Calgary's Grass Fed Beef
Grass Fed Beef Is Better!
Things at the ranch are done slowly. From our handling to the way the animals are brought up, our animals are allowed to graze on high quality grass and alfalfa rather than being hurried to a target weight through the use of hormones and an unnatural grain diet. This produces a very tender and flavourful meat high in omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), which has been associated with a decreased risk of heart attack, and provides anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic benefits.
Grass fed beef contains half to one-third the fat of conventional beef and the fat that is present is low in saturated fat. You will notice a slight yellow tinge to the fat on our beef. This is beta-carotene, the same vitamin found in carrots.
Grass fed beef has a different smell when cooking and a richer, more complex flavor than conventional, grain-fed beef. This is due to the complexity of vitamins, nutrients and minerals packed inside. The meat from animals that are fed grass have up to five times the amount of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) compared to animals fed grain. Each meal of grain cattle consume lowers their levels of omega-3 and CLA. Meat from grass fed cattle has twice as much vitamin E as feedlot cattle even when the feedlot cattle are given synthetic doses of vitamin E.
Our animals are taken to a local butcher when they are around 29 months of age. This is generally a year later than conventional cattle, and this extra time allows for the superior nutrition, tenderness, and flavour to develop. Until confined feeding operations (feedlots) became the norm in the 1970s, animals were never butchered before 24 months of age because the flavour of the beef wasn’t fully developed and the marbling wasn’t complete.
Our beef is dry-aged for 21 days at 4-degrees Celsius, which allows natural enzymes to break down the connective tissues, significantly improving the tenderness of the meat. During this time the meat sheds up to 15% of its weight through evaporation which is key to the concentration and saturation of the natural flavour of the meat.
We love our cattle at Grazed Right—it’s why we’re ranchers! Our cattle are predominantly Angus, a heritage breed from Scotland. Angus are hardy cattle that have the ability to produce well-marbled beef on a purely grass diet.
We have long term relationships with our neighbours which has allowed us to source all our cattle from ranches and people who share our management style and values. Not all, but some of our neighbours give grain to their calves during the winter. They only give calves 10% of their diet in grain and only in their first winter (feedlot rations are over 70% grain). Our cattle are in their third winter (age 29 months) when they are butchered so they have been off grain for nearly two years. Once they arrive on our ranch they eat only 100% grass, legumes and other healthy forages. We don't purchase cattle from feedlots.
We don't believe in a 0% antibiotic policy. As animal caretakers, it's our responsibility, above profitability, to care for our animals. That being said, hardly any of our cattle have ever received antibiotics—they don't need to because they are outside on clean pasture, eating grass, just as nature intended! If an animal does receive antibiotics, it's often when they’re still a calf, which is still a year or two before they are butchered, and is most often for something simple, such as an infected cut on a hoof. Any animal that requires multiple doses of antibiotics is removed from our beef program. We never feed antibiotics to our cattle.
“My favourite part of the job is checking the cows out in the fields on my horse at the end of the day. As the sun sets, the wind usually dies down and it feels like the whole world stops. Often the cattle are curious and come up to you. When they’re really playful, they will buck and run away and then run right back. It’s rewarding to see the animals so happy and healthy and to be interacting with and taking part in our natural world” - Ben
We are proud of our beef and welcome anyone that wants to come out to the ranch and see how the animals are raised and the change they are contributing to as customers, just send us an email!
Checking cows at the end of the day
Taking a chance to nibble on some alfalfa
The happiest herd this side of the Rockies!