Unfortunately, our beef is not normal.

Looking at a “normal distribution” of HOW all beef is raised in our country, we are definitely weird!

Normal is for the masses, we like being weird!  No status quo around here.  Actually, if you look at the pattern of nature and IF you consider nature normal, then yes we are normal.  That is why we say, “unfortunately, our beef is not normal”.  We hope in the future that pasture raised beef will be the norm, until then, we choose to be weird.

Fortunately our weird is some folks normal.  We are currently seeing great demand for our beef and are happy to spread the word and connect interested customers with other weird beef producers.

Weird vs Normal beef:

Weird vs Normal Beef

The problem with normal food.

Seth Godin points out that “Normal diets made it easier for mass food manufacturers to generate a profit.”  We have seen the results of the Standard American Diet (standard = normal).  Our society has reached a point where some of the masses are realizing that their diet is directly linked to their overall health and they are seeking out healthy/weird food.

“We are all on a diet, be on a healthy one!” – Dr. Joseph Mercola

Being weird is not easy, as Godin also points out, “Do the hard work – be real.”  For real health, you are going to have to do some work!  Raising REAL BEEF, in natures image requires some hard work and commitment.  Give us a call and come see some Weird Beef.  As Dave always says:

“Be Weird!” – Dave Ramsey

(If you have comments, please leave a message on the DS Family Farm FaceBook Page.)

About a year ago national news carried the story of a Bone Broth drive through opening in New York City (move over espresso).  Yes bone broth, you have probably heard it is good for you?  Here at DS Family Farm, the most requests for additional product information is for BONES!

Warm and drink beef bone broth.

Warm and drink beef bone broth.

So here are some basics on bone broth with an emphasis toward beef bones.

There are three kinds of bones:

  1. Meaty, for flavor = oxtail, short ribs and shank/soup bones
  2. Collagen, for body, think gelatin = knuckle bones
  3. Marrow bones, for “essence” a delicacy

Flavor, actually all bones will impart some flavor and all broth recipes will call on other ingredients for more flavor (vegetables, spices, herbs).

So lets talk about collagen or the gelatin, think Jell-O, like consistency of broth.  Note here that broth from your local store will most likely be in liquid form, lacking the gelatin results of home-made bone broth.

Collagen, it is needed every where in our body and actually makes up about 30% of our body’s protein.  These proteins contain thousands of amino acids.  Collagen production in our body slows with age.  Think of sagging skin, stiff joints and increasingly prone to injuries as we age.

Marrow, think fat and brain food from this bone source.  Actually there isn’t a lot of data on marrow.  This soft white tissue (marrow) is actually one of the largest organs in our bodies and we don’t know much about it!

What about minerals in the broth?

Actually broth does not contain high levels of minerals.  When you drink bone broth, the minerals you consume will be in the correct ratio, making it easy for our body to absorb.  Broth is “real food” unlike a pill you take from a jar labeled “multi-mineral”.  Bone strength comes from the collagen and not from the minerals we consume.  Our friend Danna recently shared this interesting blog post from a person who did their own research on bone broth mineral content.


Compared to minerals, broth has higher levels of protein but is an “incomplete protein” (we cannot live on broth alone).  So always plan to compliment bone broth with other high-quality animal proteins such as eggs, milk, fish, poultry or meat.  Bone broth will lower the amount of protein needed from these other sources.  In turn, this will relieve stress from your digestive system.

The big 3 Amino Acids found in broth:

The following amino acids are not actually considered “essential”, but supplementing your diet with the amino acids found in bone broth will aid in your search for better health:

  • Proline
    • Looking for healthy pain-free joints, healthy cartilage, this amino acid does the work.
  • Glycine
    • For healthy blood, digestion and detoxification!
    • Prevents acid reflux, supports wound healing and used by our bodies to remove toxins.
    • A building block for glutathione = cancer curbing, age slowing, an antioxidant.
  • Glutamine
    • For cell regeneration such as the lining of cells in the small intestine (Gut-Healing).
    • Enhance injury recovery from wounds, stress or surgery.
    • Cuts cravings for sugar/carbs.
    • Prevents muscle wasting, stimulates muscle-building and repair.
    • Helps with depression, anxiety and mood swings.

So how much broth should you drink?  One cup per day should be fine for health maintenance and disease prevention.  If dealing with a medical condition try a cup in the AM, at Noon and again in the PM.

warm bone broth

Homemade bone broth from DS Family Farm beef bones will be a thick gelatin. To drink, warm the broth first or add some broth to your hot coffee or tea.

Looking for more information?

  1. Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  2. Why Broth Is Beautiful – WAPF
  3. Book – “Nourishing Broth” (information used in this post)

Want to try making your own broth?  All you need:

  1. WE HAVE BONES at DS Family Farm, drop us an email!
  2. Dr. Axe Beef Bone Broth Recipe (try it in your crock pot)

AHHHHH, pour me some bone broth please…

“This is peaceful.”

The phrase most spoken by a recent visitor to the cow herd here at DS Family Farm.

Who was this visitor?  A young man from Omaha on a mission.  He is in High School and has lived a vegan lifestyle for the past seven years.  He arrived by himself on a recent Saturday evening.  He did not go into details why he was abandoning the vegan lifestyle but he obviously had done some research about the benefits of Grassfed beef.  I asked him what brought him to our farm in search of Grassfed beef, below are a few points from our visitor:

  • Cattle allowed to live and consume a “natural” diet.
    • Cattle are ruminants designed for forage consumption not grains.
  • Healthy meat with a low Omega 6 to 3 fatty acid ratio.
    • Conventional beef maybe as high as 27:1, highly inflammatory.
  • Saturated fats found in animal meat are good for us.
    • Our brains main fuel is fat.

He was happy to talk about these different topics but he was more interested in seeing first-hand what our herd was up to.

cow and calf

DS Family Farm pasture grazed cow and calf “peacefully” enjoying a nice October afternoon.

We observed the herd just before sunset.  Cows were grooming their calves.  Some calves were grabbing a quick nighttime snack of milk.  Yearlings milling around taking in one more mouthful of grass before calling it a day.  Yes, I agreed with our visitor, this is peaceful.  Compared to all the options high school youth have to spend a Saturday evening in Omaha, this was more than peaceful.

So what’s up with teenagers and Grassfed beef?

Earlier this month I relayed to our Farm Update Subscribers a story that my son Jacob had with a friend at Malcolm High School about Grassfed Beef.  It caught Jacob a little off guard when a friend brought up the topic of Omega 6:3 fat ratio in grassfed beef.  You can read our October Farm Update for the full story.

Back to our recent visitor.

Our visitor was happy with what he saw in our herd behavior.  He was very interested in how the animals were handled right up to harvest.  I explained our goal was to make the trip from our pasture to the locker as low stress as possible.  He then asked about how the animals were treated at the locker.  Since we are an Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) beef herd, part of our certification requires us to use a certified AWA Locker.  He asked what was required of the locker for certification.  Since I did not exactly know the answer to that question we referred him to the AWA Slaughter Guidelines.

Back at the house we showed our visitor where we store beef for sale in health department approved freezers.  We discussed different cut options that he could start with.  In the end, we sent our new friend home with some ground beef.

A peaceful evening?  For this young man who has lived a vegan lifestyle for seven years, walking out to his car with Grassfed beef in his possession, I would call this “courageous“.

An update on our 2016 Beef Offering.  Here are a couple of photos of steers that we will be offering in September as custom processed beef.  These steers have just turned two years old and we look for them to gain well, over the rest of the summer.

Two year old DS Family Farm Steer. 100% grassfed and has spent it's entire life in our pasture in the same herd as it's mother.

Two year old DS Family Farm Steer. 100% grassfed and has spent it’s entire life in our pasture in the same herd as it’s mother.

Remember flavor is linked to:

  1. Age – typical grocery store beef is harvested around 16-18 months (bland flavor).
  2. Diet – our pastures contain diverse forages resulting in complex flavors (unlike bland corn only beef).
  3. Dry Aging – custom processed beef will be dry aged, grocery store beef is wet aged.
2016 Pasture Grazed (100% Grassfed) DS Family Farm Steer

2016 Pasture Grazed (100% Grassfed) DS Family Farm Steer. Steer is 2 years old and spent its entire life in our pasture, never in a dirt lot.

The forages consumed during the last sixty days are key to the nutritional make up of harvested beef.  These steers will be harvested directly off green growing forages, not stored forages.  The green growing forages will give the best possible fat profile as demonstrated from our 2015 beef analysis.  The fatty acid profile will be some of the best you can find.

Why don’t our steers look fatter?

We will add some excellent gains over the next two months but grassfed beef will never look “fat” like a feedlot steer:

  • Pasture grazed beef must walk for their food:
    • We don’t burn fossil fuels delivering feed to our cattle.
    • Cattle have legs, they can walk to feed and water.
    • The exercise keeps them fit.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA):
    • A diet high in green forages = high CLA.
    • CLA is the anti cancer “fat”.
    • High CLA is believed to keep cattle leaner, prevents them from getting fat.

Do you want to be fit, trim and healthy?

Eat an athlete like one of our pasture grazed cattle that have high levels of CLA.  Avoid the couch potatoe feed lot beef found in your grocery store.

Please drop us a note if your interested in trying some of our pasture grazed beef.

Why do folks go nuts for pasture chicken?

pasture poultry

Pasture poultry moved to fresh grass daily in portable shelters.

I can remember as a kid eating Grandma’s farm raised chickens.  Grandma did not raise her chickens in pasture shelters like we do, but I know what her chicken tasted like.  Her chicken feed did not contain arsenic, antibiotics, caffeine, Tylenol or Prozac (NY Times link).  I loved eating Grandma’s home fried chicken, especially the SKIN!  I know, I know, being raised in the 60’s and 70’s, I soon learned that eating the skin or fat was considered a NO – NO!

Like you, I tried to limit my animal fat intake.  I too took the lie that fat was bad.  Now that we know fat is good in our diet, we are still stuck with the problem that factory raised chicken (or any animal) is probably not a good source of animal fat based on what they are fed.  Do they still feed that “stuff” to factory raised chicken?  I don’t know, but I am sure a factory raised chicken is not getting any grass.  You are what you eat ate!

Raising animals in nature’s image is the solution.  Chicken that has access to fresh grass and sunshine does not need medicated feed.  Fresh moves to grass daily and locally raised non-gmo grains keep these chickens healthy without antibiotics.  We let the natural chicken feed be their medicine.  Let the food you eat be your medicine.

pasture poultry

Pasture Poultry, notice the yellow color to the fat. The grass delivers beta-Carotene. Enjoy eating the fat and skin of a pasture raised chicken!