Britain still possesses the greatest variety of Native Beef Breeds in the world which is a wonderful asset.
Our aim is to bring heritage breed meats back into British kitchens and encourage their survival so we have built a network of small scale farmers who send their heritage meats direct from their farms to your door.
We are lucky, the British Isles has some of the most superb breeds of beef, lamb and pork in the world, different regions of Britain providing different varieties, bred over the centuries for more marbling and a fuller flavour.
It would be a mistake to assume that pork is pork or beef is beef and the breed doesn’t matter. Most people would agree Cox’s and Golden Delicious apples taste different! Similarly, there are differences in the breeds of meat, but the marked difference is especially between heritage breed and modern hybrid breeds used in intensively produced meat supplying the mass market.
A big part of the difference lies in the fat, modern breeds have hardly any, heritage breeds have marbling within the meat that effectively bastes the meat whilst cooking. This is down to the heritage breeds growing slowly with the ability to thrive on grass and hay without the need for supplementary feeding.
But in the post war era, our heritage breeds seldom met the increasingly tight supermarket specifications in the short time required, so they were deemed inferior. But as we know, their eating qualities are in a league of their own.
Many people are becoming aware of the benefits of heritage breed meat, and want to choose not to eat meat from animals raised in a factory-type environment. These native breeds have retained their ability to thrive particularly well on grass and preserved grass and in the last decade a lot of a lot of scientific research has been carried out, on the effect of grass-fed meat on human health.
The Belted Galloway Cattle Society reports the following:
“Scientists have discovered that Omega-3 and Omega-6, are beneficial to our health, only when they are present in the ratio 1:5 or lower and evidence suggests they can protect us from many modern ailments.
Nowadays, animal products, such as beef, milk, eggs, are mostly produced intensively with grain. But grain contains predominantly Omega-6 fatty acids therefore, at present study reports find ratios of as much as 1:20 of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids in human consumption in industrialised countries. This indicates an excessive level of Omega-6 acids in the food we consume.
Grass contains around 50% of Omega-3 fatty acids, the highest amount compared to all other cattle feeds. Scientists were able to prove, that beef from cattle reared on grass contains not only less saturated fatty acids, but also the ratio of the unsaturated Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids is reduced to about 1:3. Therefore grass-fed beef is an obvious choice for a healthy diet, being capable of providing the health benefits mentioned above.
Grass-Fed Belted Galloway beef also contains a fatty acid known as ‘Conjugated Linoleic Acid’ or CLA for short. In recent research, this CLA has been discovered to have anti-carcinogenic properties; it can also provide protection from diabetes and arteriosclerosis, help to reduce obesity, and boost the immune system.”
Many of the health benefits reported are also applicable to the other British native breeds who have retained their ability to thrive on grass and preserved grass, without supplementary feeding concentrates.
And there is yet another point to make for
grass-fed native heritage breeds and that is in grazing the hills without any significant intake of concentrates they protect and enhance the biodiversity of environmentally sensitive areas (which would be deemed ‘poor grazing’ for continental breeds.)
So in summary, you can eat heritage breed meat with a good conscience because:
- Animals live and thrive in their natural environment
- Playing an important role in preserving the biodiversity of areas such as fells, salt marshes, wetlands, heather
- It’s healthy meat for you, produced without antibiotics and concentrates, grass fed meat contains nutrients that help protect against many modern diet related illnesses.