Grass-fed, grass-finished, pastured, organic, hormone-free, local... There are a lot of labels out there to decipher. Here’s what you need to know about grass-fed labels from the health benefits of grass-fed beef to how we source our selection of 100% grass-fed beef at Farm Fresh Market.
Why grass-fed? Cows are meant to eat grass, so when they consume large quantities of grain it leads to health problems which necessitate the use of antibiotics. Our beef is all raised without the use of antibiotics. Grass-fed beef is higher in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef, while also lower in overall fat and calories. It’s naturally leaner and higher in nutrients. To borrow from Michael Pollan, “you are what you eat eats.” Cows evolved eating grass and are much healthier when they are able to eat their intended food, making grass-fed beef a healthier option for you and your family.
Many companies will simply state that their meat is “grass-fed,” which is true of nearly all cattle in the early months of its life. Most cattle live several months at pasture before being sold at auction. Then they are moved to “factory farms” where they're fattened on grain before becoming your steak. This is why you should look for grass-finished beef. There is no regulation of the term grass-fed, so the best way to ensure that you are getting truly grass-fed meat is to know your farmer and trust your butcher. At Farm Fresh Market, we can tell you were your meat comes from, how it was raised, and what it ate. We may fall just short of knowing the cow’s names, but we can probably find out for you! And all of our beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished.
We buy whole cows from Stiebrs Farm in Yelm. Stiebrs raises 100% grass-fed, grass-finished cows on certified organic pasture. Stiebrs will not be renewing their organic certification, due to some exceedingly expensive and restrictive containment requirements that would require the farm to build new fences. They chose to concentrate on continuing to bring you the highest quality, humanely raised, healthful, and truly delicious beef. Because we buy whole cows, we carry a wide variety of Stiebrs beef, including steaks, ground, roasts, stew meat, liver and bones. An affordable way to stock your freezer with high quality beef is to buy ¼, ½, or whole Stiebrs cows through Farm Fresh Market.
Colvin Ranch raises grass-fed, grass-finished beef near Tenino. The Ranch was homesteaded by the Colvins five generations ago, and they remain committed to raising cattle in a truly sustainable and humane fashion. All of their beef is hormone and antibiotic free. Look for their ground beef, liver and soup bones in our freezers.
Many of you have come to love and depend on our fresh meat, which is processed daily in-house. The majority of our fresh beef comes from Pacific Pastures in Northern California. We strive to bring you not only the best options in grass-fed meat, but also a variety of options. We are not able to source our fresh beef, which we process in our store, from our local farmers since most of their meat is processed, vacuumed-packed, and frozen immediately. Instead we partner with Pacific Pastures, a small company comprised of independent ranches. Their cattle are always grass-fed, raised with high standards, and are never administered antibiotics or hormones. The Pacific Pastures label was started for farms that adhere to organic principles but don’t want to or haven’t yet gone through the rigors of certification. Depending on
availability, we also carry Eel River, the parent company of Pacific Pastures, who raises cattle in a similar fashion, but is certified organic. We offer fresh ground round, ground chuck, top round steaks, top round roasts, and stew meat.
We also partner with Heritage meats to bring you 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef from Jerry Foster’s Farm in Curtis, WA. Jerry raises his cattle on the fertile banks of the Chehalis, and Heritage processes this meat and brings us fresh steaks, roasts, and bones twice weekly. We can also special order nearly any cut of beef for you, just ask!
Let’s take some time to appreciate one of the things that makes living in America great: the cheeseburger. September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day! Seems like a good excuse to eat a grass-fed cheeseburger and learn a bit more about the history of the cheeseburger.
1200: Mongol horseman stash raw meat under their saddles during their conquests. After a long day of pillaging the meat would transform into patties tender enough to eat. Through their travels, word of the tender meat patties reaches Hamburg, Germany where it gets the name, Hamburg Steak. 1747: An English cookbook publishes a recipe for hamburg sausage. The recipe calls for minced beef seasoned with suet, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, garlic, wine vinegar, bay salt, red wine and rum, smoked for a week in a chimney. 1802: The Oxford English Dictionary defines the hamburg steak as a “hard slab of salted, minced beef, slightly smoked, mixed with onions and bread crumbs.” 1873: The hamburg steak appears on the first printed menu at Delmonico’s in New York. 1900: Louis Lassen creates a hamburg steak sandwich at his restaurant in New Haven. The sandwich consists of ground beef trimmings made into a patty, grilled, and placed between two pieces of toast. 1916: Short-order cook, Walter Anderson invents a bun specifically for hamburgers. His invention is so successful that he founds the first hamburger chain, “White Castle.” 1924: At the age of 16, Lionel Sternberger puts a slice of American cheese on a cooking hamburger at his father’s sandwich shop in California. It was a hit and they added it to the menu calling it a cheese hamburger. 1934: Charles Kaelin claims to invent the cheeseburger at his restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky stating he wanted to “add a new tang to the hamburger.” 1935: Louis Ballast, owner of Humpty Dumpty Barrel Drive-In in Denver files a patent for the cheeseburger. Despite all other claims of inventing the cheeseburger, Louis holds the patent and is considered to its lawful creator.
We don’t care who invented them, or where they originated, we’re just glad they exist. Whether you top ‘em with pickles, onion rings, bacon or even an egg, make sure your beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished! On September 18th, let’s all raise a cheeseburger in celebration of a truly great American holiday, National Cheeseburger Day.
Writer, artist, steak-lover, and fledgling photographer, meet Hannah, who is Canadian, speaks fluent French, and cuts a mean tenderloin steak!
What do you do at Farm Fresh Market and how long have you worked here? I work as a meat cutter, and have been here since June, 3 months.
What drew you to natural foods? I’ve worked in a meat department before, and I really enjoyed it. Natural foods are good because you can have more trust in where you are getting the food, how they are treating both the animals and, especially if it’s local, you can have more trust in how they are treating the workers as well. It’s also more healthy and sustainable. Treatment of workers is one of my biggest things, on a personal level. I am cognizant of how the people who produce my food are treated. With local foods it’s often a family business, so it’s easier to know people are treated well.
Are you a native Washingtonian? I am not. I was actually raised in Canada, I have dual citizenship; I am both American and Canadian. I am from the Great Lakes Region. I was born in Michigan, then moved across Lake Erie, to Ontario, then back to Michigan, where I went to high school and university.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Farm Fresh Market? I like the work that I do. I like how I am trusted to know what to do, and to do it.
Do you have any products you love? I really enjoy the Stumptown coffee with milk in it, it’s the only iced coffee I’ve been able to find that’s not ridiculously sweet. It’s tasty! I also like the Nineveh sandwiches.
What’s your favorite fall meal? I don’t really have a concept of season specific meals, I enjoy comfort foods in the fall! I’ve recently been making the dish where you make a hole in your bread and fry an egg in it, I made it the other day with leftover curry thrown in, so delicous! I think it’s called eggs in a basket?
What do you do in your free time? I write, and draw. I recently got a camera too, so I’ve been taking lots of pictures. I’ve been watching a lot of movies too.
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2010 Black Lake Blvd SW Olympia Wa 98512
Just south of HWY 101, next to the Sushi House