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Grass Fed Beef - The Most Sustainable Food?

Is grass fed beef the ultimate plant based food?

‘Cows, children, cooking’ my brain flicks quickly between the three subjects as I finish up the rounds. It’s a hot day and what should have been a straightforward cow move has left me sweaty and frustrated as I deal with a rather impressively complicated boggle in the electric fencing reel. I check the time on my phone, only ten minutes until the school run and then what on earth are we going to all eat for dinner?! 

Balancing food, family and farming is a juggle but this is our ‘why’. Well before starting the farm we knew that the choices we make around food are incredibly important. Whether it be human health, carbon, land use or animal welfare the choice of what we eat has a impact. This led us through various stages, including a foray into veganism which ended with my health suffering to the point that I had chronic fatigue. Plant based diets can work for some people, but not for me, I had to find another way. 

As I look at the herd of cows gently grazing I now have little doubt that raising high quality nutrient dense meat like this is part of the solution. Our 100% grass fed cows cycle and capture carbon through their trampling, manuring and eating. They literally turn sunlight, water and soil into steak! Our goal is to intervene as little as possible, to manage the grazing so we don’t have to use any outside inputs or sprays on the land, creating a closed loop. This loop also creates and enhances biodiversity and ecosystems on the farm.

As I move my foot I hear a squeak as I inadvertently disturb a field mouse who had been hidden under a tuft of grass - luckily he was ok! The grass in our fields is long, providing acres and acres of habitat for insects, snakes and plenty of mice, voles and shrews. There is no doubt that the owls who nest in the ancient oaks have full bellies! 

Five minutes to go! ‘it will have to be bolognaise it’s quick and easy and everyone eats it’ my brain whirrs as I finally bail on fixing the reel and cut the knot off with a penknife before racing out of the field on the quad bike and into the car to grab the kids from school. The juggle continues. 

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