Worried about the ground beef recall? Here are some other options

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If you usually buy your  meat at big box stores or in bulk there are some other options until the recall ends.
If you just can’t bear the thought of passing up that steak or burger, you can opt for grass-fed or local options. Luckily, there are local beef options in the Tri-State.
When it comes to recalls, the location and way animals are raised can sometimes make all the difference.

“A lot of it has to deal with the method of manufacturing, the production,” said Jerry Steckler, owner of Steckler Grassfed Farms.

Every animal on Steckler’s farm is grass-fed.

“It leaves it more natural, in-sync with nature, production model. That in turn influences the flavor of the meat, the components that are within the meat, the fatty acids, CLA’s omega 3 […] We don’t get that in a more industrial production.”

More industrialized meat processes feed cattle more silage and grains, which encourages quick growth of both the animals and bacteria.

“And then when you get into the processing plant, if there’s a breach of the intestinal system, then the meat becomes contaminated. […] I’m not going to say it’s a non-issue with grass-fed — but it’s much less of an issue.”

Steckler takes his product to a local butcher.

“Typically, when you’re dealing on a smaller scale, there’s personal integrity to be upheld. A smaller operation always tends to a do a better job.”

Smaller operations also make it easier to maintain quality control.

“The industrial processing after awhile, while you want to do a good job, it just becomes a job. There’s a disconnect from the ownership and the integrity of doing the best that you can do.”

It’s that passion that drives many small grass-fed and organic retailers and farmers to stock their shelves each week.

“In the end, it creates a stronger immune system for us, and that is where our bodies maintain our health, through the foods that we eat.”

The good news is, if you can’t make it to a farm, you can often find grass-fed and organic products in your grocery or specialty store.

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(This story was originally published on December 05, 2018)

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