there any health benefits to choosing beef from Grady Ranch over other beef products?
Renee: Absolutely! Grass-fed beef has only half the saturated fat and is, overall, 4 - 6% lower fat. It's higher in Omega 3 and 6. Also, grass-fed beef is higher in Vitamins E, C, B, and calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. You can check out American Grassfed's website for more information on all of the amazing health benefits.
Live Naturally: One question of concern for many us is, are your cows treated humanely?
Renee: They definitely are. In fact, as I mentioned before, our cows are on our farm from birth until we take them to an Animal Welfare Approved butcher. During their time with us they are never confined and are able to freely roam and forage.
Live Naturally: Do you have any tips for cooking grass-fed beef?
Renee: Cooking grass-fed beef is a little different than cooking conventionally raised beef. We've had great success implementing the tips offered on American Grassfed Association's website.
Live Naturally: Ok, so now that we know grass-fed is the best choice, couldn't we just look for "grass-fed" or "pasture-fed" on the beef labels at the grocery store? Why is it so important to purchase our beef from an American Grassfed farm such as Grady Ranch?
Renee: Surprisingly, those labels don't always mean what you think they mean. According to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, "the label 'grassfed' is ill-defined and open to abuse. Most consumers assume that a grassfed claim means the meat is derived from cattle that have continuous access to pasture and consume grass and other forage exclusively throughout their lives. This is not always the case." I would highly suggest that consumers who are interested in purchasing quality beef take the time to familiarize themselves with the information in this eye-opening study.