OUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY
Red Mountain Grass-Fed Beef is dedicated to providing healthy, natural food that we’re proud to feed our families and yours. To us this means high quality protein raised without growth hormones and antibiotics. We raise our beef on lush pastures without the use of fertilizer, herbicide or insecticide. Our cattle roam freely on acreage alongside the Yakima River, breathing fresh air and enjoying a quiet peaceful life. We’re committed to ethical, low stress harvest and an honest respect for our animal’s natural instincts and requirements.
Less than 250 years ago, 100 million ruminate animals roamed the plains of North America, naturally sequestering carbon and maintaining a robust plains ecosystem. Our farm mimics this system on a small scale. Without predators, our cattlemen gently encourage the cattle to move between pastures, simulating migration to maintain the health of the grasses. In this way, we practice the "non-till" method of cultivation. There are no diesel tractors blowing smoke or disturbing the animals. There is no need for GMO seed or fertilizer because the grass is sustainably managed year after year. Earthworms constantly turn the soil mixing manure and organic materials into the soil. Pesticides, herbicides, and most fertilizers, would greatly diminish our earthworms and friendly bugs. This often leads to a downward spiral of contamination of our food, land and water. When earth worms are made a priority, they will take care of our pastures. No soil compaction. No chemical run off into the river and no fossil fuel air pollution. Chemicals free poisoning pastures or our families. The pastures of Red Mountain Grass-Fed Beef are heritage river bottom grasses. Noxious weeds are hand chopped with a machete. The cattle are rotated every 5-7 days so the pasture can rest and recover between grazing periods. The life cycle of a fly is about 5 days, so this rotation helps with fly control and greatly contributes to the comfort of our animals. With comfort in mind, we provide the animals with the bovine equivalent to scratching posts so they can happily scratch every itch. Each pasture has adequate shade for the animals to escape the heat on the hottest summer days. Just like a kid in summertime, our cattle love it when we turn on the sprinklers to help them cool off. There are lots of ways to raise a food source animal, but we believe in doing it with love.
THE TRUTH AND THE HYPE
The term "grass fed" has become a marketing tool or fad. Many consumers equate the term with health. Marketers/retailers, sometimes unaware, use the term to entice the consumer to buy their product. ALL CATTLE are fed grass of some form at some point in their life. They are herbivores and obligate vegetarians. “Pasture raised" also does not necessarily mean healthy or ethical. Even animals raised on pastures are often treated with growth hormones and antibiotics or exposed to chemicals.
While all cattle are fed grass, GRASS-FINISHED BEEF is a rarity. It’s simply not as lucrative to the big commercial producers. Beef is sold by the pound, whether on the hoof, hanging weight, or at the retail shop. Therefore, any means that adds weight means more profit for the seller. Typically, this just means more fat per animal that is subsequently trimmed off and discarded at the butcher shop.
Why buy grass-finished? The moral reasons: Ethically raised beef cattle has a -3% carbon footprint, despite the methane. The primary reason is the almost non-existent use of fossil fuels to produce feed. Commercially produced feed requires big machinery that produces emission but also requires petroleum-based herbicides and fungicides to produce a viable product. Those big machines also kill countless small mammal and birds that make their home in those fields while the product is harvested. The health reasons: Grass-finished beef naturally put on less fat proportionally to their weight. They’re eating the food nature intended rather than a grain heavy “standard- American-diet” they are fed in place of grass. They put on fat and have plenty of marbling but is of a different composition. Grass-finished beef fat has a more optimal Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. The fat on our cattle looks different. Whiter and more opaque, without any of the fat-soluble industrial additives of commercial beef.
GRAIN FINISHED OPTIONS
Even with the rigorously studied benefits of grass-finished beef, the lean quality of our beef is not the preference of every customer. We partner with other vetted farms to bring an ethical grain finished product to our customers who prefer a fattier cut of meat with a mainstream taste. These cattle are raised according to the same protocols as our grass finished beef, including absolutely no growth hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, etc. They are free range, pasture fed in non-crowded conditions. The main difference with these cattle is the fact that they are GRAIN FINISHED to produce a fattier end product. Absolutely no GMO CORN is included in this curated diet. The grains are typically oats or barley. Grains add fats and weight. This is what some people prefer and have enjoyed their entire life. Our purpose in partnering and supporting fellow local farmers is to satisfy our customers and offer a superior alternative to commercially raised cattle. These cattle are the same quality beef stock, raised with intention, and harvested in the same low stress manner as our own cattle.
Harvest day at Red Mountain is a quick and merciful end after a happy, beautiful life on our farm. There is no round-up and no electric prods. Besides the fact that stress hormones affect the taste of meat, we never want to upset the rest of the herd unnecessarily. If you would like to hear more details about this process, please call us. Some customers even come visit the farm on harvest day out of curiosity or interest. We have nothing to hide and are proud of our own morality on the subject. What happens next after beef is taken to the butcher shop? The “hanging weight” is established. Payment is due after this calculation and you will be contacted by our farm to receive your billing information and your personal order tag number. Following the receipt of payment, you will be contacted concerning your cutting and wrapping specifications. The beef then hangs and ages for 10-14 days. During this time your cutting and wrapping instructions will be followed and your meat will be flash frozen for quality.