By Paula Detwiller Special to The Pineapple
Do grass-fed cattle produce healthier and tastier meat than traditionally corn-fed cattle? A growing number of consumers say yes— and they’re helping to support a whole new way of raising, processing, and marketing beef cattle. Since January was National Meat Month, we thought it would be timely to check in with Tom Pellizzetti, co-founder of Arrowhead Beef, at the Delray GreenMarket. Q. So Tom, this is your third year selling Florida grass-fed beef at our market, and sales seem to be climbing steadily. Why do people buy grass-fed beef? A. Two main reasons: nutrition and the way the animals are raised. Grass-fed beef contains from two to six times more heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids than commercially produced beef. It’s also much leaner. For example, our ribeye has two grams of fat compared to a typical ribeye, which has 14 grams of fat. And our beef is raised without the use of hormones, antibiotics or even pesticides on the grass. The second reason is all about knowing where your food comes from. Our customers have watched movies like Food Inc. and King Corn and read books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma. They like knowing that our cattle are raised on a ranch in Chipley, Florida owned by George Fisher, co-founder of Arrowhead Beef. The cattle are raised on pasture, eating nothing but grass and forage, and they are slaughtered humanely at local, USDA-inspected facilities as opposed to being sent to feedlots or any industrial beef production. That’s why our tagline is “Raised Right and Sent Off Good.”
Q. I’ve heard you talk about “heirloom beef” the way Svetlana Simon of Heritage Hen Farm talks about her heirloom chicken breeds. What’s so special about your cattle? A. George is a third-generation cattleman and has quietly cultivated a substantial herd of rare specialty cattle known as Parthenais. The Parthenais breed was established in France in 1893 and is world renowned for yielding exceptionally lean, tender, beef. Since the breed is so rare and exclusive, it is considered heirloom. Q. What about the taste? A. People love grass-fed beef because of the taste. Arrowhead Beef has developed a special aging and cutting process. We have a variety of cuts to choose from, including premium steaks, value steaks, ground beef, roasts, brisket, Osso Buco and short ribs. If you’re interested, Tom will show you photos of the Arrowhead Beef ranch and his local, small-batch beef processing operation next time you visit the Delray GreenMarket. For the complete backstory on Florida Grass-fed Beef, go to www.FloridaGrass-fed.com. Reprinted with permission from the Delray GreenMarket. For more information about food holidays, and vendors and products found at the market, please visit the GreenMarket blog, www.delraygreenmarket.worpress.com.