Grass-Fed Beef in Toronto
Grass-fed beef may not be for sale at your average Toronto grocery store or butcher. In fact, asking for grass-fed beef in these locations tends to illicit blank stares. But a little research reveals some great sources in the Toronto area.
Okay... back up. What are cows usually fed? Well, with the advent of factory farming in North America, we've switched them on to a diet of grain because it's cheap and it fattens them up quickly.
So practically any meat you buy in the area, unless otherwise stated, is "grain-fed". It's the cheapest thing you could possibly feed an animal and brings them up to slaughter weight abnormally fast.
Farmers don't have to let the animals graze on grassland pastures; they can just pile them into stalls where they have nothing to do but stuff their faces with grain feed.
Consumers interested in where their meat comes from are starting to ask questions. Epitomized by Michael Pollen's popular Omnivore's Dilemma book, a movement is growing and calling for change.
Cow's stomachs evolved to eat grass, not grain. Pollen's book illuminates the fact that grain-fed cows are sick and their meat is not as healthy as grass-fed varieties.
Put simply, we are meant to eat animals that eat green stuff. Greens contain omega-3s while grains contain omega-6s. We all know that we're supposed to get more omega-3s.
That is why were told to eat more seafood, because fish are out in the wild are eating all sorts of green stuff.
While grain-fed is the norm in North America, there are still many regions worldwide where that isn't the case. For example, in Argentina all meat is grass-fed, so you can order a steak at a restaurant and know it's the real deal.
So where can you get some?
This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some local sources:
- Currently gets its grass-fed from Grass Roots Beef, Field Gate Organics, and Dingo Farms (below).
- Usually has at least some cuts of grass-fed, likely to have lots this fall.
- Have managed to get grass-fed to about 25% of their beef sales.
For more information about grass-fed meat information and finding sources, check out the stellar website Eatwild.
Photo from William Dalton's photostream.
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