What makes Fields Grassfed Beef palatable?
First, what makes beef palatable? Many researchers have documented tenderness to be one of the most important attributes of palatability (Miller et al. 1995). Tenderness can be proven by the Warner-Bratzler shear force tenderness machine (WBS) The graph below shows that grassfed beef is tougher than grainfed beef at the onset of slaughter. Although, as shown in the graph grassfed beef becomes more tender than grainfed beef after approximately 17 days. The combination of the Piedmontese myostatin gene and 10 days of postmortem hanging time, also known as "dry ageing" makes Field's Grassfed Beef more tender than conventional grainfed beef.
We can maintain carcass quality to over 700 pounds hanging weight. In order to maintain tenderness other grassfed beef producers must butcher at a far less weight resulting in smaller cuts of meat.
Our beef is produced by crossing Hereford cows with the unique Piedmontese bulls. Our cattle are all raised on pasture in a stress free environment with no confinement . Low stress and carefully monitoring feeding habits with rotational grazing is a key to a quality carcass. Piedmontese are naturally more tender with low fat content and higher in Omega 3 fatty acid. The combination of the Piedmontese cross and being grassfed produces a very healthy and palatable beef product.
Piedmontese cattle are native to the alpine area of northern Italy. They are genetically more tender with less fat than other breeds of cattle. These characteristics come from the unique Myostatin gene. Full blood Piedmontese carry two copies of this gene. Offspring produced from one full blood parent always carry at least one copy of the gene which is mandatory for our high quality grassfed beef.
Click the link below to learn more about the North American Piedmontese Association and the Piedmontese breed.
What is Dry Aging?
The mechanisms of this postmortem tenderization process at refrigerated temperatures have been researched by various meat laboratories. Current evidence suggests that proteolysis (degradation of protein) breaks down key myofibrillar and associated proteins in muscle tissue, thus, causing meat tenderization (Koohmaraie 1996). Myofibrils are threadlike fibrils that make up the contractile part of striated muscle fibers, which are known to make meat tough. Through research this list of these proteolyized proteins inside the myofibrils changes from year to year. It is known that the main function of these proteins is to maintain the structural integrity of myofibrils. Degradation of these proteins is what causes the myofibrils to weaken and, in turn, increase tenderness. Allowing a sufficient amount of postmortem hanging time will tenderize grass-finished beef and in turn increase its palatability through proteolysis.