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Benefits of Reford Beef
Why Buy the Cow? So asks a recent article in Ottawa Magazine (“Why Buy the Cow?” by Shawna Wagman, Ottawa Magazine, November 2007). This question is about more than why someone would want to buy beef in bulk.  It is about people wanting to reconnect with how their food is grown. It’s about sustainability, nose-to-tail cooking, supporting local producers, and encouraging land stewardship.

Educated consumers want to know that the food they buy is raised in a manner that is sustainable, ethical, and beneficial to the producers. Over the last decade, there has been a major increase in the number of organic products available in supermarkets, and more and more, locally grown products are available, as well as “fair trade” and ethically produced food. There is a trend toward the 100 mile diet, which means trying to source all the food one eats from within a 100 mile radius. For those of us in the Ottawa/Gatineau region, the 100 mile diet excludes such luxuries as fresh strawberries in February, but happily, it does afford us the luxury of naturally raised, locally produced Reford Beef, available any time of year from the freezer.   

Reford Beef is grass fed and naturally raised, which means that the animals are allowed to live their lives as naturally as possible. The animals live outside with access to shelter when they so choose.  They eat pesticide-free grass and hay, just as herbivores should. They do not receive any animal by-products; they do not receive growth hormones or antibiotics. They live a lazy, lovely, stress-free life. 

The way we raise our beef promotes sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and prosperous farming communities. A sustainable farm is able to produce food indefinitely without causing irreversible damage to ecosystem health. At Moylinny Farm, we do not overpopulate our fields or crowd our creatures in feeding pens. We raise what the pastures will support without chemical fertilizers and take great care to ensure the fields are not overgrazed. Grass fed cattle do their own fertilizing and harvesting, which cuts down on fuel needs. We produce healthy animals in a low impact manner. 

We take land stewardship as seriously as raising our cattle. Moylinny Farm is situated directly adjacent to Gatineau Park, a 361 square kilometre refuge for hundreds of species of birds, mammals and plants. Moylinny Farm provides an important corridor for wildlife in a growing sea of suburbia in the North Aylmer sector of Gatineau. Our farm contains some of the last remaining land in Aylmer not plastered with housing. It is crucial for us as farmers and land stewards to ensure our farming practices are sustainable. It is not uncommon to see deer wandering across the grass pastures and apple orchards, as well as black bears, foxes, and coyotes.  Beavers, raccoons, skunks, fishers, mink, muskrats, and painted and snapping turtles make their homes in our creeks and bush, as well as numerous species of birds. Moylinny Farm is a dynamic ecosystem that contains grasslands habitat, wetlands habitat, hardwood forest and bush. The domestic and wild animals co-exist. 

It is a proven fact that grass fed beef is healthier for people than feedlot finished beef (Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, June 2008, 56:4775-4782). For more information on the benefits of grass fed meats, please explore www.eatwild.com. It is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamins A & E, and beta-carotene. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid for human growth and development, and it may have an anti-carcinogenic effect. Omega 3 is found in the green leaves of plants and when cattle eat grass, the beef they produce becomes a great source of Omega 3 for humans. When cattle eat grain, the Omega 3 found in their meat is significantly reduced. CLA has been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer and to suppress the growth of cancer in lab animals. When cattle eat their natural diet of grass, CLA levels are 30-40% higher than in grain fed feedlot beef. Aside from the health benefits, grass fed beef has more flavour.

Another aspect of sustainability is how we sell our beef. Selling by the half or whole animal encourages people to explore cuts of meat that might be a little different from the everyday ground beef or top sirloin. It gives people a chance to be more creative in their cooking. It allows them to proclaim they are doing their part for sustainability by supporting local farmers and by using all the parts of a beef animal, sometimes referred to as nose-to-tail cooking.

Naturally raised beef is different from organic. For a meat product to be certified organic, it has to be produced using organic feed.  Just because cattle eat organic grass, hay and grain, does not mean they live a nice “organic” life. There are feedlots where organic beef is raised. Those organic beef animals do not get to live a natural life, because as herbivores, it is not natural for them to live in pens and eat grain, even if the grain is organic. 

At Moylinny Farm we are committed to the humane treatment of our animals. We ensure that their quality of life is excellent, which is reflected in our product: excellent natural beef.

For more information on the benefits of grass fed, naturally raised beef, please visit the links listed below.

www.eatwild.com
www.naturallygrown.org

 

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