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Please see below for a list of questions commonly asked by our customers. Should you have a question not addressed on this list, feel free to drop us a line and ask us!
Isn't all beef grassfed?
All cattle eat some grass at some point during their lives. In the United States almost all cattle are fed corn in a feedlot for about five months before they are slaughtered. This five-month period comprises almost one-third of their lives. It is inarguable that allowing our cattle to eat grass and roam freely for their entire life is more humane for the animal and more environmentally sustainable for our land.
What breed of cattle do you raise?
Our herd is a closed herd on the maternal side. This means that all of the female cattle on our farm were born here, and their mothers were, and their grandmothers were, going back almost a century and a half. Our line of cattle goes directly back to the herd that James Edward Harris brought to this farm in 1866. We bring in bulls to avoid inbreeding and to add desirable traits to our herd. Our herd is Angus based, and most of the bulls we bring in are purebred Black Angus.
Does grassfed beef taste different than conventionally fed beef?
Grassfed beef does not taste like corn-fed beef. There is less fat in our beef, and the relatively small amount of fat that our cows do have is different, in that fat from grassfed beef has a lower melting point. This gives our beef a flavor many describe as "cleaner."
How do you define local food?
We believe the local food movement is not about 10 miles or 100 miles. We believe that the local movement is about the decentralization, deindustrialization, and decommoditization of the American food industry. Most of the United States cannot cost-effectively produce high quality grassfed beef year-round. Because of our favorable climate, we are able to do this in the Gulf Coast Plain.
We also believe what passes as “local” is, in fact, case specific. For instance, “local” eggs and tomatoes probably should be sourced from your county. There is not a county in all 50 states that can’t produce eggs or tomatoes during certain months of the year. For consumers in the Deep South, “local citrus” should mean Florida citrus and not Mexican citrus. We feel our grassfed beef, lamb, and poultry are local to the Southern region of the United States.
Why is grassfed beef more expensive?
Grassfed beef costs a little more than industrial beef because it costs more to produce it. We are unapologetic about this. We do not use hormone implants, confinement feeding, antibiotics, or high carbohydrate feeds. These are tools that science has developed to take costs out of producing beef. When a farmer ceases to use these cost reduction tools, the production costs are added back. A farmer would go broke if he produced high quality grassfed beef, and sold it for the same price as commodity beef.
Where can I buy your product?
All of our products are available in our online store.
Our grassfed ground beef is available at all Publix supermarkets. If you don’t see it, please ask the meat manager to stock it.
Also, our grassfed steaks, roasts, offal, and ground beef is available at all Whole Foods markets from Miami, Florida to Princeton, New Jersey and from Columbus, Ohio to Birmingham, Alabama. The exceptions are the Whole Foods markets in North and South Carolina. Another producer handles the Carolina stores.
Our pastured chickens are available at all of the Whole Foods Markets that carry our grassfed beef, as well as additional locations in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina & Tennessee. Our Pastured eggs can be found in the South Region and Florida Region of Whole Foods Market and select restaurants.
Do you sell sides and whole cows?
Absolutely! Please give us a call to discuss the pickup, but simply fill out and submit this form to place your order! We will need about 3-4 weeks to get your order ready.
Do you sell sides and whole hogs?
We do. Please give us a call to discuss the pickup, but simply fill out and submit this form to place your order! We will need about 3-4 weeks to get your order ready.
What is the age of your cattle at slaughter?
All of the cattle that we slaughter in our plant are under 30 months of age. The average slaughter age is 20 to 22 months.
Since your animals are grassfed, what grasses do they graze?
Our pastures are established in warm season perennials, including bermuda grass, bahia grass, johnson grass, and dallas grass. In the Winter, we overseed all of our pastures in cool season annuals, such as rye grass, red clover, and white clover. We are fortunate to be located in the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal plain where we get 55+ inches of rain each year, and it rarely snows here. We are one of the few areas of the country that can keep something green growing in our pastures 52 weeks each year.
Are any of these grasses genetically modified?
We grow no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on our farm.
What breed of chickens do you raise?
Our chickens are a cross of several heritage lines. They are a proprietary breed we developed with our hatchery. It takes our chickens about 12 weeks from hatching to achieve slaughter weight. That is about twice as long as it takes an industrial broiler breed. We think our chickens are worth the wait.
Is your poultry feed non-GMO?
Yes! Finally, we have been able to source non-GMO feed in the quantity that we need to run our pastured poultry operation!
What do you feed your poultry, in addition to the bugs and grubs they get from the pasture?
All of our poultry is outside, completely unconfined 24 hours each day, 7 days each week. They get a tremendous amount of nutrition from insects in the ground, but we also offer them a non-GMO grain mix. This mix includes corn, soy, barley, and other grains.
How do you define “pastured"?
The USDA describes "free-range” as “having access to outdoors”. A lot of chickens that are labeled “free-range” were raised in conventional chicken houses. Our free-range pastured chickens are raised completely outdoors walking freely on our pastures. We provide a portable roosting house for them. Our chickens could walk to Atlanta, if they wanted to. They are completely unrestricted. This is our pastured model.
How do you define “organic” meats?
The USDA has their own standards for organic animal production. We do not like USDA’s definition of “organic," principally because it allows the confinement feeding of corn. They just require it be organic corn. We feel that we go far beyond the USDA certified organic standards with our grassfed beef and lamb.
What breed of lamb do you raise?
We raise Katahdin Sheep. This is a hair sheep breed, as opposed to a wool sheep breed. We do not think that Georgia is the right place to produce wool sheep.
Is your beef dry-aged?
No. Dry-aging serves two purposes:
It is controlled tissue breakdown that helps to make steaks more tender.
It allows moisture to intensify the flavor of the beef.
We choose to not dry-age our grassfed beef. After a great deal of experimentation in our own abattoir, we have chosen to ship our beef as freshly as possible for the following reasons:
The controlled tissue breakdown can serve to make steaks more tender, but in doing so, it makes the ground beef and the roasts more mushy. The same breakdown that is going on in the steaks is going on in these cuts as well. We feel that our steaks are adequately tender, and we don’t like mushy ground beef. Our steaks can be better aged in your refrigerator, if you feel it necessary to make them more tender.
The flavor of our beef does not need to be intensified through moisture loss. It naturally has a wonderful clean terra noir that our customers say is addictive. The fresh flavor of our beef is one of its greatest attributes. We will not fool around with this.
The recent exposure of "pink slime" in the beef industry has caused me to look into your products. Do you use ammonium-hydroxide or any similar type treatments?
Heck, no. We take our animals apart the old-fashioned way: a man with a knife and a saw.
How much freezer space is needed to store 1/8 cow?
1/8 of a cow will take up about two cubic feet of freezer space.
How do I make the most of my chicken purchase?
Make chicken stock with the bones! Place all the bones from the chicken back into the crockpot with just enough water so as to barely cover the bones. Put a tablespoon of vinegar in the water, and some onion slices if you like. Turn the crockpot on the low setting and cook it for about 24 hours. Keep an eye on the pot and add more water as necessary to keep the bones covered. This slow cooking allows the most nutritious components from the bones (calcium and other minerals) and cartilage (collagen) to seep into the liquid. After about 24 hours you should be able to crush the bones between your fingers. This is how stock is made!
How can I keep from my steaks from being tough?
It is best to marinate or pre-season your steak at least 24 to 48 hours prior to cooking. We say this because marinating or pre-seasoning your meat will help loosen some of those tougher fibers (acid [like beer, wine, vinegar, lemon juice] and salt help greatly with this). Try buying a few cuts (ribeye and New York strip are great choices) and let them wet age in the vacuum-sealed package in your fridge for about a month (or even longer). Typically, our steaks only get better with age.
What do you feed your hogs?
Our hogs have it made! They enjoy cracked eggs from our pastured egg operation, as well as blemished vegetables from our Certified Organic vegetable farm. We also offer them a free choice non-GMO grain supplement, containing corn, soy, wheat and other grains.
Can product be returned?
Once meat leaves our farm, we are not able to accept returns. When dealing with perishable product, ensuring that the cold chain was never broken is required. When it leaves our hands, we are unable to guarantee that the product is safe for resell.
Can I return my cooler?
For food safety reasons, we cannot reuse the shipping containers that meat orders are delivered in. But we do recommend reusing your cooler, or designing something like this! http://www.petresearch.net/content/building-affordable-outdoor-cat-house
Are your animals given any antibiotics of hormones?
No. Hormones and antibiotics are not used on our farm, which results in healthier, leaner, beef.
Are your cattle artificially inseminated?
Nope! We do it the old fashioned way, with a bull and a cow.
How did you develop your grazing model? What are the benefits?
Practicing the Serengeti Rotational Grazing model, we rotate complimentary animal species side-by-side through our pastures. The cows graze the grass, the sheep and goats prefer the weeds, and the poultry species peck at the roots, bugs and grubs. All species naturally fertilize the land. This way, the pastures are grazed and fertilized in three different ways.
Does White Oak Pastures practice sustainable farming?
Yes, we are committed to the principles of sustainability and stewardship. All animal remains are composted into organic fertilizers for our pastures. We tan the hides, we grind the bones and we sell the meat. Each part of the carcass is utilized, wasting nothing.
How does shipping work?
White Oak Pastures is doing our best to offer equalized shipping. At this point, this is how we handle the cost of all Ground Shipments:
$700 and higher= $89.95
Overnight, 2nd Day Air and 3 Day Select are all based on FedEx rates, which are calculated per pound per mile. In order to get the "most bang for your buck," we encourage shoppers to order as much product as their freezers will hold.
How long will it take for my order to ship?
For other shipping questions visit our Shipping FAQs page.
Is there a certain way grassfed beef is cooked?