Weaver Street Market decided a decade ago to purchase only local, pasture-raised beef. As a result, more dollars go into our local economy and to small, family-owned businesses. Also, we believe that our pasture-raised beef is better for consumers, for animals, and for the environment than conventional beef.
Better for You
Several studies show that beef raised on grass has less overall fat, more heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and more nutrients than conventional (and lower cost) grain-fed beef.* In addition, choosing beef that hasn’t been given antibiotics and artificial hormones reduces exposure to those substances. And, studies show that less bacterial contamination occurs in pastured animals than in grain-fed, confined animals.
Better for the Environment
Many factors determine environmental benefit. Well-managed grazing operations use fewer energy-intensive inputs, like fertilizer (the pasture grows without it, aided by the manure of the cows) and fuel (the grasses and legumes of a pasture are perennials, so less planting and tilling is needed). These operations rotate animals to fresh pasture, always apart from streambeds. This rotation spreads manure and improves soil, reduces erosion and water pollution, increases carbon sequestration, and preserves biodiversity and wildlife.* In addition, for animals on pasture their entire lives, grazing operations reduce the use of the fertilizer and pesticide that is used to grow conventional feed crops and avoid the problems that occur with long-term use of these chemicals.
Since pasture-raised cattle gain weight more slowly than grain-fed animals, they take longer to reach slaughter weight and consequently emit more greenhouse gases (per pound of beef). These higher emissions are somewhat offset by the carbon sequestration that occurs in pasture systems and the reduced transportation of animals and feed. A pasture system with the addition of supplemental feed (to speed things up) could also reduce this effect while maintaining many benefits of pastured beef. And, research has not yet examined the carbon or energy footprint per unit of nutrient density.
Mills Family Farm
Mills Family Farm in Mooresville, NC, supplies 100 percent of our fresh beef. Nicole and Bradley Mills raise cattle on pasture on Bradley’s family farm. Life on pasture is more humane than life in crowded, unsanitary feedlots and leads to less disease, eliminating any need for antibiotics.
Bradley examines the genetic history of all the cattle he purchases, looking for cows whose ancestors could grow and thrive on a pasture-based diet. Bradley and Nicole start by sourcing young animals with good genetics, continue with the establishment of high-quality pasture for forage, and have developed a supplemental feed formulated for high energy and consistent weight gain. These animals are raised with conscientious management practices and without added hormones, antibiotics, and the stress of living in confinement.
Our quest for amazing beef finally led us to Mills Family Farm in 2015, and we have been thrilled with the quality of their beef ever since. This week we are giving owners the chance to stock up at a great price!
This week’s owner coupon is 25% off Weaver Meats beef, good February 6-13, 2019. Owners, look for the coupon in our weekly e-news, sent on Wednesday afternoon. If you didn’t get the coupon, you may need to update your email address in our owner database. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not an owner? Become one today to receive the weekly owner coupon as well as the other benefits of ownership, like invitations to the Co-op Fair, a logo T-shirt and bag, and the right to vote in board elections. Learn more here.
*Links to the studies can be found here: