Organic grass fed beef
Worldwide, the organic food industry is heavily regulated to ensure that a set of national rules and standards are strictly complied with. In the UK, producers of organic food require special certification and their farms are regularly inspected.
Organic food producers are only allowed to use natural pesticides. The term ‘organic food’ refers to food produced without using synthetic aids, such as:
- chemical fertilizers
- synthetic pesticides
- chemical food flavours
- industrial solvents
As well as this, organic food must not be genetically modified or chemically ripened.
In the United Kingdom, only 4.2% of farms are organically managed. Organic animal production covers many areas including:
- the welfare of the animal
- ensuring the animal has access to pasture and grass (weather permitting), sunshine, water and fresh air
- use of hormones and antibiotics only to treat disease or illness
- humane transportation and slaughter
- diet that is completely natural and excludes any animal-derived food being fed to vegetarian animals
- raising healthy livestock by reducing stress
- not using cloned livestock
Organic grass fed beef cattle spend the majority of their lifespan out in pastures but can spend up to a fifth of their life in well-bedded roomy yards to assist the fattening up process. Good organic practice means that cattle are regularly moved from pasture to pasture to avoid disease or worm problems.
Most organic beef farmers raise suckler herds where cows suckle their calves until they are weaned at around nine months, then fattened. Organic grass fed beef herds are normally family groups where the cattle follow their instincts.
Following the care taken by the organic beef farmer to ensure their cattle has the finest flavour and appearance it would be wrong for a butcher not to take the same care in preparing the meat for their customers. At Albert Matthews we go to great lengths to give our customers the best eating experience available.
Our organic grass fed beef is matured for twenty-eight days, using the dry aging method where we closely monitor the temperature and humidity in our cold rooms so that the natural acidity and enzymes break down slowly adding flavour and tenderizing the meat. An inedible natural crust is formed on the meat, which has to be removed by our butchers. As around 20% of the weight of the meat is lost through evaporation and trimming, it is an expensive technique for us at Albert Matthews to use to prepare our meat. However, the improvement in flavour and appearance makes it worthwhile.