Why Grass-fed and Local?
We believe that all great food starts with healthy, happy animals that spend most of their lives on grass grown in healthy soils – the name Erba Verde actually means “green grass” in Italian. We raise great grass, and the animals do all the rest! Our animals are raised humanely with access to fresh air, clean water, and room to roam. They are fed certified organic grain as a supplement to their diet when needed.
Overall, grass-fed animals are better for our health, our planet, and the animals themselves. Grass-fed dairy, meat, and eggs are much lower in saturated fat and contain higher levels of polyunsaturated fats our bodies need for healthy cell growth. Grass requires less water and energy to grow than corn or other feed grains, making it a little easier on the planet’s limited resources. Most farm animals were meant to graze and wander freely rather than being confined to a feedlot, where many are given antibiotics to prevent infection and disease that can come from close quarters and grains they’re stomachs aren’t designed to digest.
To us, food is medicine. When we put good food into our bodies, our bodies are better equipped to fend off disease. There’s a health crisis in this country that can be seen in rising rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease – and it’s all being treated with prescription medication. Rather than facing decades of expensive, chemically derived drugs, our hope is that people will eventually shift their habits towards disease prevention and treatment by eating unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods. And when we grow, raise, prepare, and give thanks for good food together, it’s just good for our families and our souls.
There are so many good reasons to buy food that’s grown and produced close to your home, and we’re not just saying that because you live close to our farm!
Local food tends to be fresher. It doesn’t spend hours or days on a fossil-fueled truck that’s hauling it from one coast to another; it might just have been raised on a farm down the road. Most local farms and food producers are small, family-owned operations who tend their land with limited use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, so there are fewer of these compounds on your food and in the soil and watershed.
These smaller farms are also able to raise a greater variety of produce and animals because they’re not filling huge grocery store orders, so you’re more likely to find more interesting kinds of flavorful farm products, which also tend to be more nutrient-dense than mass-produced apples and pork chops (for instance).
Buying local also keeps your dollars in your town and your neighbors in business. Everyone loves to drive past sprawling pastures dotted with cows and a big red barn, but those farms are only able to survive – and not be sold into subdivisions – if people buy the products produced on those farms.
For more insights on this topic, here are some additional resources:
Sustainable Connections: Why Buy Locally Owned?
Buffalo First: Why Local?
Local Harvest: Why Buy Local?
The University of Vermont Extension: Ten Reasons to Buy Local Food
On Grass-Fed Meat:
Polyface Farm, owned by farmer-activist Joel Salatin
Author-activist Michael Pollan
The Weston A. Price Foundation
Eat Wild – getting nutrition from modern food