What a Beef Lover Should Know
For those of you who love beef, what better way to love and appreciate it more, than to understand some of the finer terms and in knowing what to look for.
How tender is your beef?
A tender cut of beef is one trait that is almost exclusively desired by meat lovers throughout the world. When determining the tenderness of meat, there are two key factors to consider:
The finish of the beef (i.e. the amount and location of internal and external fat) is often misunderstood. Many consumers believe that that beef that has greater fat content will be tenderer when consumed. However, the type of fat is the determining factor between tender beef, or a tough, dry cut.
Many grain fed animals live a stress-filled life, including specific stress caused by the food it eats, the climate it is raised in, the living environment and any diseases it may have endured through its lifetime. All of these factors cause muscle fibres to tense, and result in a lack of tenderness.
100% Grass fed animals develop intramuscular fat - a specific type of fat that ensure a tender cut of beef every time. They are raised in a natural environment that is free from the stresses of their counterparts and are harvest (slaughtered ) at the perfect age when sufficient intramuscular fat has been produced - the natural way.
Recognizing a lean cut of beef.
When shopping for the right cut of beef, many consumers look for the small bands of fat (called marbling) in a cut to gauge the finish of the meat. Grain fed beef tends to have a high quantity of this, and the animal is harvest (slaughtered ) when this marbling effect is at its highest.
However, many experts agree that it is not the marbling that determined a good cut of beef, but rather the intramuscular fat that is contained in the beef and is only visible through a microscope. As such, discriminate consumers look less on marbling to determine the finish of a cut, and more on the lean tender cuts of 100% grass fed beef.
To illustrate this concept further, one must consider the tenderness of natural game harvested in the fall after a stress free spring and summer - where it has plenty of intramuscular fat but the cut is lean and tender. Contrast this with the fatty factory farm-grown and 100% grass fed products. Of course, there is no comparison.
For local, provincially licensed butcher, 100% grass fed animals yield higher contents of beef than grain fed animals of the weight and type because the tougher, muscular fibres weigh more that the intramuscular fat. For the consumer, each 100% grass fed animal produces healthier, more flavourful portions for their family.
Liver, Kidney and Heart
Many customers continue to enjoy quality organ meat such as liver, kidneys and the heart. Although this is not appealing to some, many of these cuts are the very first to sell out.
In most cases, organs from grain fed beef producers are not generally suitable for human consumption and are sold to pet food producers. 100% Grass fed, pasture-raised beef do not encounter problems and are always available to eat because our beef to be free from toxins, chemicals, and growth antibiotics.
Organ meat is full of vitamins and is nutrient-rich because it comes from animals that have lived healthy, stressed free lives.