That's me when I was a little boy there on the bottom right. I know it's not the best quality photo...
My great-grandparents Mamaw and Papaw are on the swing to the right. Those were magical times for me, growing up surrounded by people who loved me and encouraged me.
Anyway, here's a few reasons why I'm so drawn to grass-fed beef...
Beef is good for us, period.
There are those out there who say otherwise, sure, but they're wrong. Humans need protein and lots of it. From what I can find, there isn't a better source of protein than beef.
Not only is beef a great source of protein, it's also a great source of Vitamins A, E, B12, B6, Selenium, Iron (more than white meat chicken), and Zinc. And it has 0 sugar. That's big for me!
This is not meant to be a complete nutritional breakdown of beef or complete comparison between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. All beef is great!
I just believe that grass-fed beef is more healthy than is grain-fed cousin. A main reason is the fat content. Grass-fed has less fat, pound for pound. Again, pound for pound, grass-fed can have as much as five times the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Grass-fed also has significantly less saturated fat. Actually, the fat content in grass-fed beef can easily be compared to skinless chicken. So replacing the saturated fat from grain-fed with the non-saturated fat in grass-fed can significantly reduce one's chances of heart disease.
The last health benefit I will mention is that the cattle that grass-fed beef comes from, at least the Base Camp kind, has never been fed growth hormones or prescriptive antibiotics. Simply put, it's "clean." That leads us into the next reason I'm drawn to grass-fed beef.
Clean and Natural
Again, I'm not saying that grain-fed beef is not clean and natural... well, maybe I am actually saying it isn't natural. At least in the sense that cattle were created to eat grass, not processed grains. But I'm not bashing grain-fed cattle. Except the majority of the cattle that commercial beef comes from. But just because of the nasty feedlots where they're finished. And the growth hormones they're fed to make them grow faster. And the prescription antibiotics they're fed to slow the spread of sickness that is inherent with feedlot conditions.
But grass-fed beef cattle typically (and certainly Base Camp beef cattle ) never set foot inside a feedlot. It's never fed prescriptive antibiotics. And it's never fed growth hormones.
Instead, grass-fed beef spends all it's life from birth to trip to processor on pasture. Low to no stress. Low to no reason to get sick. Imagine the buffalo that once roamed our land. They ate what was in front of them and moved on. That's how beef cattle were created also.
Good for the Environment
Like the buffalo, grass-fed cattle are part of a natural cycle that regenerates the soil. Sun, grass, cattle, soil. And all the microorganisms in the soil that make is healthy.
Cattle grazed properly (like grass-fed cattle must be) makes the soil healthier, the forage healthier, the water supply healthier (no pesticides and stuff leaching and running off from raising grain crops to feed cattle that aren't really even supposed to be eating it in the first place, or runoff from barren fields that haven't been grazed properly), and the air healthier.
Good for Agriculture
Beef from grass-fed cattle is premium. It is in a way competition. It allows for a different scale that allows for more people to produce.
Connects Producer to Consumer
For a long time, there has been a disconnect between the food people eat and where it comes from. The food we eat is special to a lot of people. I believe that when we know the history of something, the experience of it becomes richer. I love being able to get as much of our food from the source as possible. Knowing how something was raised.. what went into it, makes it mean more to me. From the producer side, there is great value and blessing that comes from knowing where the product ends up. I love that direct relationship.
Ever since I was a little kid, I've wanted to be in the cattle/beef business. It's in my blood. I even went to college and got a degree in Ag Business. For one reason or another, my professional life has led me elsewhere.
For the last decade at least, my wife, Heather, and I have served in Christian missions. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But because of the demand grass-fed, together with the internet, has caused, there is a path to making a good living for a small farmer/rancher.
Because of that opportunity, I can say when asked "what do you do?"...
"Among other things, I'm a homeschooling dad, co-founder of a multigenerational pasture to table grass-fed beef business, and missionary serving in San Antonio."
Gene Muckleroy, Co-Founder of Base Camp Beef Company along with Will, Ben, and Sadie Muckleroy