We’re all familiar with grass-fed beef, but what if you could enjoy grass-fed beef with a twist?
Santa Carota beef is a company that is innovating the foodspace by simply changing what their cows consume. This company started quickly, when they realized how good their heifers tasted when they finished feeding them with carrots.
“We’re eight and ten miles from the two largest carrot producers in the world,” says Justin Petit, which is a huge portion of how they source their feed, as sustainably as possible.
The Petit family has been producing beef for more than 40 years at their beautiful family farm in the lower foothills of the majestic Breckenridge Mountain, east of Bakersfield, California. They’ve always made carrots a part of a cow’s diet, but when they finished heifers on a larger percentage of carrots, they realized they were onto something truly special.
What do cows eat, anyway?
Cows in their natural habitat eat what can be “browsed” or “grazed” which includes tree bark and grass, making grass-fed cows ideal for sourcing healthy meat that has an improved nutritional profile. However, many grass-fed beef suppliers still finish their cows with grain, to fatten them up for market. This also provides their moisture content, but doesn’t do as much for flavor.
This also impacts the nutritional content of the meat itself, as well as the flavor. As we know, grass-fed beef has a superior nutritional profile, with a better fatty acid balance, and more vitamins and minerals when compared to its corn-fed counterparts. Santa Carota beef keeps their cows on a grain-free diet, allowing them to finish their lives on a diet of the rolling grass fields they live upon, and beta carotene rich carrots.
While grass-fed is always superior to grain-fed, there are few ways to amp up the flavor with this method. Carrots seem to make all the difference.
Carrots inflate the muscle tissue with moisture, naturally, versus using hormones to fatten up cows for market. This makes their meat naturally juicier, and without the grainy feel that grain-fed beef can occasionally possess.
Since carrots are full of beta carotene and b-12, that makes the beef itself more nutritious. Also, without grain, you’d be surprised how impactful grain-based feed is on those guests with gluten intolerance! Santa Carota beef t is a truly gluten-free meat that is easier on digestion; even among those of us that can tolerate gluten!
The sweetness of the carrots impacts the meat’s flavor, as well! For example, filet may not be a popular choice among chefs, but even their filets are more flavorful than the competition.
What about ethics and sustainability?
In addition to these cows being treated like royalty, with free range of their beautiful California ranch, they are:
- Grass Fed Verified
When cows are brought to harvest, they’re taken to One World Beef in Buena Park, California. This is a Temple Grandin facility that takes great pride in treating cows safely and humanely.
For those of you not in the know, Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.
“I think we can eat meat ethically,” she says, “but we’ve got to give animals a good life.”
She has spent 30 years studying the beef industry through the eyes of a cow, ensuring that her processes treat the cows with as much dignity as possible, until their inevitable end.
This ultimately means that Santa Carota must meet the ethical standards for their cows, across the board. They’re truly spoiled steers and enjoy a healthy diet as they roam on their beautiful ranch. Their diets are carefully monitored to ensure they can produce the same meat results every single time, from people who care about the meat they produce, and the quality that their customers will enjoy.
We’re proud to add Santa Carota beef to our list of sustainable ranches that do their job, and do it well. If you want a taste of something different on your restaurant menu, contact us today and talk about your options for this tasty, innovative product that will give the beef you’re already using some stiff competition.