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Food, Health, and Eco-news
NEW! Organic, Grass-Fed Beef
It's super-succulent, thanks to a hybrid made in heaven; we also pair it with seafood 06/27/2013
Over the years, many customers have urged us to offer meats as pure, sustainable, and delicious as our seafood. 

We held back until we could find the perfect partner … and we're delighted to introduce the superior results of our long search! 

And as fate would have it we found the ideal organic ranch just an hour's drive from our headquarters. Finally, we can invite our customers to enjoy the ultimate beef experience … unsurpassed purity, flavor, succulence, and nutrition. 

We're launching our new line with three great beef products: 
Tenderloin Fillets - 6 oz each 
Beef Patties - 5.3 oz (1/3 lb) each
New York Strip Steaks - 6 oz each 

Plus three perfect “Surf & Turf” combos: 
Scallops & Tenderloin – Small, Family, and Jumbo

Organic, 100% grass-fed, and supremely succulent 
Our new beef is a unique, custom cross between two famed breeds: 
  • American Wagyu – certified 100% purebred Wagyu from Japanese stock. 
  • Angus – specifically, a grass-adapted heirloom strain of the famed Scottish breed.
This marriage means that Vital Choice Organic Beef matches the succulence of Wagyu with the rich flavor of Angus. (See “A hybrid made in heaven”, below.) 

Our beef comes from a small herd that grazes on certified-organic pasture at a holistic family farm nestled in the fertile Skagit River Valley … very near our base in northwest Washington State. 

The cattle get no grain, and feed exclusively on pasture rich in grasses, legumes (e.g., clover), and herbs. 

Following harvest, the beef is hung for a minimum of two weeks to further enhance its tenderness and flavor. 

To learn more, see “Why grass-fed beef?” and “The story behind our organic grass-fed beef”, below. 

The result is truly ravishing … and you needn't take our word for it. 

As bestselling food journalist Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) wrote our ranchers, “[This] was one of the best steaks we've ever had … perfect … we both savored every bite. So much flavor and tenderness. You've really got it dialed …. I'm so impressed!” 

And as a top American chef put it, very succinctly, “The buttery meaty texture will blow your mind!” – Maria Hines, 2000 James Beard Award winner “the Best Chef Northwest” 

A hybrid made in heaven
The Angus cows that our ranchers cross-breed with American Wagyu bulls come from an older strain. 

This “heirloom” Angus retains the breed's original adaptation to fattening very well on pasture, making the meat more succulent than standard grass-fed Angus, which require grain to avoid toughness. 

That advantage helps explain why our rancher's Angus triumphed “hands down” in's grass-fed-beef taste test, while “… judges across the board described it as tender and succulent with excellent flavor.” 

And one expert's opinion endorses the wisdom of our innovative Wagyu/Angus cross: 
“Look for British breeds like … Angus. And if you should find grass-fed Wagyu, buy it.” – Mark Schatzker, author of Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef, writing in The Wall Street Journal 

Why grass-fed beef?
Beef is an inherently healthful food, rich in protein, iron, and minerals. 

And our exclusively grass-fed, Organic Beef offers a healthier – and far more eco-friendly – alternative to conventional, grain-fed counterparts. 

Compared with grain-fed beef, our pasture-fed beef is richer in at least three key nutrients: 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Our grass-fed beef provides almost six times more than grain-fed beef, and offers an optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (3:1). These are healthful attributes, given the omega-6 overload in American diets. See also “Basic facts about omega-3s and beef”, below. 
  • Beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) – an antioxidant that gives its fat a yellow-orange cast. 
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – an unsaturated fat that appears to promote healthy weight and metabolism. 
We recommend author Michael Pollan's take on grass-fed vs. conventional, grain-fed beef … see “Modern Meat” and “Power Steer”. 

The story behind our organic grass-fed beef
Our ranchers – a husband/wife team – humanely raise a small herd of about 300 cattle on a certified-organic, century-old ranch. 

The ranch lies in the famously fertile Skagit River Valley, where eagles roost in winter, and salmon return every summer. 

The cattle spend their entire lives on certified-organic pastureland, benefiting from rotational grazing on fresh, nutritious grasses, legumes, and herbs. 

And to help keep them optimally healthy, the cattle receive a special mineral-rich mix of sea salt and kelp. 

Each animal is harvested on the farm, using a USDA-certified mobile unit … the most humane method available, and the first such U.S. facility operated by farmers. 

Our beef is then hung for a minimum of two weeks to enhance its flavor and tenderness. The meat is cut, vacuum-sealed, and quick-frozen to preserve its incredible eating quality.

What about the saturated fat in beef? 
The evidence long cited to link certain saturated animal fats with increased risk of heart disease was surprisingly weak ... and in recent years it's been repeatedly, convincingly refuted. 

This cogent quote comes from a 2012 interview with Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of more than 100 scientific papers on nutrition and health: 
“Three groups of researchers have recently weighed data from all available large long-term studies that have tracked saturated-fat intake and heart attacks or strokes. All three found no association between saturated fat and heart attacks or strokes. People who consumed the highest levels of saturated fat had about the same rates of heart disease as people who consumed the least.” 

Learn more from relevant articles in our newsletter archive

Basic facts about omega-3s and beef 
People are often misinformed or misled about this topic. These are the facts: 
  • Most of the small amount of omega-3s in grass-fed beef consists of the short-chain omega-3 known as ALA, which itself is not essential to health or life. 
  • Omega-3 ALA serves as the basis from which the body can make the long-chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) humans actually require to thrive and survive. 
  • The human body converts only one to 10 percent of omega-3 ALA into the essential long-chain omega-3s (DHA and EPA) found in human cells and seafood. It's far more effective to consume DHA and EPA directly, from seafood and/or supplements. 
  • Grass-fed beef provides only a very small amount of DHA and EPA … far less than in an equivalent amount of seafood … especially fatty fish. 
  • Fish and shellfish acquire lots of DHA from their diets of aquatic plants and animals, while livestock get modest amounts of ALA from grasses and other pasture plants. (Conventional beef also gets some ALA from soy-based feeds.) 
  • Per ounce, grass-fed beef provides less omega-3 ALA than the few good food sources: flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seed, chia seed, grass-fed eggs, and dark, leafy greens. 
For more information on omega-3s, see our Omega-3 Facts & Sources page.