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The musings of a Meatsmith: feed vs. cut, grass-fed what?

As a Canadian, I grew up fortunate enough to eat a diet rich in beef. A Sunday roast, a summer bbq, whatever the event, beef was usually the star. Not until relatively recently did I start to hear discourse around feed: grass vs. grain. Grain including corn. And no sooner do you start to dive into this debate than you realise that people have passionate opinions. More power to them and to us all as we endeavour to become both more educated and more deliberate as consumers.

Certainly, when you drive this country as much as I do, you can see endless pasture for cows to roam, eating grass and forage (including clover, alfalfa). From my limited perspective, it certainly seems in synch with the cows’ natural biological habits to see them consume grass as part of high care farming. But I would personally be careful not to dive too deep into why farmers also provide cattle with grain, particularly during the winter months. This is Canada, not Australia or the Southern US, and our climate, geography, demographics, consumer demands and so on all play into why farmers make the choices they do. And on the topic of farmers, they hold a special place in our hearts. Ultimate entrepreneurs, in partnership with Mother Nature herself. People who are hard-working, true stewards of the environment and who have a knowledge of animal husbandry that is both organic and sophisticated. So a round-about way of saying Canadian beef is exceptional, some of the finest in the world, and I have had beef of incredible quality and flavour that is both grass fed and grain fed. That said, our Meatsmithbeef comes from grass-fed cattle. We love the flavour and the link to a pasture-based life for the cattle.

But for me, what has become perhaps the paramount issue relating to beef is cut. With all this focus on feed, what about cut? Is it enough that your beef is grass fed if the cuts you are eating are not cuts you would feel comfortable with? This really matters to us and since we are making what we see as tantamount to a steak, a steak you can put in your pocket and take with you, the foundation of our beef is a classic steak cut –sirloin. 100% of the beef in Meatsmith bars is sirloin. We don’t include 51% sirloin and blend the rest so that we can make the call-out, we use exclusively sirloin. The lean, flavourful cut that tastes so great fired up on the grill. Our message to you is, ask the question: what cut is this? What is this meat snack made of? (Think hotdogs.) We asked the question during our development and we are proud of our answers; cut matters just as much as feed. The Meatsmith cut is 100% sirloin beef, from Canadian cattle pasture raised and grass fed.

Cheers, Nick

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