Frequently Asked Questions

What does pasture-fed mean?

Pasture-fed means that the animal is raised on naturally growing grasses.  Pastured animals spend almost all of their time on grassy turf so they have direct access to forage and insects that make up their natural diet.  Our animals roam within predator protected fields and are “rotationally” grazed.

What is the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished?

Grass-fed means that the animal is raised on naturally growing grasses.   Grass-finished means that the animal has ONLY been nourished by the food he was born to eat and has not been fed corn or grain prior to slaughter.

What are the health benefits of pasture-fed meat?

All our meat is hormone, pesticide and antibiotic free.  Our cattle spend their entire life on quality forage roaming free in the pasture.  They never receive grain or feedlot. Our layers, pigs and turkeys receive species specific, custom ground grain plus the benefit of their own lush pastures.

If you believe the old adage “we are what we eat”, and that what we eat is what the animal eats, here is some information to consider:

Jo Robinson, a New York Times best-selling writer makes a compelling case for us to return to our ‘original diets’ – that of grass-fed rather than grain-fed meats and dairy products from ruminants (that’s a cow, sheep, goat, plus wild game such as deer).  You can read more about grass-fed products at Jo Robinson’s website, but we have summarized some of these benefits as we understand them today.

  • Grass-fed beef is lower than feedlot beef in total fat and calories.
  • Grass-fed beef contains extra amounts of vitamin E and beta-carotene.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids – You don’t want to overload on them!  Animals fattened on grain appear to have a higher count of Omega 6 fatty acids.  ?As you eat the beef from the feed lots your intake of Omega 6 acids increases.  Research now suggests that high levels of Omega-6 can make cancer cells grow faster and more invasively.  You want to get a balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3.
  • Stearic acid is good!  The most abundant fat in beef is stearic acid.  While it is a saturated fat, it does not raise your bad cholesterol.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid – This is probably the best of all the fatty acids.  It’s found in the meat and dairy products of ruminants.  They are linked with a lower risk of nearly all the so called ‘diseases of civilization’.  Since Omega-3’s originate in the green leaves of plants and algae, grass-fed and grass-finished beef are high in Omega-3.
  • CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is good, too!  CLA’s can also be found in grass-fed, grass-finished beef.  They can be an excellent weapon against cancer.  Feedlot beef is very low in CLA’s.  We have not reached the levels of CLA’s we want yet here at the farm, but they continue to improve as our soil biology improves.

We won’t try to prove to you that fresh produce from the farm is better for you.  We don’t have the scientic background to do that.  We do know that a lot of research suggests organically grown produce/meat has more nutrition value for you.  You need to decide the merits for yourself.  However, if you are looking for fresh beef, lamb or pork, homegrown and tended with care, Plaid Piper Farm is a great local source!

For more information on grass fed and finished products please visit www.eatwild.com or www.localharvest.com.

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