The Weston A. Price Way

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Sustainability Factor of Grass-Fed Beef

Grass-fed at Windhaven Farm in Virginia
Continuing our discussion of Grass-Fed meats, here are some Sustainability Facts.
(As stated in previous posts, info for this article is supplied by Gourmet Grassfed.)

Grass-Fed Beef Sustainability Statistics

• Ruminants are designed to eat grass, not grain. When we honor that design, we have a happy, healthy animal
that provides us with truly nutritional products.
• No need for Hormones, Antibiotics or Steroids to keep the animals healthy and growing.

“Grass Farmers”
Grass farmers steward the land with their ecologically sounds practices. They mimic nature and the natural conditions that allowed the bison to graze the Great Plains and keep the sod fertile for thousands of years.

Feed the animals with the sun. Sun grows the grass, animals eat the grass. Just that simple.

Carbon Sequestration
Land in pasture is not tilled which allows for long term and highly sustainable carbon sequestration.

Bio-diverse Pastures
Affords great variety in soil ecology and wildlife diversity. Grass Farmers have a great mix of natural predators and prey which greatly reduces the need for predator control. The critters thrive in the pastures and the predators focus on them instead of livestock. Also, the grasses can number in the hundreds of different varieties which reduces the risk of loss associated with mono-cropping.

Erosion Control
Animals are not allowed to drink directly from waterways which keeps the streams pristine.

Drastically Reduced Water Contaminations
When animals are allowed to spread manure naturally as opposed to giant holding tanks (which are often
too highly concentrated to be a value as fertilizer), it greatly affects the positive growth of the pastures with highly soluble Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Calcium.

Minimal Carbon Footprint
Very little use of gasoline-dependent machinery and virtually no use of heavily oil-dependent synthetic

• Sourcing from local farmers allows them to get the most fair price for their exceptionally produced products
and allows the buyer to get access to sustainably and nutrient-dense products.

• Local products possess what the French called “terroir” or “taste of place”: the delicate and unique fingerprint of flavors and nutrients that are intrinsic to a specific combination of location, management and environment.

Gourmet Grassfed produces beef jerky with the following characteristics and values. They were kind enough to send me gobs of material, which I have passed on to the reader. I have chosen to share the news about their jerky with you, not because they are paying me, but because they are producing a product that leaves them, and their customers, with a clean food conscience. Bon apetite!

Sustainably-Produced Jerky Statistics
• Minimally processed with no fillers or additives such as MSG, liquid smoke, trans-fats, artificial nitrates or
added sugars.
• Flavored with an old-world “slow and low” smoking method that produces a rich and authentic smoke flavor.
• Naturally cured without the use of synthetic nitrates but rather celery powder and bacterial cultures to greatly increase the shelf life of the product. This process allows the product to not need refrigeration and greatly expands the ability to consume the product in very diverse circumstances.
• Vacuum and cryo-sealed, negating environmental exposure and promoting ease of use.
• Sourced from local farmers who treat their animals humanely and in accordance with the highest ethic.
• From truly pastured animals, on grass, eating grass whenever possible, and eating hay and haylage during the few cold months. These animals never see confinement, so no need for growth hormones or antibiotics.
• Utilizing Organic and Fair-Trade Spices which let farmers dictate truly fair market price.
• Local, sustainable and organically-produced ingredients.

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