Any butcher will tell you that some beef is better than others. But what exactly does “better” mean? As with many products, the “best” beef is a matter of personal preference in terms of taste and processing practices.
As an informed consumer, you are probably well acquainted with the terms “grass-fed,” “natural” and “organic.” Categorically speaking, there really isn’t a clear winner as to which is the best. It’s a matter of consumer preference…
- Grass-fed – There are heated debates regarding the nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef and whether or not those benefits have any significant impact on human health. Some consumers believe grass-fed is best, while others believe a grass-only diet produces a distinctly gamey flavor.
- Natural – Natural beef must adhere to three specifications: no hormones, no preservatives and minimal processing. Many natural beef producers take those standards a step further with hormone-free and antibiotic-free programs, but the cattle are not handled and processed under USDA certification.
- Organic – Organic beef is certified by the USDA to be hormone-free, antibiotic-free and “organically produced” (see https://www.progressivecattle.com/topics/beef-quality/3987-understanding-natural-grass-fed-and-organic-beef for details). Organic certification guarantees that a product exceeds conventional production standards, but it does not guarantee flavor or mean that an animal was necessarily grass-fed. It is important to remember that USDA certification is a complex process that many smaller ranches, producers and farmers cannot afford to go though. There are a lot of farmers who produce organic-compliant products that have not been USDA certified.
Food labels can tell us a lot about the food we eat, but they don’t tell us everything. At Ted’s Butcherblock, we invest a great deal of time and energy into product research, and customers can trust us to make thoughtful selections—selections that represent superior flavor and responsible farming practices.
Painted Hills Natural Beef
Painted Hills Natural Beef is a tried and true staple at Ted’s for a few reasons.…
- No Hormones or Antibiotics – Painted Hills beef contains no added hormones, and cows never receive antibiotics. Painted Hills also abstains from the use of ionophores, a feed additive that promotes growth. No Hormones or Antibiotics – Painted Hills beef contains no added hormones, and cows never receive antibiotics. Painted Hills also abstains from the use of ionophores, a feed additive that promotes growth.
- Humane Animal Husbandry – Painted Hills Natural Beef is a rancher owned and operated venture. Ranchers sign legal affidavits that guarantee consistent standards for humane animal husbandry and production. Cows are raised in free-range, low-stress environments, and ranchers must abide by specific stipulations for animal transport, diet, healthcare, etc.
- Diet and Flavor – Painted Hills cattle never consume animal by-products and are fed a 100% vegetarian diet (grass-fed and grain-finished with a mixture of alfalfa and barley). Grain-finished beef possesses a rich flavor that grass-finished beef lacks. Commodity beef is typically fed or finished with corn, but corn isn’t natural to a cow’s diet. We prefer the taste and tenderness of beef that is finished with healthy grains.
We serve specialty burgers made with Painted Hills chuck and brisket patties every Saturday. Visit our events page for details.
Painted Hills Natural Beef is also available for purchase at our butcher counter. Tenderloins and rib roasts are an excellent choice for holiday celebrations. Call (843) 577-0094 to place an order, or stop by the shop to learn more.
We believe you should know everything you can about the food you eat—where it was raised, what it ate and how it was processed. All of our products are sourced from independent farms and farmer-based programs that share our commitment to food transparency. Stay tuned to the Featured Farmer section of our blog to learn more.