Pastured meat comes from animals who spend their entire lives eating what they were designed by nature to eat, and getting exercise, fresh air and sunlight. They tend to be healthy, with no need for antibiotics or other drugs. Because they range through rotating pastures, they aren’t stressed or crowded. When grass-fed animals are allowed to grow slowly and naturally to the appropriate processing weight, they don’t need growth hormones. Beef is generally referred to as “grass-fed,” while pork and poultry are referred to as “pastured” or “free-range.”
Pastured animals produce manure that enriches the fields they roam on and nourishes birds, promoting a diverse ecosystem. Grass-fed meat and milk are recognized as healthier and are consistently lower in harmful fats than commercially raised products. In addition to nourishing pasture rather than depleting the soil, pastured animals are healthier for the environment as their wastes don't become a source of pollution, and more sustainable as they don't have to travel a long distance to your plate.
USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) current recommendations on what Americans should eat advise eating less red meat. The updated My Plate, formerly known as the Food Pyramid, is based on health concerns, but concerns about the environmental impact of raising beef cattle is also factored in. Not factored in is the difference between conventional beef production, which includes over-grazing of lands and finishing cattle on GMO grains in feedlots, and beef produced by farmers who raise cattle on grass, using rotational grazing methods that actually improve the environment.
Duvall Farmers market offers pastured beef once each month through Squaw Creek Cattle Company, a multi generational farm based in Everson, WA. Squaw Creek natural grass fed beef is higher in antioxidants, has higher levels of vitamin E & beta carotene, more omega 3 fats, less overall fat, and fewer calories. They keep a happy, healthy herd without the use of artificial growth stimulants, hormones or feed based antibiotics. The cattle are slaughtered on site in a humane manner by Island Grown Farmer's Cooperative and all the beef is USDA inspected and approved.
Squaw Creek will be at the market on June 6, July 9, August 13, September 10 and October 15. Please check the newsletter weekly for updates or schedule changes.