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.)

The DS Family Farm Store is up and running.  We were ready for Small Business Saturday, almost.  We now have a section on our website that we invite local folks to check out [Buy From Our Farm].

Screen shot of our online pasture grazed meat product catalog. Not an online store, local sales from our farm for now.

Screen shot of our online pasture grazed meat product catalog. Not an online store, local sales from our farm for now.

Why just local folks?  We do not plan on shipping any product directly from our farm.  We encourage everyone to shop local, even for pasture poultry and grass-fed beef.

We are now serving up pasture grazed meat products to folks in the Lincoln – Seward area.  We welcome anyone in our area or anyone passing through, to stop by for direct pickup at the farm after first contacting us with your order.  From past posts, you know we are fans of the Nebraska Food Coop.  Look for DS Family Farm products once you are logged in to the Food Coop website.  The Food Coop will give you the option to pay online and receive our Nebraska Raised product throughout the Coop delivery area.

What an appreciation we now have for small businesses everywhere!  As we begin our efforts to turn product into certificates of service* ($$$), it is a good time to reflect back on our blog post Why Start?  Here are some current thoughts:

  • Sustainability is an ongoing effort:
    • We are monitoring environmental change in our pasture and will share our findings in future posts.
    • Profit as a measure of sustainability is “to be determined”.
  • Healthy animals:
    • We continue to watch and learn from our herd.
    • We have had some dips but for the most part the animals seem happy and healthy.
  • Gourmet grass-fed beef (Pasture Grazed Beef) for our community:
    • Early reports from our recently harvested beef is encouraging.
    • We will have health analysis of our beef in the near future.
    • Watch for YOUR RECIPES on our website soon.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to serving you in the future.

*Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Thou Shall Prosper

Would you know what to look for when choosing a Farmer?  That is, choosing a farmer to buy your family’s food from?  Looking for clean food?  Especially locally produced food, that can be a challenge.

grass-fed beef

Pasture raised 100% grass-fed beef from our farm near Malcolm, NE, sales to begin soon!

We have been members of the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) for several years.  About the time I was dealing with acid reflux, we were also investigating the startup of our farm.  While researching problem gut issues and sustainable farming, it didn’t take long for both topics to mesh and lead us to WAPF.

A diet of low processed whole foods provides the “medicine” your body needs to heal and support itself.  Where does one turn to source low processed whole foods?  When available, your local farmer! Does the management carried out on the local farm affect the food produced?  Absolutely. When it comes to meat, pasture grazed & grassfed is the preferred choice.

We recently completed and returned the WAPF Local Chapter Farm Visit Checklist.  Please take a moment to see how we responded to the checklist questions.

Feel free to contact us and stop by for a visit anytime to personally verify our answers.  We are happy to connect you with other local farms to visit and research.

Good luck on your search for clean food, here are some other Local Food sources we use:

Nebraska Food Coop (many producers listed, we have tried most)

Pawnee Pride Meats

Range West Beef

Open Sky Farm

Branched Oak Farm

Darby Springs Farm

Other Local Food sources we are aware of, let us know who we have missed:

Lincoln Natural Food Connection (Facebook)

lone tree Foods (Eastern NE Western IA)

Ficke Cattle Company

West Blue Farm

grass-fed cattle.

1948 Cario Nebraska, cattle on grass. (Photo by Flickr Commons)

Recently I came across an article on the Omaha World-Herald website that was part of their “Locally Grown” series on food trends.  This 2012 article “Beef: Grass-fed vs. corn-fed” is an interesting read about two locally raised beef.  I share it here for those of you researching local foods and grass-fed beef.

Interesting to me was how the author readily acknowledges that most of the beef we consume are raised with “antibiotics, hormones and grain”.  Further down in the article it is also noted that “feedlot cows” encounter distillers’ grain (alcohol plant waste) and have to fight muddy conditions (that would also include standing in their manure).  On a side note, the author failed to mention that most conventionally raised beef are also treated with beta-agnonists (Beta-agnonists: What are they and should I be concerned?).  Is it true that most consumers know that the beef they consume are raised this way?  If they did, would they continue to consume it or possibly ask for alternatives?

Since we raise only grass-fed beef I have a few issues with the overall “test” between a cow named grass-fed and a grain-fed beef, but I will leave that for another day.  I do not dispute the conclusion of the article, that there is a definite difference in taste between grass-fed and grain-fed.  
Grass-fed beef tastes like beef grandpa use to raise.
1958 AB Canada, cattle in feed yard.

1958 AB Canada, cattle in feed yard. (Photo by Flickr Commons)

What created the grass fed movement of the late 1990s through today?

D S Family Farm cattle spend their entire lives on grass pasture.

D S Family Farm cattle spend their entire lives on grass pasture.

Prior to World War II, all beef and most other meat production methods had grass as part of the animal’s life cycle.  Today’s store purchased meats, only beef, lamb and goat have some type of green forage as part of their life cycle.  Beef purchased at your local grocery store will have consumed forage for the part of their life span that they were with the momma cow after birth and most likely for a while after being weaned.  Chicken and pork are just plain out of luck in today’s production methods to have had an opportunity to consume any type of green living forage during their life span.

What happened right after World War II?

In summary, excess war munitions were converted to cheap nitrogen fertilizer.  When unleashed to U.S. farmers, surplus corn production resulted.  The question became, where can we dispose the excess grain?  The “solution” was to confine animals and feed grain based diets.  For the chicken and pig, the grain was not a huge problem, they have simple stomachs, but the cow with her multiple stomachs and special rumen (designed for forage) took a health hit.  A diet high in grain results in high levels of acid in the rumen.  To counter high acid levels, low levels of antibiotics were added to cattle feed to keep the cattle growing and prevent further health issues.  As you can imagine not an ideal situation for cattle.

A return to common sense and the Grass Fed Movement, enter Jo Robinson’s Eat Wild website and book “Pasture Perfect”.

An early promoter of the grass-fed movement, Jo Robinson’s website is full of grass-fed information from the basics to the advanced.  Her information is well researched and documented.  If you would like a free copy of her book “Pasture Perfect”, just contact us for a farm visit and the book will be our gift to you.  WARNING: I find it extremely difficult to this day to eat fast food chicken after reading this book.  For an alternative to conventional raised chicken consider finding a local farmer that raises chickens with grass as part of their life cycle (pasture poultry post).

Grass Fed Movement goes prime time, with Michael Pollin’s“Power Steer” New York Times article  in 2002.

Pollin’s article follows the typical life of a steer (young male beef animal) from its birth place on the prairies of South Dakota, to a confined animal feeding operation near Garden City Kansas.  The “power” part of the article title stems from the fact that there is a large amount of oil consumed for each pound of beef produced in this manner.  The article does an excellent job describing the use of hormones, antibiotics and other concerns such as E. coli that are all issues related to store purchased beef.

So what’s the big deal about grass?  I will let you answer that question for yourself.  As for this farm, we have seen first hand the regenerating wonder of grass in our pastures, soils and with the animals we raise.  On the most basic level of life as we know it, there is profound truth in the following verse:

  • All flesh is grass, and all its beauty (constancy) is like the flower of the field.”  (Isaiah 40:6 (b), ESV, emphasis added)