Finding quality food to feed your family is one of the most important things you know you spend time and energy trying to figure out. Since it can be difficult to find even the time to research what are only trends versus what foods are actually good for you, many of us can be overwhelmed by the amount of information available, and either put it off or give up trying to do it all together.
One of the bigger trends over the past few years has been the active interest in food sourcing and farm-to-table steps, as people have embraced both healthier eating habits and better business practices. Buying straight from the source is one way to ensure the product you're receiving is top of the line, and, fortunately for Houstonians, that can be done easily and ideally when it comes to beef. And since trying to decide on the best grass-fed beef can be a bit daunting when you have more than a few choices, here is a break down of what to look for and some of our top choices.
What Is Grass Fed Beef?
Grass-fed beef is not as simple as it sounds. Cattle that are fed grass may seem like an easy enough thing, but most of the cows that are raised for beef are fed grain, not grass. And here's where it starts to get complicated.
The grains that beef cattle typically eat are nearly always 1) comprised of a corn or soy base to fatten up the cow; 2) supplemented with bits of dried grass they wouldn't normally consume; and 3) chocked full of growth hormones to make them grow bigger, faster.
Additionally, while grass-fed and grain-fed beef both have a lot of nutrients, grass-fed has more vitamin A and vitamin E, as well as higher amounts of antioxidants. And since grass-fed cattle have a less fatty diet, it, that, in turn, makes for less fatty beef. Grass-fed beef will have naturally fewer calories than the traditional beef you find at the supermarket.
Eating beef that is fed on a natural diet is healthier for them and thus for you, and since grain regularly causes a multitude of health problems in cattle, choosing grass-fed cattle is better for you and for them every time.
How to Avoid Faux Grass-Fed Beef
Since grass-fed beef is a hot commodity and retailers can charge extra for it, some packages nowadays are coming out labeled as "grass fed" when they're really not. Since there is currently no standard from the federal government for the grass-fed label, marketers can be misleading with what they put on the package, so it's going to take a few questions to filter them out.
If you're in the supermarket, you can ask someone who works in the butcher department whether they know which beef is 100% grass-fed, and if they don't tell you with certainty that it is, you can very safely expect that the cattle is also fed grain, and how much is anyone's guess.
Also, just because a label says the product is USDA organic doesn't mean it's 100% grass-fed, either. In order to know for sure, you need to know exactly where the beef came from and find out who are reliable butchers in your area.
Some 100% Grass-Fed Beef in Houston
In the Houston, Texas area, there are a lot of local butchers to choose from for your grass-fed beef needs. You can shop at a local butcher shop or go straight to any of the below farms or ranches, and ask them for specific details that you can expect to get about how the beef was raised. Elsewhere, check out American Grass-Fed and similar sites to find a directory of grass-fed locations in your area.
1. Bullard Cattle Company
Bullard Cattle Company, located in Bellville, strives for quality. Their cattle live their entire lives on the pasture. The pastures are 100% native Texas grass, and in the winter, the cattle are fed coastal Texas hay. Their beef is truly grass-fed and grass-finished.
They never step foot in a high-stress feedlot. Every ounce of beef they raise is slaughtered and processed in an establishment with a Grant of Inspection and labeled appropriately. Bullard Cattle Company is grass-fed certified through the American Meat Association.
2. Pete's Fine Meats
Pete's Fine Meats is a family-owned company located in Houston. They offer high-quality, grass-fed beef that you can buy fresh or have cooked on-site before you pick it up. Their attention to detail ensures that you receive the best cuts of meat possible.
3. The Chopping Block
If you're looking for high-quality meats in the Clear Lake area, look no further than The Chopping Block. This butcher shop is veteran owned and offers discounts to veterans, senior citizens, teachers, nurses, and first responders. They guarantee that the meat they sell is the best pasture-raised meat around.
4. 1915 Farms
1915 Farms offers an easy to use online shop and will deliver your order. They ship out three times a week and your order is estimated to arrive within three days. On their farm, they raise grass-fed beef, pork, and free-range chicken. They prioritize the best care and health for all the animals on their farm.
5. Bountiful Harvest
All of the grass-fed cattle that are sold at Bountiful Harvest are born and raised on their land. They have developed nutrient-rich grass that the cattle feed on, creating a high quality and healthy product. Their pastures are fed with natural fertilizers and herbicides.
Let's Get Cooking
Finding a quality supplier of grass-fed beef in Houston can take a bit of work, but it is well worth the effort. You want everything you put in your body to have the highest quality nutrients possible. Starting at the source from where your food comes is the first step to healthy heating.
The meals at The Dinner Dude are made with locally-sourced and fresh ingredients. No matter what your diet is, be it Paleo, keto, gluten-free, or low-carb, we have meals that will work for you. Spend more time with your family instead of slaving away in front of your stove or accepting the dissatisfaction of fast food.
Check out what meals we have to offer. We can't wait to deliver you your next meal.