Is Your Beef 100% Grassfed?
Tanya Svec from Svec Farm in Estelline, SD is the vendor for beef at Glory Garden and I've invited her to share an answer to a frequently asked question:
“Is your beef 100% grassfed?”
I always hesitate a little bit. And here’s why. When I walk around in our beautiful prairie pastures, I see all the lovely green things our cattle are munching — and it’s not all just grass.
There are the grasses, to be sure.
But there are also wildflowers! Echinacea, black eyed Susan, and so much more. And forbs, which are little broadleaf plants like goldenrod, which grows abundantly in our pastures.
There are also things that might be called “weeds”. A variety of thistles, for example, keep the butterflies and other pollinators happy with their blooms! The cattle munch on many weeds during various stages of their growth.
So you can see, our cattle eat more than grass, which is clear if you get the chance to stroll through our pastures.
And there’s more!
They also are given free choice salt and mineral, which is absolutely essential for cattle to maintain their health.
As calves, they drink their mothers’ milk.
They drink fresh water in all seasons.
In winter, the grass (and other plants) that our cattle eat comes in the form of hay. Some of this hay is cut from pasture grasses and other plants. Some of this hay is cut from alfalfa, which is actually a legume but offers great protein and calcium for the cattle during the cold months.
We also feed haylage, which is a type of hay that is stored with a higher percentage of moisture in it than dried hay. It becomes a kind of “cow sauerkraut,” with happy little bugs keeping the hay from spoiling. The cattle love it!
So do the cattle eat grass? Yes. Is their diet 100% grass? No.
But that doesn’t mean we’re feeding our cattle anything you wouldn’t feed your own cattle, if you were going to raise a backyard herd to feed your family.
We do not feed any grains. No corn, no soy. No GMOs. We give no antibiotics and no growth hormones and no mRNA vaccines.
We are proud of the high quality of the diet our grassfed, grass-finished beef are eating, and of the quality meat we get from them as a result. We’re confident you’re going to love it.
Looking for a hearty stew for the cold days ahead? Try Tanya Svec's favorite chili recipe.
Crowd Pleasing Chili Recipe
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 Tbl. chili powder
- 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 can kidney, pinto, or other beans, rinsed and drained, if desired
In a large saucepan or skillet with a lid, cook beef, onion, and garlic together over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and onions are soft.
Stir in remaining ingredients except beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (Note: Instead of the one hour simmer, I sometimes transfer the chili to a Crockpot on low and let it hang out until I’m ready for it.)
Add beans and heat until warmed through.
Serve with toppings of choice. We love corn chips, guacamole, grated cheese, and sour cream.