How do I pick my rancher for grassfed meats?
There is so much misinformation that surrounds us these days. There are a few important subtleties that if not carefully evaluated can leave you purchasing meat that may not be the best for you or may not be as good tasting as it could be. Grassfed beef is very much like fine wines. The rancher and his program, the grasses, the breed of cattle, the water, the supplements all have subtle impacts on your beef experience from a taste, health and sustainability point of view. We suggest that for this cornerstone of our food intake, that you really get acquainted with the source of your meats. So we advocate purchasing your beef directly from the rancher as opposed to some of the other options available like purchasing your beef from sources that shield you from the rancher and his practices.
Here are 5 important questions you want will want to ask your rancher or yourself to determine if this is the right place for you to make your purchase.
- Do you feel that the operation/ranch is transparent? When you are talking to your rancher or their representative do they have the ability to answer your questions i.e. are they knowledgeable. Does what they say make sense? Are they willing to share with you sources of information relative to your question in the event that they do not have it on the spot? Are they willing for you to come visit their operation? Are they clearly sharing their practices to back up their claims?
- Are the cows eating green grass? As a practice and philosophy does the rancher feed the animals green grass? This should be the goal of the operation. It may not always be possible due to seasonal limitations, for example, during the rainy season pastures may be too wet causing unsafe conditions for the animals and they are feed hay.
- Are the animals treated humanely? Take a moment to use your imagination…when you think of cows and how you thought they lived when you were in kindergarten; is your rancher living up to that? Do they live in green pastures? Is there environment friendly? Are the animals treated well?
- NO HORMONES, NO ANTIBIOTICS, NO CORN! There is no wiggle room on this one, no exceptions! Healthy animals don’t eat corn, so they don’t need to receive hormones or antibiotics to stay healthy. Animals on grass have a long, healthy and productive life. Cows in CAFO’s on a corn and soy diet have a limited life span due to the deleterious effects of this diet on the cow’s health notwithstanding the deleterious effects on the health benefits of the meat.
- Does your Rancher run a sustainable operation? The main business of raising grass fed beef is providing the cattle with wonderful grasses to eat. The best ranchers take the time to understand how to grow grass using the animals in a symbiotic relationship. One way to do this is through Management Intensive Grazing (MIG). The cows are concentrated in mobs and are given a fresh patch of grass daily. This concentrates their waste products which in turn feeds the ground, feeding the grass adding organic matter to the soil and improving the soil over time. Additionally some ranchers may add chickens to the process which increases the fertility of the ground and reduces the number of flies.
Grass Fed Hugs,
DeyDey’s Best Beef Ever
Asks Victoria in Review
Victoria Bloch, longtime supporter of the Weston A Price foundation and chapter leader for Los Angeles was on hand at the Mar Vista Market answering questions about the GAPS Diet (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), the Weston A Price Foundation, and nutrient dense foods.
Many people are not aware of the healing properties of pastured animal fats, but Victoria set them straight! If the animals are raised on fress green grass they make a delicious and health addition to any diet. Not to mention the Organic Pastures raw milk, raw cream, raw butter, and raw cheese.
Looking for a boost of energy? Try some liver! Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats the liver is packed with dense nutrition. Organ meats are a staple of traditional diets and are featured heavily in GAPS.
Bone broth is so simple to make and very healing for a damaged gut. Soups and stews made from pastured animal bones play an integral part in the foundation of a healthy diet. They replenish the body with vitamins and minerals. A rich gelatinous bone broth is excellent for repairing the lining of the intestines, not to mention helping to re-lubricate your joints and rebuilding cartilage. Drink several cups a day for the best results.
For more information on the GAPS Diet visit http://gapsdiet.com and join the GAPS Diet Meetup Group at http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-GAPS/
As a follow up to Sunday with Ask Victoria here are some questions for review. Thank you so much Victoria for time and contribution.
OK, here's the skinny on Sunday's adventure, with the top questions (having nothing whatsoever to do with GAPS) asked.
I buy raw milk because I think it's heathier and/or tastes better. Shouldn't I but skim milk because it's lower in fat?
Absolutely not! If your drinking skim milk because you think it's healthier, you're missing out on some of the most important benefits of milk. Our bodies need the fat in the milk in order to properly absorb the minerals in it (like calcium and magnesium), as well as fat-soluable, immune-enhancing vitamins A & D. There's a reason tese are called "fat-soluable" vitamins: they need fat to get into your body.
In addition, farmers have traditionally fed skim milk to their live stock (expecially pigs and chickens) to help make them fat. Remember, whenever you remove the fat from a food, you're increasing the amount of protein, carbohydrates, or both. Milk is naturally rich in carbohydrates, so when you remove the fat you're getting more of them - probably why the skim version helps make pigs nice and plump.
So if you want to stay trim, and get a good boost of minerals and vitamins, make sure to always drink your whole milk.
But what about cholesterol? Don't I need to avoid saturated fats by eating lean meat and drinking low-fat diary products to keep my cholesterol in check?
This is a major question, and a robust discussion is outside of the scope of a five-minute conversation. Briefly, it's been well-documented in scientific literature that is saturated fats raise protective HDL levels (we're not talking about trans-fats, but realy animal fat and naturally produced tropical oils, like coconut), so it would actually make sense to increase consumptive of such fats. On the other hand, highly refined pure carbohydrate foods like flour, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and the like raise risky triglyceride levels - so it would make sense to de-emphasize such foods.
On another note, too much lean protein without the fat can stress the kidneys (vitamin A plays a role here, too; many of the foods that are rich in vitamin A are also rich in cholesterol - which should tell us something). But protein with its naturally occurring fat (if you think about it, aren't we told to eat whole foods?) doesn't have this effect. And when the fat comes from animals grazing on pasture, the fat contains not only wonderful antioxidant carotenes, bu tlots of CLA (supports energy on the cellular level).
Bottom line, you definitely want to avoid trans fats, found in many processed foods, but not natural saturated fats that accompany foods from properly raised (i.e., pastured) animals.
Hello Everyone,We are so excited to be hosting Ask Victoria this week at the Mar Vista Market, from 9:00 to 2:00.
She is the leader of the West LA Weston A Price Foundation and is very knowledgeable regarding the
GAPS diet and has great insight when it comes to ailments that have baffeled the medical community.
She will be answering all your questions so come on by.
What is the GAPS diet and why are so many people following it?
GAPS stands for Gut And Psychology Syndrome. Developed by British physician Natasha Campbell-McBride,
it's more than just a diet: it's a well-structured program in three parts, including diet, detoxification, and supplementation.
It is based on the notion that having a healthy population of gut bacteria is foundational to good health, by providing our
first line, and perhaps most important, line of defense.
Many of us have followed poor diets, taken antibiotics, and otherwise engaged in practices that have damaged
that healthy population. The result? Poor digestion. Poor nutrient absorption. Food allergies. Health imbalances.
Mood imbalances. Even autism and other psychological issues.
By restoring the health of the gut, and eliminating the body's toxic load, we can restore balance to our bodies and our minds.
GAPS helps to rebuild our digestive system by working with a logical, gentle, gradual program of dietary intervention,
supported by specific supplementation and gentle detoxification.
Not everyone needs to follow GAPS. But it has proven to be an invaluable tool for many, and it's well worth knowing
more – because you never know when you or a loved one may benefit!
DeyDey's is thrilled to be a part of The Ventura Meat Company's Team
Here at DeyDey’s we have long desired to provide our pasture raised chicken and grass fed beef to our neighbors in Ventura County. Establishing this partnership with The Ventura Meat Company whose focus is on Local, Grass Fed, Sustainable, and Wild gives us this opportunity to do so. This allows customers interested in the superior health benefits that come from raising animals using their natural food source the ability to eat using a local ranch.
Michael Buckley’s passion for Local and Sustainable is evident in the way he does business such as choosing a local, sustainable meat purveyor and a local bank. Grass fed gives the meat the best taste and superior health benefits. Wild enables customers to select very un-orthodox meat types and cuts such as Elk, Bison, or Lamb from New Zealand.
Thursday was their first day; visit them at 2650 E Main Street, or online at www.theventurameatcompany.com.
DeyDey's Best Beef Ever is proud to announce their participation in the SOL Food Festival.
This amazing event on October 1st from runs from 10 to 6 at the Plaza de Vera Cruz and showcases the local, sustainable, and organic food systems in the County of Santa Barbara.
John and Nadine have pulled out all the stops to make this an enjoyable and memorable event. Both John and Nadine will be at the event with ranch staff to help serve delicious grass fed beef and answer any questions you may have.
Stop by our booth in the Garden of Eatin' to try our Sliders and Sloppy Joes made out of our flavorful grass fed ground beef.
We will also have an information booth in with the educators and exhibitors with information on sustainable farming and our progress on converting our vehicles to Waste Vegetable Oil.
Featured at the event will be many entertainers, educators, and exhibitors, for more details check out their website.
We look forward to seeing you there...
How exciting our pasture raised eggs are featured in Los Angeles Magazine.
Check out Los Angeles Magazine and see how our pasture raised eggs rate.
We are featured as one of the best producers of Farmer's Market eggs.
Our pasture raised eggs are reported to have flame-colored yolks with undeniable flavor.
You might be confused for it says California Lowline Cattle Company; that is the breeding
and stock branch of John & Nadine de Bruin's operation; most Farmer's Market patrons are familiar
with the other branch of the business - DeyDey's Best Beef Ever.
Our pasture raised eggs are so special because they are raised right on the pasture. We mob
graze our cows ensuring an even coverage of cow poop. The pasture raised Rhode Island Red egg
layers are then moved to this bug dense section of the pasture which allows them to scratch through
the poop to find the delicious bugs which they love. They also feast on grasses like alfalfa, kitchen cuttings,
an organic soy-free feed along with an oyster shell supplement.
Thank you to all the hard work on the ranch from Lee and Isai. You guys' hard work made our eggs
worth flipping over.
Days at the Ranch
What besides the grass is turning green these days?
Our Waste Vegetable Oil-run vehicles!
Remy Olsen and our own ranch manager Lee Douglas have been carrying the torch throughout the conversion process of our farm vehicles. Remy has been collecting waste veggie oil from local restaurants (http://instagr.am/p/LA5jk/ -- picture from pick-up day) and Lee has been at the helm of converting the engines to use the new fuel.
The purpose in pursuing the collection of waste fryer oil stems from part of the Dey Dey’s Best Beef Ever mission to leave the part of our earth that has been entrusted to us in a better state than when we received it. We’re tackling our energy consumption and reducing our carbon output by improving processes to reduce fuel needs and creating a filtration and pick-up system to reuse fryer oil, a.k.a. waste vegetable oil (WVO), in our diesel farmers market trucks.
The first trip using WVO was made in our Ford F450 towing a trailer, picking up some cows. Lee used 10% WVO (the rest diesel) to see how this newer model would react. Everything went smoothly.
John also just made a trip to the meat packer's to pick up a new batch of cut beef, running on 10% WVO.
Our settling and filtering tanks are up and running as you can see in the photo (link up top) thanks to Lee's engineering. The filtration system will work best when the tank is full. Remy is working to get the tanks filled by building a steady supply: every couple weeks we establish a new working relationship with a local restaurant.
We are also collecting WVO at the farmer's markets and got our first gallon from the owner of a local catering company who saw our wanted sign when she was shopping at the Solvang market with her family!
More develops every week on the WVO project so check back.
Organic Pastures is one of two California dairies certified by the USDA to sell raw milk, and we are thrilled to partner with them.
Raw milk is an amazing product. The health benefits are astounding and are discussed extensively on Weston A. Price's website, www.westonaprice.com (look for the "Campaigns" section on the home page and select "real milk"). A simple thing that sets it apart from pasturized milk is that raw milk never really spoils. When it sours it turns into delicious buttermillk as opposed to pasteurized milk which turns rancid and has to be thrown away.
John and Nadine recently went to visit the Organic Pastures operations. We were greeted warmly by Mark McAfee, who has transformed his Fresno based acreage into one of the most unique dairies in the US. He personally provided us with a tour of his farm, including his alfalfa fields, his mobile milking parlor, his cream parlor, cheese parlor, etc. Everything is kept meticulously clean and neat. Having been in the medical field Mark is well versed in the benefits of raw milk and is passionate about sharing that knowledge with everyone he meets. He is so passionate, he is starting a new foundation whose purpose is just that- education.
One cannot help but share his enthusiasm for raw milk, especially on hearing stories of people so positively affected by his product. We at DeyDey's are proud to partner with Organic Pastures in providing the best and healthiest products we know how to grow. Visit us at www.BestBeefEver.com and www.organicpastures.com for more information. We would love to see you at the market!!!
We had the great pleasure of having Erin & Cory - the Arbor Mist Up for Anything Girls visit our ranch and had a great time showing them around. They got to work in the brooder, fed the pasture raised chickens, collected the pasture raised eggs, moved cows, and fixed fences.
We served them and their crew grass fed hamburgers and fresh lemonade. It was amazing working with them and the entire crew.
Visit the link below to see the great video staring Erin, Cory, and John. Thanks so much for allowing us to be apart of this great video.
SEE THE VIDEO on YouTube.
Check out their Facebook page.
At a recent Mar Vista Farmers Market, a man came to the Dey Dey’s Best Beef Ever stand asking for half a chicken- An old chicken.
"Our chickens are young chickens," John told him.
The man replied, "Well, no, I need an old chicken for making stock."
"Plenty of people have used our chicken for stock," John said. "I’ll tell you what. You take half a chicken today. If you’re not delighted by the stock, come back next week and I’ll give you your money back."
So the guy bought half a chicken.
The following week at Mar Vista's market John saw the same man.
"Did you come to get your money back?" John asked him, smiling.
He answered: "No. I came for another half a chicken!"
The de Bruins recently had a family gathering for Nadine’s birthday.
Firing up the meal, Nadine knew the kids would prefer hamburgers -as almost always- to the adult meal, so she went looking for the ground beef.
Not in that freezer... no, okay, not in that freezer... strangely, she found none. Not an ounce in the house!
There was only one option : they headed to the Isla Vista Food Co-op and purchased 3lbs of their own beef!
There were castles and cars in the Santa Rita Hills area as hundreds of Californianʼs took area farmers John and
Nadine deBruin up on their offer to "see where their food comes from".
The Santa Barbara couple sell their grass fed beef direct to customers at farmerʼs markets in Solvang, Lompoc,
Goleta, Pasadena and Studio City. They have noticed that people seem to be increasingly interested in knowing more about the food they eat. The popularity of the documentary "Food Inc." along with new ABC show "Jamie Oliverʼs Food Revolution" have contributed
to this growing interest. "Our customers are very interested in sustainable farming practices along with the health advantages of grass fed beef.
People want to know where their food comes from, that the animals are treated well and that what they are eating is good for them." said John.
As a result, John and Nadine decided to give people the opportunity to see their operation ﬁrst hand,
coming up with the idea to host an open house at their Santa Rita Hills area farm.
The promise of a free hamburger made with the deBruinʼs Best Beef Ever ground beef, along with
opportunity to see the farm and learn about the eco practices used in its management, was enough to
draw more than 300 people from as far away as Pasadena and Los Angeles.
John and Nadine made the open house an event. There was a hay ride, petting zoo and a blow up castle for visiting kids to play in.
Guests got to tour the farm and see ﬁrsthand the sustainability practices employed by the deBruins as cattle were moved from a depleted
pasture to a fresh pasture. The cattle literally sprinted for the newly opened ﬁeld with its long lush grass.
The deBruins also used the open house to introduce the newest editions to the farm. Chickens are now part of the farmʼs ecofriendly practices.
Placed on the pastures in special enclosures, the chickens clear the ﬁeld of bugs while fertilizing the grass, keeping it lush and green for the cattle.
The deBruins will begin selling chicken alongside their beef in just a few weeks time.
The deBruins see themselves as grass farmers who just so happen to have a bunch of cattle that love to eat it. In that sense, their farm is
kind of an all you can eat salad bar for cows.
With Johnʼs background as an aerospace engineer, it seems inevitable that science and research would play a part on the ranch. From the outset the
deBruinʼs goal was to produce the healthiest, best tasting beef possible. Research lead the couple to Joel Salatin who is featured in the documentary
Food Inc. as an example of how farming should be done. The sustainable and eco friendly practices the deBruins use in the management of their
farm and animals are based on how Salatin manages his Virginia farm. The open house presentations showcased many of the positive things
being done on the farm that the deBruinʼs learned from Salatin.
The deBruins gave a seminar on their 8 step quality program that ensures the cows are happy and healthy, without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.
John also spoke about how his love for cows and life long dream of being a farmer motivated him to start the farm with Nadine after after his retirement from aerospace.
Guests enjoyed a beautiful day in the Santa Rita Hills, well known for its ﬁn Pinot Noir, learned about where their food comes from and enjoyed
a hamburger made with what the deBruins proudly proclaim is the Best Beef Ever. Their customers couldnʼt agree more.