Benson Farms 08-25-22 Newsletter

Benson Farms 08-25-22 Newsletter

Hello again,

It’s Jason from Benson Farms. I don't know about y'all, but the past few weeks on the farm have been pandemonium! Right in the middle of fulfillment, spring deposits, ball practice and school starting back, Sandy fell last week and fractured her leg! Thankfully the doctors say everything is going to be O.K. but she has to wear a brace for a while. This is going to be a little longer than usual, but there have been a ton of things going on and I didn’t want to miss sharing with you…

Benson Farms Update: As with most all things on the farm, calves are seasonal. When new calves are born in the spring, we let them get about six months old before they are weaned. It's hard to believe that fall is almost here! As we are getting set for the start of football season, it's time to start weaning those spring calves. We'll be moving them to separate pastures and giving our momma cows some time to recover before winter gets here.

We are also getting ready for our second round of hay cutting. With all of the rain we've had this summer, some of the fields are looking really good for a second cut. Once we get that done, we will be over-seeding some of the pastures to provide winter grazing.

Welcome to the Benson Farms Family: We are very excited to have a lot of new subscribers again this month! Thank you for joining us!

What Our Customers are Saying: I recently sent out a short survey to some of our newest subscribers and the overwhelming response was that most are primarily interested in either taste or health benefits. Last weekend I got the opportunity to have a pretty long talk with one of our regular customers. He eats grass-finished primarily due to the health benefit, but he loves the flavor of our grass-finished beef as well. He suggested that with all of the new subscribers we've added and the growing interest in grass-finished meat, I should take the time to talk about the difference in taste. 

The Grass-finished Difference: If you are used to the flavor of grain-finished beef, grass-finished beef will taste differently to you. Grass-finished beef is typically more lean and the fat that they do have on their meat is less saturated. When compared to grocery store meat, our grass-finishing provides a more nuanced and complex flavor profile. Some of our more seasoned customers say that it reminds them of the beef they ate in their younger days. There are two primary reasons for this; it will depend on the aging process and the diet of the animal. 

First, let's address the aging, as it can have more of an effect on taste than diet. As I often point out, four companies control over 80% of U.S. beef production: Tyson, Cargill, JBS and Marfrig. (JBS and Marfrig are two Brazilian companies, but that's for another newsletter) These are all international companies solely concerned with profit. It is said that the most important - and maybe the only - rule in meatpacking is, "Put more blood on the floor faster and cheaper than any competitor". Their processors vacuum seal the meat when they carve it and this unaged, or "wet-aged" as they like to refer to it, beef is shipped directly out to the grocery store shelf.

That's not what we do. Our beef is dry aged. Our butcher hangs the beef in an open, climate controlled cooler for a minimum of 14 days before it is carved. During this time, the connective tissue in the meat softens and the meat becomes more tender. Because the meat is not vacuum sealed, it loses moisture throughout the process and the loss of moisture intensifies the flavor. This concentration of flavor in combination with the tenderness of the beef is the reason dry-aging continues even to this day. Regardless of what an animal is fed, dry aging always provides a much more tender product with more robust meat flavor. That is why we believe dry-aged is better, and the best steak houses tend to agree!

That's actually a lot for today. I'll address flavor and diet next week.
Fall Order Fulfillment: Fall fulfillment is going on now. For those of you who have bulk beef orders for fall, keep an eye on your email if you haven't already heard from us. I got a call from the processor today saying that the beef for this weekend's fulfillments is ready. I will be going to get that tomorrow. I know some of you are planning on picking up from the farm. We're looking forward to seeing you!

Spring Deposits are Open: Due to the increased demand for butchering, we had to open our deposits earlier than usual. Many of you have already placed your deposits. Thank you! Availability is limited. We currently have 18 spots reserved with our butcher for the spring. We have to confirm those before November 1st. Deposits will close at noon on October 31st! Click here to see our available packages and make a deposit to fill your freezer this spring.   

In the news: 
Last month we told you how Whole Foods uses Tyson processing facilities to slaughter and package their beef. They are one of the the Big Four processors used by Wal-Mart, Kroger, and pretty much every other big chain brand. Now Whole Foods is being sued for false antibiotics claims. According to the lawsuit, independent laboratory testing found antibiotics in meat sold by Whole Foods as "No Antibiotics, Ever". If you really want to be confident about the meat you are eating, you should know your farmer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s newsletter. I hope it was a fun read for you. I’ll be back soon at the same place with more Benson Farms behind the scenes and advice for your kitchen!

Until next time,

Jason Benson
Co-Owner, Benson Farms
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