Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Can I Glue Your Steak Please

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Glue Your Steak Together!
Just when you thought that the gigantic meat packers were "walking the straight and narrow" over the pink slime controversy, now we discover your steak just might be glued together out of several different pieces of meat.

California senator Ted W. Lieu has called for an investigation into the practice of using meat glue to patch pieces of meat together to make one piece. Officially, it’s known as transglutaminase, an enzyme in powder form that brings protein closer together – permanently.

What will be next?

For me the take away from all these "new discoveries" is it seems the foundational belief of big meat packers and Big Ag is this:

How can we do this cheaper first and foremost then we'll look at safety, quality, and all the other parameters.

I am all for reducing costs and making your business profitable. But let me know the ways you accomplish that and let me make the decision as to whether I want to do business with you.

No I'm not talking about supplying your customers with a business plan.

I'm talking about good old fashioned honesty and hey here's an idea; How about putting on the label what you've done to product.

I don't know about you but If I picked up a steak and said it contained transglutaminase you can bet I'd be Googling up what the heck it was and why is it in my steak!

You know it won't say on the label "we glued this piece of meat together."

Don't worry though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deems it to be safe – “generally.”

We don't glue anything together here at Spring Hill Farms. Heck we use baler twine more than anything around here to make several pieces of something into one. You would notice that on your steak...just sayin'

Until next time....

 


 

 
 

Pink Slimey Ground Beef: No Thank You

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No Pink Slime Here
The mantra of the big food and agriculture companies is how can we produce more for less?

The bottom line with pink slime in ground beef is dollars.

Not quality, not health, dollars.

This is a prime example of where we are at in the world of mass produced food.

What used to be relegated to pet food is now good enough for human consumption. Not that I'm thrilled with Fido getting a dose of pink slime either, but hey better him than me!

I have preached the "know where your food comes from and know what's in it" for a long time so it thrills me when main stream news media busts out a story like pink slime in ground beef. Only because so many more people are exposed again to the fact that agencies like the USDA, FDa and some others aren't really looking out for you like you hoped they were. You will have to take the responsibility into your own hands and find clean food for yourself.

McDonalds, Burger King and Taco Bell have all announced they don't use it anymore...GREAT. To me that's like saying we used to think it was OK to feed you pink slime but since you found out about it we'll stop.

Ground beef with pink slime added as a filler has a greater chance of e coli and so it is washed with ammonia. No thanks I'll pass.

Here at Spring Hill Farms we don't add anything to our ground beef. Not pink slime, not meat glue (heard about that one?) or anything else that you wouldn't want in your food.

Our mantra is clean, quality, healthy food first. Then and only then, we'll see what it costs to produce it.

Until next time...

 



 
 

Eating Grass Fed - Increases Blood Levels of Omega 3's

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Tamworth Pigs on Pasture

I have long been a proponent of Grass fed beef, pastured pork, and poultry.

It always thrills me to see studies as they emerge proving out more positive benefits of eating grass fed meat.

A recent article discusses the fact that eating grass fed meat for just a short period of time can raise your blood levels of Omega 3's. Read it here

 


 

 
 

A Side of Beef - The True Cost Per Pound

Picture What's the true cost per pound when buying a side of beef or whole beef? For instance you see advertised grass fed beef for say $3.99 pound hanging weight.

So you read a bit further and see that a side of beef (hanging weight) is typically around 350 lbs. For an explanation of hanging weight click here.

 

SO…

 

$3.99 x 350 lbs = $1,396.50 You know what the side costs but the question that arises is something like:

 

So what cuts do I get?

 

How much meat do I get?

 

That is the real question you need answered to decide if your getting a deal you're satisfied with.

Many consumers have never bought beef this way. They get their beef and find they ended up with 55% of the hanging weight.

So the true cost per pound looks like this:

350 lbs hanging weight which yields approximately 55% for a take home weight of  192.50 lbs.

$1,396.50 /192.50 lbs  = $7.25 per lb packed weight (take home weight).

Before you buy beef in bulk by the hanging weight:

Ask the farmer for these numbers! They should be keeping track of the yields from their beef. If they are not, and can't answer your questions, you have no way of knowing what your final cost per pound will be.

These numbers are averages and not all beef yields the same. If you don't know what the typical yield is from the farmer's beef it is a shot in the dark. Many farmers are not well versed in selling freezer beef so they aren't familiar with what the yield is from their beef.

I have seen many farmers who actually sell small amounts of beef at a lower price per pound than what it would cost to buy a side!  This tells me they probably have no idea what their beef yields.

Why would you buy a half a beef at $7.25 per pound packaged weight when you could buy smaller amounts say a 50 lb box for $6.00 per pound?

Using the example above you could buy the same beef in 50 lb boxes for $1,155.00 That’s a savings of $241.50 I'm sure you can find better use for that money!

If you purchase a side of beef from Spring Hill Farms we will show you the numbers on our beef. You will have a very good idea what your final cost per pound will be.

So before you purchase a side of beef, get the true cost per pound.

Until next time….


 

 
 

How to Cook Grass Fed Beef

 

Grass fed meat is leaner, denser, less watery, and far more flavorful than other meat.


This is affected by mainly two things:

  •  The quality of the animal (breed and genetics)
  • The quality of the forage (pasture quality or hay)
For instance some cattle don’t finish as well on grass as others do. That’s the genetics part. The forage could be hay if it’s winter or maybe less than optimal pasture, and cattle typically don’t finish as well on hay or nominal pasture as they would on lush, green, spring grass.

Keep this in mind as you cook grass fed beef. Over cook it and you'll be disappointed.

So you’re ready to cook a steak.

  • Cook it low (heat)
  • Cook it slow

Never cook a steak over medium rare. Rare is better. Anything over medium rare is going to be dry and tough. Think jerky, it’s not very good without some heavy spices. Which leads to another tip; do not salt a steak until after it’s cooked and on your plate. Salt pulls moisture out of the steak….not a good thing. You must have a meat thermometer! You can’t really get it right if you’re trying to go by what color the inside of the steak is. If you cut into it valuable juice escapes and leads to a drier steak.

You should use tongs instead of a fork to turn steaks. Same as above, your losing valuable juices every time you poke it with a fork.

The best temps for grass fed steaks are as follows:

120 to 140 degrees.

Once you get it to this temperature pull it off the heat and throw it on a plate and leave it sit for at least five minutes while the juices redistribute and it finishes cooking.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be amazed at how delicious grass fed beef really can be!

Here's a printable copy of these tips.

 



 
 

Become a Farmer of Choice

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This is not a commodity!
I recently read an article from Ag Web titled "Make Yourself a Farmer of Choice."

When I saw the title I was intrigued as this particular website is focused on industrial agriculture and commodity products as far as I can tell.

I thought "this should be interesting, how do you become a farmer of choice with a product that is a commodity?"

The author started out saying "how you position yourself as a farmer will determine your success with suppliers and buyers."

Ah so we're talking about the relationship with our "suppliers and buyers."

What about customers?

Well as a commodity farmer you don't have customers. At least not a customer as the small farmer who sells direct has customers.

I mean you go down to negotiate your grain sales, how much negotiating power do you really have?

Or you take a load of cattle to the buyer, and you get what the market says you get. Many people don't realize it but almost all commodity cattle is bought "on the rail."

That means your cattle are slaughtered and hanging on the rail before a price is decided.  

Um, what if you don't like the price? Do you load up your carcasses and take them elsewhere?

The author also said

"Ask yourself:

  • What do we do best?
  • What is our target customer?
  • What needs do we fulfill for them?
  • Who is our competition?
  • What makes us different from them?"
All really good questions but as a commodity farmer I'm still left wondering how you would have much of a direct impact on these issues.

I'm certain you would have some impact but not nearly what the small farmer who is selling direct to consumers would.

The article went on to say “You need to know what sets you apart from your competitors. Your competition is anyone that farms around you.”

Huh?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the authors intent here, but how could you be in competition with your neighboring commodity farmer?

The very definition of commodity defies it.

Commodity - A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commodities are most often used as inputs in the production of other goods or services. The quality of a given commodity may differ slightly, but it is essentially uniform across producers.

I can't figure out how you make a commodity competitive. From where I sit the commodity farmer has the least control over his products value in the marketplace.

The local commodity buyer doesn't care about how you raised your cattle on grass and never gave them hormones etc. They want to look at carcass quality and that's the end of the story. They are looking to get the price down not find ways to pay you more.

And grain? What kind of story can you tell the grain elevator and get a better price? They look at a few factors of quality and test weight and it is what it is...take it or leave it.

The best advice I can think of for a commodity farmer is start transitioning away from commodity sales with the intention of moving as much of your products to direct sales as you can.


Until next time....
 
 

Most Antibiotics in the US Used for Farm Animals

As much as 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U. S. are fed to chickens, cattle and hogs — not to treat disease but to make them grow faster. This increases profit margins for livestock producers, but it puts YOUR health at risk.

 

Read the article here

 
 

Ground Beef 100% Grass Fed (Customer Message)

ground beef
I'm posting this to alert you to a deal we have available right now due to a mistake at our processor. We had a special order for 90/10 ground beef. Long story short, the order got ran as 80/20 ground beef.
 
So....we have 80/20 ground beef coming to our freezer that we don't have room for! Andy would store it for us at the plant but we want to move it out as soon as possible. This is 80 % lean ground beef that 99% of our customers desire. It makes great burgers, or can be added to any dish that you're making. This ground beef would be  fabulous to stock up for summer grilling. It's all vacuum sealed in 1 lb packages. As with all our beef is it 100% grass-fed which means it's loaded with all the health benefits!
 
Here's the deal:
 
We normally retail this beef for $5.99 lb but since we want to move it, we're going to let it go for $4.29 lb. Our loss is your gain! We are asking you take at least 25 lbs. It wouldn't make sense for us to deliver small amounts unless we could get a lot of it sold in a central area or you live in the Newark area and we could arrange for you to pick it up or meet us somewhere in our daily travels.
 
At this price I don't expect it will last long so let me know quickly if you want to place an order.
 
 
David
 
 

Grass Fed Beef

I just got spoke to my processor on the phone. I was thrilled to hear him say he was "impressed" with the way our beef looked on the rail. He said it was not what he expected for grass fed beef. A really special compliment coming from a guy who has been in the business since he was born! The family ran business just celebrated 100 years in business.

 He said the cover was excellent and it was marbled nicely. He had not seen that in 100% grass fed, grass finished beef. To tell you the truth, until recently I have not been a fan of grass finished beef. I was raised on grass fed and grain finished beef which was what we had to do in order to obtain a good finish.Genetics have come a long way since then.

 I'm pleased to announce we have finally got a product that is 100% grass fed and holds it own with any beef on the market! 

 

Until next time!

 
 
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