What’s the Beef with Grass-Fed Beef?
By Meagan Burns
It’s hard to miss the buzz that grass-fed beef is generating, whether you agree or not. Many consider it an unnecessary purchase, while a growing number of people have decided it’s the only red meat they will eat. The definition of grass-fed beef is not regulated in the US or Mexico, so the debate is alive and confusing. Ultimately, it comes down to how the cattle have lived; optimal beef is both grass-fed and grass-finished.
Cattle eat grass during their first few months before being switched to a diet of grains and pharmaceutical cocktails, but this is not a grass-fed cow, as some beef producers want you to believe. Many who have peered into factory farming want to make better choices, and thankfully, the number of grass-fed beef producers is growing; demand is on the rise.
An autoimmune diagnosis set me on a path to discover grass-fed beef. My health was suffering due to a diet high in wheat, sugar, grains, greens, and not enough protein. I found the health benefits to be profound and I quickly improved.
A number of paleo-type eating plans recommend a diet rich in grass-fed beef and organic vegetables. Whatever your opinion, surely you would agree it feels better to eat food free of chemicals and harsh additives. Grass-fed beef contains healthier fats; many times the health benefits of protein reside in the fat, more so the meat.
Grain-fed cows are transferred to feedlots for the last six months; their weight balloons from 700 pounds to a staggering 1,200 pounds; hence the marbling we‘ve come to know in a “juicy steak.” Think about that: feedlots almost double the animal’s weight in an effort to add unnatural fat to accommodate our taste buds.
What’s the ripple effect of enjoying a good steak? We cast our vote with our spending dollars. Choosing local, optimal grass-fed beef is choosing good stewardship of the land, animals, people, and environment.
Where’s the beef?
Reed Burns has owned Rancho Santo Niño in Dolores Hidalgo since 2005 and has spent the years improving the land and the bloodline of the Limousin cattle. This hardy bovine noshes on native Guanajuato grass without antibiotics or hormones. I expressed an interest in beef for the house, and his response was, “If you can find a processor, you can have some cows.” I was in Via Orgánica the next day; we struck a deal the following week. Our meat is aged for several days before processing, an uncommon Mexican practice, but it improves the softness of the meat. We’re excited to have you try our beef in Via Organica’s tienda and restaurant.
Available cuts: rib-eye, T-bone, New York, osso bucco, milanese, chamberete, arrachera, costilla, siete, sirloin, cocido, desabrada, chuleta, fajita, and of course, molida de res. Try a delicious hamburguesa, albondigas, or Chiles en Nogada, available throughout September.
More information on our grass-fed beef: facebook.com/RanchoSantoNinoGTO.
Via Orgánica is located on Calle Margarito Ledesma 2, Col. Guadalupe 415 121 0540.