Are the cows raised on all grass, up to and including harvest?
Yes, the cows free range on grass all spring, summer and fall, then eat hay (dry grass) in the winter. Calving naturally in the spring, the calf is then raised by its mother drinking only her milk and eating grass as it matures. The calf stays with it’s mother until the next spring when it’s mother has another calf. It is now old enough to survive without milk, will fatten over the summer, and be ready to be harvested by early Fall. Our animals eat no grains.
Was the animal ever given hormones or antibiotics?
All our animals are raised in a completely natural environment, eating grass as nature intended, thus eliminating the need to give them hormones or antibiotics. Our beef is truly natural!
Is the meat marbled?
Yes, our beef is marbled. Flavor and most of the health benefits of grass fed beef come from the fat. Marbling occurs only in a truly finished animal, one that has been harvested at maturity and has gained over 1.7 pounds per day for the last sixty to seventy days. This level of gain requires excellent forage quality like the fertile soils of Southern Ontario offer. With most English beef breeds this will typically be after eighteen months for males, and between thirteen and fifteen months for females.
Lean meat is not necessarily better, this is often a sign the animals was not properly finished. The healthy properties of CLA-conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 are concentrated in the fat of the animal, not in the protein portion. Although there are many factors that can influence the flavour and tenderness of meat, marbling is the best indicator of flavourful, juicy meat.
Why avoid grain fed animal products?
Nature intended for cattle, bison, and sheep to eat grass. Grass fed products have more ‘good’ fats and antioxidants than grain fed, plus are less likely to be contaminated with acid resistant forms of E. coli bacteria. Research has shown that high grain diets make E. coli more virulent by making it resistant to the natural protection our stomach acids provide.
A few health benefits of Echo Valley Grass Fed Beef:
- 5 times more cancer-fighting CLA
- 4 times more Vitamin E
- 3 times more heart friendly Omega 3
- 2 times more betacarotene
- Lower in calories, total fat and saturated fat