The challenge with today’s beef is that it is difficult to know exactly what you are buying. Aside from what it may say on the package – such as what the ‘grade’ is or sometimes the origin, ie ‘Canadian’ or ‘US’, there really isn’t any information about what type of meat you are buying, how it was raised and finished and how it was processed before getting to the supermarket.
There are many factors involved that result in quality great tasting healthy beef. For example marbling in the meat, the breed of the animal, the region where it is raised, the age and of course the diet all factor into the flavour and texture of beef. Pasturing, husbandry protocols of the farmer, and aging technique (if any) used by the butcher also all factor into the quality and taste of beef. Travel causes great stress on livestock, which can affect not only the life of the animal but also the end product. Short travel times to slaughter are most humane so selecting animals from local farms that use local processors is yet another important factor.
These are a few of the factors that guide us to the criteria we require for the beef we select:
- Animal comes from a local farm.
- Animals are not given antibiotics or hormones.
- Animals must have a predominately grass diet.
- Animals must have access to pastures.