Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday Morning Blog
Blue Ridge Beef Has a Steak In Your Future
Just look around Virginia and you'll see lazy, grass grazing herds of healthy, contented cattle.
Grass fed beef is the term used to distinguish pasture raised cattle from the conventional, grain fed, feedlot kind. Its loyal customer base says grass fed beef has more flavor, is leaner and healthier than conventional beef.
Blue Ridge Beef of Upperville has been producing grass fed beef for twenty years under the watchful eyes of owners Michael Barreda and Leslie Grayson. The husband and wife team manage their herd with lots of TLC using ecologically sustainable practices.
"Customers tell us they've never tasted such flavorful beef," Barreda said.
Blue Ridge Beef follows USDA guidelines for "natural" beef which means it's minimally processed with no additives. Their beef is raised without hormones or antibiotics. No herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used on their fields and organic alternatives are used to control internal parasites. Blue Ridge Beef is never irradiated. "Healthy cattle and clean environments don't need it," Barreda said.
To explain the difference in taste between conventional grain feed beef and grass fed beef, Barreda compared each to wine.
"The beef from grain fed, feedlot cattle is like a creamy Chardonnay. The massive amounts of fat (called marbling) within the beef yield a steak that's fork tender. It's got a soft and creamy flavor. At the other end of the spectrum is grass fed beef. It's naturally leaner because the fat is around the meat rather than in it. The flavor of grass fed beef is richer and more complex - like a merlot."
"Grass fed beef is higher in beta carotene (an antioxidant) and up to four times higher in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Grass fed beef is also generally lower in fat and LDL (bad) cholesterol."
"At Blue Ridge, we combine the right kind of cattle and abundant, rich pastures to produce flavorful grass fed beef without sacrificing tenderness. Clearly, if you care about your health and the quality of the food you eat, locally raised Blue Ridge Beef is one of the best deals around."
To find out how you can get grass fed beef contact:
Blue Ridge Beef
Michael Barreda and Leslie Grayson
1716 Blue Ridge Farm Road
Upperville, VA 20184