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What is 100% grass fed beef?


A grass only Diet


Cattle originally descended from the first domestications of the Wild Ox, over 10,000 years ago. The Ox still exist today in the wild in various places and are therefore evidently living on their natural diets without humans inputted feeds.


So, it's no surprise that our domesticated descendent cattle can still thrive on a diet comprised of only grass and the various plants that grow on our fields. Which is what produces what we call 100% grass fed beef.


100% grass fed beef cattle

Cattle are known as ruminant animals which have four stomachs, meaning that grass is something that is digestible to them. They can draw energy efficiently from grasses, which humans cannot eat directly.


The regenerative farms we source from always make sure no additional grains and feeds are given to the animal, so their diet is well and truly 100% grass fed.


Grass fed or pasture fed?


You may have heard of the term pasture fed too, which is typically a phrase that better encompasses all of the variety of plants that cattle eat. A cow's diet isn't just limited to grasses, but vegetation such as clover, plantain, dandelions and all sorts of plants that are on the field.


In fact, the more variety in the pasture the better, as it means the cattle grow healthier, and as a farmer you will see less bloat, and more often than not, less issues in general with the health of the animals.


But for simplicities sake, we title our produce 100% grass fed, and again, as all of the farms that supply us practice regenerative agriculture, having a diverse mix of plants in the fields is just one of many advantages that comes with farming this way. The extra farming effort is reflected in the superior taste too.


Not only are the animals healthier when on this diet, it also means pure grass fed beef is a lot healthier in itself. The nutrients that the cattle consumed become packed into the fat that humans can eat, and will benefit from the nutrients themselves. You will notice this on products such as our 100% grass fed sirloin steaks where the fat is more yellow in colour, a sure sign that the growing cattle had, at a minimum, plenty of grass to eat.

shorthorn cattle grazing long grass

How to be 100% Grass fed during the winter and when indoors


Through preservation of grass in the form of hay and silage we can continue the grass fed diet. If cattle ever need to come in during very bad weather, or over periods where there could be risks of damaging the farm land, it often is a good plan to bring them indoors for a while. You can often see the cattle are grateful for shelter during bad weather to have a straw filled pen as opposed to a sludgy mud pit outdoors. This is the time we can use hay, which is grass dried to about 10% water content, or silage, which is hay that has been fermented with good bacteria which keeps all of the grasses precious nutrients intact.


Maintaining the best animal welfare


Naturally, the 100% grass fed diet means that cattle, by probability, will have been raised with better animal welfare as they will be outside with room to graze and roam. However, we always like to be sure welfare is the very best and is something we specifically check at all the farms we source from to ensure everything is perfect and stress free throughout their entire lives.


Farmed in a regenerative system.


On top of the diet, farming regeneratively means that the soil and general environment is much improved. Our suppliers often have multiple species rotated through the fields or sometimes mixed together such as sheep. This varies the manure that fertilises the pastures, and even smaller details such as different grazing habits give varying species chances to compete. This increase in diversity means that the grass the cattle eat is at it's very best and gives all of the nutrients a cow will need to live healthier. Cattle grazing fully on a very limited genetic diversity of grasses could often lead them deficient of minerals to some respect.


long summer grasses with cow

Why we source from local family farms.


One final subject, not to be overlooked is that we specifically look for smaller family farms. Why? Because smaller family farms often build up a better relationship with the animals, which allows them to see into the small details where welfare and the environment are concerned. Smaller farms mean that the farmer to livestock number ratio is much reduced, changes that indicate ill health are noticed faster and attended to quickly when you have less to look over.


It is very important that these farmers are paid more than fairly to keep producing the highest welfare and environmentally beneficial produce. To underpay creates the farmers need for scale and efficiency which are two aspects that will destroy any future for a true regenerative and high welfare farm. Underpaying was likely one os several main causes that started the need of intensive factory farming.

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