Danny and I made the choice awhile ago that when we eat beef, we eat grass-fed beef. There are many reasons for that decision. For one, we truly believe and the science backs it up that beef from cows that have been raised on open land, eating grass, is much healthier for those of us who are eating it than grain-fed beef. Why? Well, grass is what cows are meant to eat. Until recently, that’s all cows did eat. The modern meat industry fattens up cows more quickly by feeding them corn. And that can lead to infections and diseases, which require more and more antibiotics.
This decision means that we primarily eat beef at home, or only in restaurants where we know the source of the meat. (I’m the same with chicken and pork now too. And I’ll only eat salmon that’s wild-caught. This means I’m often eating vegetarian in restaurants.) Luckily, Danny knows how to cook beef really well, so there’s no suffering here.
Mostly, I can taste the difference. Grass-fed beef tastes richer and far more flavorful than grain-fed beef.
Grass-fed beef can be more expensive than traditional grocery-store meat. It’s a sacrifice we make. Most of our money goes toward food (especially now, when we’re developing recipes for our cookbook.) We don’t require or even suggest that other people make this choice. But it’s something that’s important to us.
There are a growing number of traditional cattle ranches and farms selling grass-fed beef in this country. We’re lucky enough in western Washington to have the good folks at Skagit River Ranch and Heritage Meat. There might be a good farm near you.
But if you want truly great-tasting grass-fed beef and you want it to arrive at your home directly, you should know about Beetnik, our newest sponsor. We’re crazy about their rib-eyes and sirloins. (These two pieces made some great tacos tonight.) Beetnik grass-fed beef is some of the best beef we have tasted.
We like to let our sponsors introduce themselves. Welcome to Beetnik, our latest sponsor!
Why does Beetnik focus on selling grass-fed beef?
“Beetnik is focused on grass-fed beef because its more natural, it tastes better, and its better for you, and for the environment. Cattle eat grass naturally. Their digestive systems are designed for that. They dont pick corn from cornstalks for dinner. We have a lot more information about the health, nutritional and environmental benefits of grass fed beef here. Its worth reading.”
Can you tell us about the source of the meat?
“Our beef is sourced from Jacobs Bastrop Ranch, a company that we own in partnership with Pati Jacobs, a well known cattle rancher in Central Texas. Jacobs Ranch works with family-owned, small cattle ranches that raise grass fed beef and who participate in our monitoring program which prevents the use of hormones, antibiotics and any genetically modified organisms in the raising of cattle.”
Why does Beetnik emphasize gluten-free foods?
“There is a rapidly growing part of the population that have some level of intolerance for gluten. We have this experience in our own families. Health issues that are derived from food can make eating an anxious and even miserable experience. We love food and are focused on making food that tastes great, is natural, but that also caters to those who are more sensitive to certain types of food. Its a challenge to make great tasting products that are also gluten free, but its worth it because we want our family, friends and customers to have great tasting products, and share our love of food.”
Can you share some stories of customers happy with your foods?
“Our customers come from all walks of life. They seem to share a few things in common: they want food that tastes great; they want food thats healthy and free of gunk; and they want to buy from people who care about where the food comes from. Heres a very gratifying note weve received from one of our customers:
I ordered the Paleo tasting menu. My order was shipped promptly and received easily. Most of all, the food is amazing! The grass fed beef is delicious. The burger patties are no ordinary hamburgers and the bacon wrapped filet mignon was easy to prepare and just melts in your mouth. I could rave on, and have to friends. I am recovering from cancer treatment, and being able to order food that is not only easy to prepare, but also incredibly healthy has been incredible. Thanks Beetnik!
‘My husband was put on a gluten-free diet by his doctor more than a year ago. It was a really hard transition for both of us. Not only was giving up regular bread and most desserts hard for him, his understanding of foods is such that he doesn’t realize that wheat goes into a lot of things (like popovers and wraps and so forth). All to say, he wasn’t at all happy about eating gluten-free, and I was having a real hard time preparing meals that were gluten-free and that he found tasty.
My husband absolutely LOVES the food. And that’s no small victory because he was getting so picky about the food I was preparing for him and hardly ever finishing what was on his plate that he had been losing weight precipitously, to the point where at his last doctor’s appointment, the doctor said he was malnourished. My husband has both a very serious form of Lyme disease as well as multiple sclerosis, so he’s got to be eating, and he’s got to eat healthy. Your Beetnik foods have become a vital and major component in achieving that. And also, when he’s able to eat foods that he enjoys eating, it makes him feel less deprived, which makes it easier for him to deal with the other health challenges he has to deal with, and THAT makes things a little bit easier for me.
So, please know that even if you think all you are doing is providing your customers with good wholesome, high-quality, healthy food, the ripple-effects can be more than anything you ever expected. I’m sure that ours is not the only situation where you’ve really made an amazing contribution in improving our quality of life and enjoyment of life. I don’t know how to adequately express my gratitude for what you’ve done for us.’
Why is the work you do important to you?
“We love food. Its not fuel for an engine. Food is how we celebrate life with family and friends. We care about where it comes from, so we dont just work with farmers and ranchers. We invest our money in partnering with the best farmers and ranchers, to ensure that we can bring customers the very best products. For our meal products, weve invested in a food manufacturing business so that we can control all of the elements of cooking and the ingredients in our delicious cooked meals. We put our money where our mouth is to ensure that from the earth to the table, we are actively engaged in every facet of bringing our customers quality products. Farm to table is a catchy phrase, but its not lip service for us, its our life. Were Beetniks.”
Beetnik is giving away grass-fed sirloin steaks to two readers of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. If you would like a chance to win, please leave a comment about why you are interested in the steaks. Winners will be chosen at random on Friday, December 20th.
Update: the winners have been chosen and informed. Thank you for your interest.
Even if you don’t win, Beetnik is offering a discount for all readers of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. When you shop on their site, simply use the code gfgirl.