Humanely Raised Beef

The term “humanely-raised” and “humanely-handled’ has become a popular buzz word used to describe some animal products.  Demand for humanely handled meat has been steadily growing and a growing number of small food companies are getting behind this trend and gaining market share on the big food manufacturers like ConAgra and Monsanto.

However, there is no official certification for ‘Humanely-raised’ from the USDA as there is for ‘organic’ and ‘non-GMO’.  So, if you see a label that says an animal was humanely treated, you’re stuck taking the word of that company.  This has made it tough for consumers to buy products with complete peace of mind, but this hasn’t stopped them from paying a few extra dollars for the meat package with the ‘Humanely-raised’ logo.

 

Why has Humanely Raised become so popular?

This concept comes as a reaction to recent revelations from whistle-blowers of deplorable conditions at farms owned by some of the biggest food manufacturers in the business.  Years and years of development in food production has led to mass production of meat, and unfortunately, many companies have sacrificed quality and morality in their production methods in an effort to cut costs.

Everything from kennels so small the animal can only stand and never move to bulk programs that make the cattle so big they can barely stand have been seen and criticized. The internet and social media have made images like this real and easily accessible to the everyday consumer, and as a result, more and more people are getting on the humanely-handled bandwagon.

As organic and fair-trade retail food stores such as Whole Food’s and Trader Joe’s continues to grow and expand, one this is for certain:  today’s buyer is willing to pay a little extra for products they know where produced ethically. There seems to be a growing consciousness in the modern-day consumer that is demanding companies be transparent in their production methods and find different ways of cutting costs.

 

What does Humanely-Raised meat mean?

In terms of meat, humanely-raised means that from birth to slaughter, the animal is cared for and kept in decent living conditions. For example, humanely-raised livestock tends to be free-range, grazing for natural feed versus being locked in a tight feedlot.  Typically humanely-handled livestock is not separated from their mothers at birth, and allowed to live a life very much like a wild animal would, just within the confines of the farm.

As far as food goes, humanely handled animals generally eat food that is natural to them.  For cows, that means a grass-fed diet vs. the traditional grain-fed diet preferred by large corporations.  Grass-fed cows that live in open pastures and eat their natural food are exposed to less stress and duress throughout their life and are be visibly more energetic and lively than livestock raised in large production facilities.

 

How to find humanely-handled meat?

Humanely-handled meat products are not the easiest things to source locally.  The products you buy at the super-market are rarely labeled ‘humanely-handled, and like we mentioned earlier there are no USDA regulations to using this term, so even if the label is on the product, you can’t be 100% certain that the animal was in fact raised humanely.

So what’s a consumer to do?  Well, luckily you’re on steaks.com, the best online resource for sourcing the finest organic and humanely treated meats in the US!  From here you can find local farms that will ship to you, research their farming methods (hint: they ALL treat their animals humanely), and even place an order to be shipped to your house for free!

Ok, so you prefer your meat from the market and not in the mail?  There are still options…

Given today’s information access through the Internet and the ability of mobile devices, it is quite easy for any consumer research and finds the general practices of most beef producers as well as if there have been issues in the past with news reports.

1. Do Your Homework:  

Search the label for either the farm or the production facility.  If it’s not clearly written on the label, ask the butcher at the counter or the manager at the store.  They know where they source their meat from, and if it’s local they may be able to tell you the exact farm that it was raised.  Once you have the name of the farm, let Google do the rest!

Ideally, a good beef producer should have a clean record of operation, make a point of raising and producing cattle products without the need for compacted and tight feedlots, and be able to do so without relying heavily on steroids or bulk-producing chemicals that actually hurt the animal in the process.

2. Read the Label!  

Generally, products labeled as grass-fed, free-range, and organic and non-GMO are produced by farmers that tend to use sustainable farming practices.  While the presence of these labels on the product are by no means a 100% guarantee that the animal was treated humanely, it certainly increases the likelihood that the animal was treated well.  Some of the labels to look for are;

– Grass-Fed

– Free-Range

– Non-GMO

– Antibiotic Free

– Hormone Free

– Organic

REMEMBER – If the label says ‘Humanely Raised’ don’t take it at face value!  If the producer passes inspection, it is able to keep using the relevant USDA label on its products. When it comes to the use of “humanely raised” label, a producer-only needs to provide documentation if requested to the USDA stating its treatment practices. This documentation can include people’s opinions, general statements, and affidavits. Third-party validation is not necessary.

3. Go Local!

Some of the best meats I’ve ever bought haven’t come from $200-per-person dinners or expensive supermarkets, they’ve come from real local farmers in my area!  Once you get to know where the farms are in your area that produces meat, you can simply call the farm, ask around or visit their website to learn more.  Many will even let you “come on down” to the farm to see the operation yourself.

So for the conscious consumer, sourcing, and buying humanely treated meat products can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.  As this movement gains momentum, more and more shelf space is being occupied by-products that bear labels like ‘humanely-treated.’  If you’re armed with the right knowledge and the right resources, you can eat your dinner guilt-free!

New York Steaks with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Pesto

This new york steaks with rosemary and roasted garlic pesto recipe is adventurous and takes time to do. The key is to make the pesto pasty and flavorful before rubbing it to your steaks and refrigerate steaks for about 2 to 4 hours. Grill the steaks over direct high heat until cooked to desired doneness and let it cool for a few minutes. Best served with roasted potato chunks or with your favorite lettuce salad.
 

Ingredients
2 medium
heads garlic
extra virgin olive oil
4 strips
New York steaks (about 8 ounces each and 1 inch thick)
1/3 cup
lightly packed rosemary leaves
2/3 cup
lightly packed Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup
pine nuts
2
serrano chile peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 tsp.
freshly grated lime zest
1 tsp.
kosher salt
1/2 tsp.
freshly ground black pepper
Directions
1. Remove the loose, papery outer skin from the heads of garlic. Using a sharp knife, cut about 1/2 inch off the top to expose the cloves. Place each garlic head on a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the top of the cloves. Fold up the foil sides and seal to make a packet, leaving a little room for the expansion of steam. Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the cloves are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool.
2. To make the pesto: Place the rosemary, parsley, pine nuts, and chile peppers in a food processor. Process until the herbs are finely chopped. Squeeze out the garlic cloves into the food processor, being careful not to add any of the papery skin. Process just to incorporate the garlic. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and add 1/4 cup olive oil, the lime zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well to create a paste.
3. Spread the paste evenly on both sides of the steaks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
4. Grill over Direct High heat until cooked to desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once [if flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over Indirect High heat]. Remove from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Rib Eye Steak with Garlic and Thyme

This rib eye steak with garlic and thyme recipe is rich of funky flavor where anyone can think of it as a perfect meal. The key is to season the steak with salt & pepper before anything else then rub the steak to the marinated mixture of lemon, thyme & garlic before refrigerating the steak for an hour. Cook the steak afterwards and cut into thin slices. Garnish and serve immediately.
 

Ingredients
1 lbs.
rib-eye steaks
1/2 tsp.
salt
3 strips
lemon peel
4 sprigs
fresh thyme
6 cloves
garlic, smashed
1/2 tbsp.
extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp.
unsalted butter
Directions
1. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides.
2. In a small ball combine the lemon, the thyme and 4 cloves of the garlic then mix well.
3. Rub the steak with the mixture and refrigerate for an hour.
4. Remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
5. Rub the steak with the olive oil.
6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the steak and cook until the bottom is crusty, about 4 minutes.
7. Using tongs, hold the steak up on its sides, to sear its edges, about 5 minutes.
8. Add the butter to the remaining lemon mixture and baste the steak with the herb butter until medium-rare.
9. Remove steak and cut into thin slices. Garnish and serve.

Tri-tip Steak with Rosemary

This seared tri-tip steak with rosemary is perfectly tender and the marinade makes the tri-tip very tasty and flavorful, a steak sauce is no longer needed. The key is to rub evenly the marinades to each side of the steak to lock in those flavors, then cook evenly on both sides until you get the slightly crispy exterior while keeping the tender & juicy in the inside. Let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.
 

Ingredients
2 lbs.
tri-tip steak
3 tbsp.
extra virgin oil
1 tsp.
salt
1 tsp.
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp.
garlic powder
1 tbsp.
rosemary leaves
Directions
1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
2. Combine rosemary, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and rub each side of the steak.
3. Sear on both sides for about 2 minutes per side.
4. Reduce heat to medium for medium-rare steaks and cook for an other 6-8 minutes, turning once to ensure even cooking on both sides.
5. Remove steaks from skillet and let them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Flank Steak

A delicious flank steak recipe that doesn’t take long to cook. The sauté pan is pre-heated first before adding the olive oil. The key is to season the steak with black pepper, salt, oregano & paprika and sear it for a few minutes over high heat to tenderize a tougher piece of meat. Slice the steak and serve with vegetables, tortillas, salsa, guacamole, etc.

Ingredients
3 tbsp.
olive oil
8 ounces
flank steak
1/2 tsp.
black pepper
1/4 tsp.
paprika
1/2 tsp.
salt
1/2 tsp.
oregano
Directions
1. Heat a sauté pan over high heat and add olive oil.
2. Season the steak with black pepper, salt, oregano and paprika.
3. Add the steak to the hot pan and sear over high heat for 4 minutes on each side.
4. Remove the steak from the pan.
5. Slice the steak and serve.

Delicious Sirloin Steak

This delicious sirloin steak recipe is seasoned first with salt & pepper then poured with butter and garlic on top and garnished with rosemary. The key is to have a reasonable amount of garlic, cooked it a little until it turns brown to remove the raw taste of the garlic. The butter makes this delicious steak recipe mouth-watering as well. Serve with homemade mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Ingredients
1
sirloin steak
salt and pepper
2 tbsp.
olive oil
1 tbsp.
butter
2 cloves
garlic, minced
rosemary
Directions
1. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Place a large cast iron skillet over high heat and allow to heat up for one minute.
3. Add olive oil and wait until nearly smoking before adding the steak.
4. Fry for 2 minutes on both sides.
5. Pour the butter and garlic on top of the steak.
6. Cook one more minute until garlic is starting to turn brown on the edges.
7. Remove steaks and garnish with rosemary before serving.

Steak with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Create the perfect romantic dinner with this steak recipe served with asparagus and mushrooms. The key is to cook the steaks until golden brown and cook & stir occasionally the mushrooms & asparagus, until the mushrooms are tender & browned, and asparagus are crispy & bright green. Serve immediately with butter mixture.

Ingredients
new york steaks
5 tbsp.
butter, divided
2 cloves
garlic, minced
1 tbsp.
chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 tsp.
fresh lemon zest
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1
shallot, minced
1 lb.
fresh asparagus
6 ounces
mushrooms
Directions
1. Season steaks with salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons butter, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Place the steaks in the middle of the skillet and cook until a golden brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet and add shallot, asparagus and mushrooms.
6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned and asparagus are crispy and bright green, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Serve immediately with steaks and butter mixture.

Skirt Steak with Garlic Butter

This skirt steak with garlic butter recipe uses few ingredients but has a lot of tasty flavors which makes it incredibly delicious. The key is to cook the steak well until it browned and finished it with a delicious garlic sauce. Best served with something that complements the garlicy taste such as spinach or mashed potatoes.
 

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb
skirt steak
6 medium cloves
garlic
1/2 tsp.
salt
1/2 tsp.
black pepper
2 tbsp.
olive oil
4 tbsp.
butter
1 tsp.
oregano
Directions
1. Season the steak on both side with salt, pepper and oregano.
2. In a skillet heat the oil to medium high, add the steak and brown well on both sides 2-3 minutes on each side.
3. Mince the garlic cloves and melt the butter in a pan on low heat and add the garlic for about 4 minutes.
4. Spoon the garlic butter over the steak and serve.

Steak with Onions and Peppers

This steak with onions and peppers recipe is a mouthwatering skillet dish full of flavor. The tender flank steak is seasoned then cooked until it’s perfectly tender and juicy. All tossed with large onions, shallots and colorful bell peppers, they’re ready to eat in around 15 minutes. Best served with your favorite potato dish and salad for a delicious and quick weeknight meal.
 

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb
flank steak
2 large
onions
3
shallots
3
bell peppers
2 cloves
garlic
2 tbsp.
olive oil
salt
ground black pepper
Directions
1. Heat up 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet placed over a medium heat.
2. Throw in the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Place the onion and garlic on a plate.
4. Add a tablespoon of olive oil in medium heat.
5. Place the beef to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes then set aside.
6. Add the peppers and shallots, and cook until the peppers start to soften for about 5 minutes.
7. Take the cooked onions and beef back into the pan and cook until everything is warm.

Fried Steak

This easy and delicious fried steak recipe will be more than enough to suffice your craving for a juicy steak in this cold weather. The key is to perfectly mix together the flour, oregano and the garlic powder in a pan to make that flavorful flour mixture that will be added to the steak eventually. Cook the steak according to your preferred doneness. Serve with some homemade fries or roasted potatoes and enjoy!
 

Ingredients
1/3 cup
olive oil
2
flank steak
1 cup
flour
1 tsp.
oregano
1/2 tsp.
garlic powder
1 tsp.
black pepper
1 tsp.
salt
2 tbsp.
butter
Directions
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
2. Blend together the flour, the oregano and the garlic powder in a pan.
3. Salt and pepper each side of the steak, then toss around in the flour mixture.
4. Melt the butter in the heated oil, then fry the steak for about 2 minutes on each side and serve.