Is Pastured Meat Safer? Of Course it is … for You, Your Family, and the Environment
We wanted to let you in on a few things that we do and don’t do here at Rafter W Ranch for us and the animals to ensure we provide you with safe, nutritious and tasty meat.
Not only is pastured meat helpful to the environment, it’s a safer option for your family. It might not seem that much different on the surface, but there are a lot of things we do (and don’t do) at Rafter W Ranch that make the meat in our shop safer than your standard supermarket fare.
The Do’s and Don’ts
First, some things we don’t do. We don’t use hormone implants to make our cattle grow faster. Such hormones are implicated in the declining age of puberty in our population. There is precious little research on this, but no one can deny that children today are maturing sooner than at any time in history.
Our beef will never add to this risk; we let our livestock grow at the natural rate, in the natural way.
We also do NOT feed “animal byproducts.” This is a nice way of saying “slaughterhouse waste.” The USDA approved the idea that as long as livestock were eating the right percent of protein, fat, and fiber, that it didn’t really matter where it came from.
This approval led to cattle being fed the rendered remains of other cattle. You see — cattle are herbivores. They are designed with a four-chambered stomach to break down plant matter, and are not carnivores or even omnivores.
This feed practice is probably what gave us Mad Cow Disease.
Thankfully, the USDA changed its recommendations after that and it is no longer done.
However, feeding cattle remains to chickens is still done (at least they’re not herbivores), and their manure is an approved cattle feed. This obviously remains a concern to many! We do not and will not use such “approved” feeds in our livestock or chickens, ever.
Our herbivores eat plants. Period.
We don’t even lean on corn or grain to fatten them up.
And yes, this makes our meat safer for your family too!
That four-chambered stomach? It’s full of special bacteria that do the work of digestion of all the fiber-rich material they eat. Adding grains to this changes the pH of that stomach, and their entire digestive system. And the consequence of that is E. coli migrating all throughout their system (E. coli is fine and healthy when kept at the ‘tail end’ of the digestive track).
During processing, the tiniest nick of a digestive organ has the potential to contaminate anything near it with some really dangerous bacteria. But a grass-fed, grass-finished animal keeps a proper pH level, which keeps E. coli where it belongs, and reduces the risk of contamination. Safer all around.
Lastly, and partly because we don’t feed grain, our animals aren’t fed antibiotics. The majority of antibiotic use is in livestock – our food supply – and the potential for this to create new strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria must certainly be staggering. We at Rafter W Ranch don’t add to this looming crisis and don’t put antibiotics on your dinner table.
We’re committed to working with nature, instead of against it, and our methods create a safer product. We believe this makes a difference in the health of both our animals and our customers.
We truly want to supply your family with the best food possible!