At Helstrom Farms we not only want to provide safe and healthy meats, we also want to keep consumers well informed.
Since grass fed beef is a passion of mine I tend to talk about it quite often. I sometimes get discouraged because I hear this all the time: "Yeah, I know what grass fed is, I used to buy beef from a local neighbor." And I respond with asking if the farmer ever feeds grain. Reply:"I guess I'm not sure, but I see cows out in the pasture."
If you like to buy local, and are not concerned with grain finishing, please continue to support your local farmer. However if you want true grass fed-grass finished beef, make sure you ask how the animal is being fed. Most farmers/ranchers are honest hard-working folks who love to talk about their livelihood and how they care for their livestock. Keep in mind that a legal claim can be made that beef is" grass fed" as long as the animal has had access to pasture forages, even if grain has been fed in the final months. Studies have proven that even small amounts of grain feeding wipes out the benefits that grazing provides.
Grass finished and 100% grass fed are synonomous terms regulated by the USDA and truly mean no grain feeding, ever! I know for a fact it can be difficult to find someone raising 100% grass finished beef. The reason is because raising animals in this fashion is time consuming and expensive. It can take up to a year longer and 1.5 times as much pastureland to bring grass finished beef to a marketable weight compared to grain finishing. Finding beef animals that can thrive on grass alone is another challenge. In the U.S., feeding large amounts of corn since the 1950s resulted in cattle that know how to grow only in a feedlot.
Despite these challenges we chose to convert to a 100% grass finished beef ranch nine years ago. At this time the health claims were conclusive. While store bought beef was being linked to heart disease and many other health concerns, grass fed beef was proven to be beneficial for your lifesyle. We took the challenges head on and committed to providing you with the best product possible. Each year the process has gone smoother and the beef keeps getting tastier!