Here’s The Beef on Our Beef
When it comes to beef at Meridian, we offer two choices. Well-marbled grain fed beef, and free range grass fed beef raised without growth hormones.
Our Rancher’s Choice beef comes from grain fed Alberta raised cattle. This cattle is grass fed for a duration of time, then brought to feedlot for grain feeding for the final 90-120 days before slaughter. The grain finishing results in more fat marbling which gives the meat a mild yet robust flavour and makes the beef juicier as well. Growth hormones (estrogen) and medications are administered with this style of ranching, under strict governmental regulation – the growth hormones act as an appetite stimulant and promote weight gain. Medications are administered to prevent illness which can spread quickly when animals are kept confined together in numbers.
Our free range grass fed beef is raised entirely on a grass diet (never goes to feed lot to consume grain or dietary supplements) and never receives growth hormone additives or steroids. Because this beef is entirely grass finished, it is leaner and has a richer distinct flavour. Our free range beef is raised in the lush grassy pastures of New Zealand, where this style of ranching is common place, and imported fresh to our stores.
Some customers have asked: “Why do you not sell locally raised grass fed beef?”
The answer: Free Range style cattle ranching is common husbandry practice in New Zealand, where the mild climate allows grass to grow year round. Although it is our preference to sell beef raised locally in Canada, to date we have not been able to source a consistent supply of fresh local free range grass fed beef.
Some customers have also asked: “Are there GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) in the cattle feed?”
The answer: The grain/corn feed given to conventionally raised cattle and grass consumed by our free range cattle may contain GMO’s.
The choice is yours. Both of our beef options offer unique benefits:
Our Grain Fed Beef provides a milder flavour and juicy, moisture enhanced bite, however some feel that this style of ranching is controversial in terms of food additives and animal welfare.
Our Free Range Grass Fed Beef is leaner (less fat marbling) and has some difference in flavour compared to grain fed beef. It is raised abroad, albeit in natural surroundings for the duration of life, and entirely grass fed without the use of growth hormones.