We are quite often derogatory when it comes to talking about the British weather, but its combination of rain, sunshine, and warm air is a perfect recipe for growing grass. And there really is more to this stuff than meet the eye!
Grassland, particularly older pastures as found here at Rectory Farm, are a complex mix of perennial grass varieties which provide the perfect diet for ruminant animals such as the Ruby Red Devon. The combination of a traditional British breed such as these, and the swaths of green grass in our meadows, helps create and maintain a virtuous cycle which benefits the land, environment, livestock and people. Sustainable, healthy, great tasting beef.
Grass Fed vs Grain Fed Beef
The image many people have of cattle farming is cows roaming around green fields, however this isn’t always the case, in fact a great number of cows are fed a diet based on grains such as rolled barley rather than grass. By feeding cattle a grain based diet it means they grow quicker and therefore reach a finished weight at a younger age, typically 14 – 18 months, allowing farms to produce a greater volume of beef in a shorter time. However cattle such as our Ruby Red Devons, which are grass fed, take a lot longer to reach a finished weight, typically 26 – 30 months of age.
Our Ruby Red Devons have the perfect metabolism for converting grass into premium quality beef and this extra time spent roaming pasture is not only good for the animals wellbeing but also helps naturally develop muscle, producing superbly marbled beef with exceptional flavour. As with most things in life, the best things take time!
Health Benefits of Grass Fed Beef
The big difference between grass fed and grain fed beef lies in the nutrient composition of the beef, so when buying beef it is not only important to consider what it is you’re eating but also what it is the animal has eaten.
All beef is incredibly nutritious and contains some of almost all the nutrients we need to survive, however grass fed beef goes that step further.
Higher in Omega 3
The amount of Omega 3 present is up to 5 times higher in grass fed beef compared with grain fed. The benefits of Omega 3 have been well documented with the positive effect it can have on reducing the risk of heart disease being the most prominent. Millions has been invested in Omega 3 supplements but what better way to boost your intake than by consuming it as part of your diet in the form of grass fed beef.
Higher in Conjugated Linoleic acid
Levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which helps reduce body fat and may also reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, has been shown to be twice as high in grass fed beef compared with grain fed.
Higher levels of Vitamins A and E
These act as an antioxidant protecting cells from oxidation.