With the growing popularity of grass-fed
beef, more farmers are marketing
their beef as grass-fed. But all grass-fed
beef is not the same.
Beef wandering freely in a 100 acre pasture
are grass-fed. But for the best taste and
nutrition, cows should rotate through small
2-3 acre pastures every several days, as the
cows at Weatherbury Farm do.
Weatherbury cows eat organic grass, unlike
many cows which graze on pastures that have
been sprayed with herbicides and
Weatherbury cows are grass-fed and
grass-finished. They never eat grain.
The USDA just finished a deal with
Bord Bia, Ireland's food board to market
Irish beef as grass fed -- the only requirement
is that the beef be 80% grass
Types of animals sold
Weatherbury cows are born and live their
entire life on the farm. Many farmers, to
avoid overwintering costs, purchase calves
(often of unknown origin) at the auction.
Surprisingly, we have even seen farms advertising
for "cull cows" (cows that a farmer is
getting rid of) to raise as grass-fed beef.
Most modern beef cows are bred to be grain
fed and do not do well on just grass. Our
herd of old style Hereford cows has never
seen grain and do finish very well on grass.
Weatherbury Farm beef is sold (cut, wrapped
and frozen) by the amount of beef you
receive. Many farmers sell by the hanging
weight. The finished weight is at best 60%
of the hanging weight and the price doesn't
include processing. So what looks like a
great price ends up per pound two to three
times what it appears to be.
Unlike much grass fed beef available at your
local supermarket, Weatherbury Farm beef is
not injected with 10% saline solution.
Additionally, unlike supermarket beef, there
is no grain filler.
of the meat sold as grass fed comes from
outside the United States. Weatherbury's is,
of course, local and when you pick up your
beef you can see Weatherbury Farm and where
the beef was raised.
Interestingly enough, when Marcy and Nigel
visited Ireland in 2015, their tour guide
was very enthusiastic that the USDA was
working with Bord Bia (read providing funds)
to develop the Irish grass fed beef market.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, Burger King's
placemats read "100% Irish Beef" -- perhaps,
soon placemats at Burger King in the U.S.
will read "100% Irish beef"!
No Hormones or Antibiotics
Weatherbury's cows are not given growth
hormones or antibiotics. In
comparison, the USDA's deal with Bord Bia
allows the "responsible use of antibiotics."
Finally, Weatherbury Farm beef is
butchered locally by a small family-owned
butcher shop that does just one animal at a
time. Thus you can be assured that the meat
you receive is Weatherbury Farm
grass-fed beef. Frequently, we hear a
"horror story" from yet another farmer who
used a large butcher and the meat he
received from the butcher was not from the cow he sent in.