The Skinny on Alternative Beef

Written by Barbara Twitchell

COST

It takes nearly twice as long to raise beef without hormones and the bulking properties of grain. That adds to the rancher’s expense. Be prepared to pay more.

CONVENIENCE

Although the market continues to grow as demand increases, it’s still not readily available in most stores.

CULINARY QUALITIES

Taste and texture can vary widely. It can be tougher and wilder tasting than conventional or be the best beef you’ve ever eaten. If buying a large amount, ask to sample the rancher’s product or talk to other customers first.

CONSCIENCE

Pasture-raised animals live more natural, healthy, and humane lives, a practice believed to be better for the animal and environment.

CONFUSION

Does natural mean hormone-free? The answer is no. Labels can be misleading. Most terms, other than organic, are not strictly defined or regulated. Assume nothing. Read the entire label carefully; ask the butcher or rancher specific questions about how the animal was raised.

CONTROVERSY

Does meat from animals given hormones and sub-therapeutic antibiotics pose risks to humans? With strict regulations in place, the USDA says no. The USDA states that residual levels in meat are non-existent or too minute to be consequential. Some scientists disagree. With conflicting studies on both sides, the jury is still out. Concerned? Buy meat clearly identified as hormone- and antibiotic-free.

COLLATERAL BENEFITS

Calves raised without growth stimulants, particularly those that are grass-fed, yield leaner meat containing less saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. A growing number of studies also have found that grass-fed beef is higher in levels of vitamins E and C, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids (thought to reduce heart attack risk), and conjugated linoleic acid (aids the immune system in fighting numerous diseases).

Where’s the Beef?

Written by Barbara Twitchell

Dave Stix Livestock Ranch
4830 Farm District Rd
Fernley, NV 89408
Phone: (775) 575-4250

Murry Ranch
21000 S. Virginia St. (Hwy. 395), Reno
775-848-9086, Murryranch.com

Ranch One (also known as Ranch No.1)
Available at Trimmer Outpost
2276 Main St., Genoa
775-782-2518, Trimmeroutpost.com

Restaurants serving Ranch One beef include:

Bar of America, Truckee, Calif.
Carson Valley Golf Course, Gardnerville, Nev.
JT Basque Bar & Restaurant, Gardnerville, Nev.
La Ferme Restaurant, Genoa, Nev.
Pacific Crest Grill, Truckee, Calif.
Sierra Pines Country Store, Markleeville, Calif.
Wild Horse Saloon & Pizza Co., Minden, Nev.

Other sources for locally raised beef:

Albaugh Ranch
Fallon, Nev.
775-423-3361
Albaughranch.com

Amazing Grace Family Farm
Janesville, Calif.
608-876-6311
Amazinggracefamilyfarm.com

Churchill County 4H Beef Club
775-453-5550

Fontana Farms, Cydney Harding
Palomino Valley, Nev.
775-846-2582, 775-772-5432

KT Hay and Cattle, Dennis and Laurie Marsh
Loyalton, Calif.
530-993-1045
Kthayandcattle.com

Mills Ranch
Fallon, Nev.
775-867-3431
Millsranch.org

Pine Creek Ranch
near Tonopah, Nev.
775-482-4187

Snyder Livestock
Yerington, Nev.
775-463-2677
Slcnv.com/cattle

Hole-in-One-Ranches, Teri Bertotti
Susanville, Calif.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wolf Pack Meats
Reno , Nev.
775-857-3663
Cabnr.unr.edu/wpm