We all want to feed our families the best and healthiest food on the market. Information on organic foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, is starting to become more accessible as people learn more about pesticides and their impact on our health.
I’ve done a lot of research on the subject, and feel like I have enough information about organic produce to make good choices. I’ve also learned the benefits of buying locally grown organic produce. Buying local doesn’t just mean you get fresher food, it also allows you to talk to farmers directly and ask questions. I feel good buying local, too. I know that it helps support the local economy, creates jobs, protects local farmland and supports a more sustainable food system.
My challenge was finding information on local, organic animal products. The time to research and understand what the best choices are for my family was taking up what little precious “spare” time I have, and it was also overwhelming.
That was, until, a friend and neighbour introduced me to TK Ranch last year. After spending some time on their website I was thrilled to find many answers to questions I had about antibiotics, animal by-products and the use of chemical insecticides. I had also become interested in learning more about grain-fed vs. grass-fed. What I read on the TK Ranch website made it clear to me that grass-fed is best, and that as consumers, we really need to be aware:
Feeding cattle grain dramatically affects the health benefits of the beef. Many studies have been done on how grain finishing changes beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. The Eat Wild website has a tremendous amount of information about grass-fed meats, and summarizes:
Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed animals. Omega-3s are called “good fats” because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. For example, of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies, these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading. The longer a beef animal is in a feedlot being fed grain the lower the amount of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids found in the meat.
I’ve been a fan ever since.
My husband and I had sampled various other “organic” meats in the past, but with no lasting impression and in some cases, disappointment. When our first order from TK Ranch arrived, we had no great expectations. But after we grilled those chicken breasts (two were large enough to feed our family of four), we were hooked.
The meat cooked up beautifully, and it was obvious that it hadn’t been plumped up with water like you typically find in the grocery store. Since then, we have tried most things on the menu. And living in Calgary, we’re able to find product at sev