“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“.

In past posts we have promoted a “traditional diet” that includes animal fats and protein as part of a healthy diet.  There is a significant population that is vegetarian and avoids animal based food products.  So who’s right?  If you are searching for a healthy diet we urge you to do your research.

At lunch, I am usually a vegetatian. A great time to make sure I am eating the rainbow. (Photo: http://www.morguefile.com/)

At lunch, I am usually a vegetarian. A great time to make sure I am eating the rainbow. (Photo: http://www.morguefile.com/)

Other diet thoughts would be to stress our digestive system as we stress our muscles when doing a work out to promote strength.  Restrict intake of different food groups, there probably are some health benefits to giving up a food item for 40 days (Lent).  Consider a fast; let your body burn off some of those lower quality proteins in your system.  Just as with weight training muscles, give your digestive system proper time to recover from stress.

Some famous statements probably hold true to diets as well:

  • Everything in moderation
  • Variety is the spice of life

Moderation is a pretty straight forward concept but what about variety? When I think of variety I think of the late Jerry Brunetti (eco ag specialist and founder of Agri-dynamics) power point presentation “Food As Medicine”. Take a few minutes to flip through this 77 slide PDF document, loaded with photos, and appreciate what it means to “Eat The Rainbow”.