Firstly, for animal welfare benefits. Pasture-fed livestock are given the freedom to express their normal behaviours and often live in family groups. They feed on a natural diet of pasture and forage such as hay in winter. They are less likely to suffer from disease and require little veterinary attention or antibiotics.
Secondly, for the health benefits. Compared with grain-fed cows, pasture fed meat has:
- higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a lower, more balanced (and healthier) ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids
- significantly higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an essential fatty acid that must come from our diet as well as higher levels of vaccenic acid (which can be turned into CLA)
- higher vitamin and mineral levels, particularly rich in vitamins A and E, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Keeping the cows out on pasture with regular moves does require more input from our stockperson; putting up and taking down fencing, moving the water supply, etc. This cost in time is balanced with not having any external inputs (e.g. feed and fertilisers) and no mucking out costs (clearing the barns of bedding and manure after a winter indoors).
On top of being Pasture for Life, we are in the process of converting to Organic certification, meaning no artificial fertilisers or chemicals are used on our land and cannot therefore make their way into the surrounding environment or into your food!
Our first beef boxes will be available from October. Click here to email Matt if you’d like to be the first to hear or to find out more.