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Grassfed Beef Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

January 02, 2008 | 2,169 views

You can go directly to the ordering page to browse our selections or to place your order for Real Grass Fed Beef.

Q: Are antibiotics or growth hormones used in the grass-fed beef cattle?

A: Antibiotic use in our cattle is limited to clinically sick animals only. We never use sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotic in our feed. We never sell an animal that has been treated twice.

All animals that receive antibiotics are given a shot if they are clinically ill. That means they are obviously sick and are running a temperature; cattle are susceptible to pneumonia and occasionally need to be treated just like people.

We take very good care of our animals and will not let them suffer, so we treat them. This typically happens when the calf is about 400-500 lb., if it happens at all. The cattle are then grown on grass until they weigh about 1000 lb. At the rate of 2 pounds of weight gain per day, the cattle are on our ranch for 7-8 months. Therefore your beef has not been exposed to antibiotics for periods far in excess of any withdrawal period.

On top of this we really don't treat many to begin with due to our management practices. Our goal is to avoid this altogether in the near future. Our protocol states that we can treat sick calves with antibiotics, however if we do they must have at least two times the recommended withdrawal period as stated on the label of the product.

Any animal that is treated twice must be taken out of the program. We never feed antibiotics to our cattle, we never use growth hormones or other growth stimulants.

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Q: Where do the grass-fed cattle come from?

A: The cattle are born and raised to about 500 lb. in various parts of the country. Most are born and raised here in Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois. The cattle we are selling currently came from James and Buster Geisendorpher in Monticello, Missouri.

We know how James and Buster raise their cattle and we trust them. We then purchased the calves and grass-fed them on our own ranch. This way we know the whole history of the animal.

The cattle are slaughtered by PM Beef in Windholm, Minnesota. PM is not a "typical" slaughter facility. We chose them after an exhaustive search for the "best we could find". We toured the plant and found it to be exceptional.

PM Beef is big enough to have all the advanced equipment and technique but small enough to pay attention to detail. Most of their business is for case ready retail meat. They typically buy cattle and process them directly for placement in your retail grocery case.

This requires exceptional attention to detail and that is why we chose them. We also found them to be very good people from top to bottom. Good, highly skilled people make all the difference.

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Q: Does the E. Coli risk decrease with grass-fed beef?

A: Yes. Grass-finished beef has a minimal risk compared to grain-fed beef due to the difference in epigastric pH in the two diets. Grain diets create a much higher level of acidity in the stomach, which the E.coli bacteria need to survive. Grass-finished animals live in clean grass pastures where higher levels of sanitation greatly reduce the risk as well.

Always cook ground beef until no pink remains. Our beef is the best, but never take a chance with your family's health by serving undercooked meat.

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Q: What are the marinated products marinated in?

A: The marinated products are marinated in burgundy and pepper.

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Q: How is my meat packaged?

A: After appropriate aging, meat is vacuum packed in state of the art cryovac packaging. This airless environment ensures high quality and long life in your freezer. Meat will arrive at your door in its protective wrapping, boxed, and insulated in our styrofoam shipping containers.

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Q: What is wet aging?

A: Aging is critical to ensure you receive a tender product. Wet aging is done in a vacuum package to improve meat safety and eliminate the product's exposure to additional pathogens that can occur during a dry aging process.

The meat is cut into wholesale cuts and aged for an average of 21 days before portion cutting. Wet aging also enables the meat to age without losing valuable moisture incurred during the dry aging process .

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Q: What cooking preparations are necessary?

A: It is best to thaw meat using the refrigerator. Using this method, a one pound package will thaw in approximately 20-24 hours. Microwave ovens are less friendly than the refrigerator; however, if used, select the lowest power setting to avoid cooking the outside while the inside thaws. Check the meat frequently to monitor microwave thawing.

Cook ground beef until no pink remains, or until the meat temperature registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Slow-cooking methods that retain moisture work great on lean, red meat. Braising is recommended for roasts and low heat is ideal for steaks.

Steaks should be prepared to a minimum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (rare) to a maximum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (medium) to harvest the best tenderness and flavor.

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Q: How much freezer space will I need?

A: One cubic foot of freezer space will hold approximately 30 lbs. to 32 lbs. of beef.

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Q: What is CLA?

A: Please refer to the health benefits section of our web site for a detailed discussion of this important nutrient.

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Q: How do you raise your cattle?

A: Our family of producers use our Grassfed Organics production protocol to ensure that the quality of the product you receive is consistent time after time. Here is what you can count on.

Our cattle's health and your health are protected in the following ways:

Our beef is not irradiated.

We use no hormonal growth implants. This is a practice often used in beef production to speed up growth and weight gain. Faster gain equals shorter time from birth to finishing. This means more money for the producer. We won't do this! We will not sacrifice your health for money.

We use no feed grade antibiotics.

Low-level antibiotics are routinely administered to help manage highly concentrated, grain diets in commercial feedlots. Grass diets eliminate this concern and risk.

We use no unnecessary injection antibiotics.

Just like humans, animals sometimes become ill and need antibiotics. Should this occur, our producers record and track the injection. The animal must then meet our protocol for "double the industry standard" withdrawal time from the medication, prior to processing.

We feed no animal byproducts.

Animal byproducts are used by some feedlots as cost saving feed ingredients. These are taboo in our grass-finished system. The only meat safe to consume in England during the "mad cow" crisis was grass-finished, English beef!

We feed no feed grains.

It is pretty simple; we don't fatten our cattle up with grain to make them weigh heavier faster. Grassfed Organics cattle eat grass and legumes, their natural diet. The only potential exception to this is noted below.

We monitor and manage plant proteins to ensure that cattle have access to optimum levels for performance.

We do monitor the protein level in the pastures where our cattle are grazing. For their good health and for premium meat quality, protein levels should be at or above 11% on a dry matter intake basis.

Should levels drop below 11% (which may occur in late summer), Grassfed Organics producers are allowed to add a low starch plant protein supplement to the diet while on pasture.

Our cattle are raised and finished grazing the very best lush, green pasture forage in the Midwest. Our pastures are managed using rotational schedules that ensure cattle are consistently eating fresh, green forage daily.

Our Cattle Eat Right So You Can Too!

If you are ready to order please go to our order page.

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Q: How do you ship the beef?

A: Orders received Wednesday afternoon through 12:00 noon Monday will be shipped on Monday afternoon. Orders received before 12:00 P.M. on Tuesday and Wednesday will go out the same day.

Federal Express will be the principal carrier. Our standard shipping protocol is to ship priority overnight, which allows most orders to arrive by 10:30 A.M. in most U.S. cities.

After appropriate aging, meat is vacuum packed in state of the art cryovac packaging. This airless environment ensures high quality and long life in your freezer. Meat will arrive at your door in its protective wrapping, boxed, and insulated in our styrofoam shipping containers.

At this time we are shipping to the Continental U.S. as well as Hawaii and Alaska only. We cannot ship orderd to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada or any other locations overseas.

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Q: How do I calculate shipping charges?

A: To calculate shipping charges, you must begin the ordering process for the beef. This does not commit you to the order. You can always go back and make any necessary changes to your order. If you are ready to order please go to our order page.

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Q: How can I pay for my order?

A: You can pay for your order by using your credit card with our highly secure 128-bit encrypted transaction process.

We do not currently offer payment by check at this time. However in the future, we may offer this service.

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Q: Which credit cards do you accept?

A: We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

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Q: Is your beef classified as kosher?

A: Currently, our beef is not certified as kosher. However, we will be switching to the kosher process in the near future.

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Q: Can I get custom packages of meat?

A: At this time we are only offering the packages that are listed on our ordering page. In the future, we may offer custom packages.

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Q: Do you have nutritional requirements on the label of the beef?

A: Currently, we do not have not have specific nutritional requirements on the label of our beef. However it is USDA examined and approved.

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Q: Could I get a better deal on shipping?

A: Well, you could drive to southern Illinois and pick up the beef which would save you on shipping costs. Most people just don't have the time and with gas at $2 per gallon it would be quite expensive to drive that far for most people.

The beef is highly perishable and we have to ship using Federal Express' Overnight service, so we can be certain your beef products will arrive frozen and completely safe to eat.

If you would like to check FedEx's shipping costs for yourself, you can click here, or call 1-800-Go-FedEx.

To calculate shipping costs on FedEx's web page, simply enter in your zip code, then the zipcode for Quincy, IL which is 62301.

Enter in the approximate weight of the item(s) you wish to order, which you can find by clicking on the images on ordering page.

You will likely find the rate is over 70% more than what we charge on our site, because of our specially negotiated rates.

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Q: Where can I get recipes for grass-fed beef?

A: Although any traditional beef recipe will work with grass-fed beef, you can try these great recipes right here.

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You can go directly to the ordering page to browse our selections or to place your order for Real Grass Fed Beef.

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