Why is it important to buy meat from a farm such as ours?
You can be sure you are buying from a farmer who cares about their animals welfare.
British agriculture has a very high standard of welfare generally, compared with many parts of the world. Everyone knows that some meat in our shops and supermarkets are imported. When buying this meat you need to realise that you may be buying from a farm where the animals are kept indoors all the time with minimal chance to move. They are kept in very poor conditions and are fed on a diet that is purely focussed on getting that animal to a certain weight so it can be slaughtered in the quickest time possible. The animals are treated poorly and they can start to display unnatural character traits due to the stress, for example, showing aggression to each other. The meat that is produced from animals kept under these conditions is often very low in quality. This is why we need to support British agriculture.
We, on our farm, are going a step further.
Our pasture fed, heritage breed beef.
Let's look at beef for now. Grass fed beef is leaner than the grain fed alternative and yet has higher levels of good fats such as Omega 3.
A study by the 'British Journal of Nutrition' revealed that people who eat moderate amounts of grass fed beef receive a healthier level of essential fats compared to people eating the grain fed beef. And the benefits go beyond good fats; several studies show that fully grass fed animals contain considerably more vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene and vitamin E.
But how exactly is it healthier?
Plants naturally produce their own powerful antioxidants to protect themselves from UV rays, disease and premature ageing. When this pasture is digested by the cows, the nutrients accumulate in their fat, and are transferred to us humans when we eat their beef.
When we talk about grass fed, a more accurate description is actually 'pasture fed' as they are not only eating grass but the clover and herbs within it. Our clover-rich pastures do not need to be maintained with a huge amount of fertilisers or pesticides. This process compares favourably to industrial livestock fed a diet of soy and corn (aka grain) whose production has led to farming monocultures and deforestation.
Encouraging cattle to graze on pasture also increases the fertility of the soil. This is incredibly important for lowering carbon emissions. A British experiment comparing the sustainability of food from grassland and from cultivated crops over a 30 year period showed that soils under pasture retained higher levels of carbon in the ground and more organic matter compared to intensively cropped soil.
COMING SOON: A blog about our outdoor reared Berkshire Pigs and Hampshire Down Sheep.