Is Your Meat Grass Fed?

Many of you would have heard me talk about the importance of grass fed meat. The benefits of grass fed meats are cow on grassmany and varied. Cows raised on pasture are also known as the “fish of the land”, as they are a rich source of omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats are found in grasses and when the cows (or chickens) eat grass they convert the vegetable omega 3 into a more available and active form for us….much like fish convert seaweed into omega 3. CLA is another important anticancer compound found in the fat of grass fed animals. See my article on butter for more info on CLA.

Grain fed meat, in contrast contains very little omega 3 and also distorts the healthy bacteria in the gut of the cow. Cows are more prone to infection in confined feedlots and are normally given antibiotics. The detrimental effect of grains on the digestion of cows has also been implicated in nasty e-coli poisoning from meat.

Sourcing your meat from a local farmer or purchasing from organic butchers is the best way to ensure you are getting quality grass fed meat. Many cows are shipped long distances on trucks or cattle trains causing undue stress to the animal which is unnecessary and in some cases inhumane. The quality of the meat is impacted on by stress hormones in the animal, resulting in tough, difficult to digest meat.

Hawthorne Partnership is one local farm near Warwick in Queensland that avoids many of the problems with conventional farming.  We have been lucky enough to be sourcing our meat from them for the last few years.

Here is what they have to say about their operation…

We operate 3 small Farms in the Killarney, Tannymorel & Emu Vale districts, 30 kms South East of Warwick. These farms consist of 600 acres of mineral rich farming land on which we run 100 breeders, mainly Devon Shorthorn cross cows with Angus bulls. We grow 80 acres of irrigated Lucerne, and each year we grow approximately 150 acres of Oats for winter & Millet for summer as supplementary feed for our stock. The balance of the acreage is natural grassland for grazing .darlingdowns

In our operation there is no intense grainfeeding, no cattle dipping or spraying (we live in a tick free area) and we don’t use any growth promotants or hormones. We top dress our cultivation paddocks with a natural mineral fertilizer (a custom mix of brown coal, lime and potassium silicate).  We grow Lucerne, Oats & Millet without the use of chemicals.

We sell our Vealers at approximately 9 months of age  weighing between 150kg and 190kg dressed weight. The cattle are transported to the abattoir ( which is only 12 km away) by ourselves. They are slaughtered there (which is a small family owned fully registered abattoir) and hung in a coldroom for 8 – 9 days. The carcasses are then taken to a local butcher shop (which is owned and operated by the same family) where they are processed and packed ready for us to collect. We have them packed into 1/4s of beef or into primal cuts which are cryovaced and bulk mince or sausages.

It is important to remember not all meat is created equal. Processed meats and conventionally raised animal meats do not contain the same health benefits as grass fed organic or chemical free meat. Aside from grain, feedlot cattle and intensively raised pigs are often fed many other foods that are unhealthy and a byproduct of the junk food industry. Their diet can include everything from potato chips and lollies to genetically modified corn and soy byproducts. All of this rubbish ends up in the meat of the animal and as humans are the end of the food chain, we ingest it too. It is apparent that this is just one aspect of the changes in farming practices over the past few decades that is having a flow on effect on and negatively impacting on the health of the human population.

So it is very clear that grass fed, naturally raised animals are the best choice for good health as well being the most ethical, humane and sustainable sources.


  • For more info about Hawthorne Partnership ring Lyle & Val on 0428 644142 or email