Questions & Answers

Q: Isn’t it cruel to slaughter dairy cows for meat?

A: No. On virtually every dairy farm in the world, when a dairy cow no longer produces milk in sufficient quantity, she is sent to the auction, or directly to the slaughterhouse. This is because farmers cannot afford to maintain unproductive animals.

Q: Isn’t dairy meat tough, suitable only for hamburger?

A: No. It is true that most dairy cow meat is ground into hamburger. But this is not because dairy beef is tougher than that from animals raised specifically for meat. In fact, a steak or a roast from a properly raised and healthy dairy animal is every bit as tender as one from a feedlot, and generally more tender than “pastured” or “grass-fed” beef.

Q: Doesn’t dairy beef have a funny taste? Doesn’t meat from meat producing breeds (like Angus) taste better than that from dairy breeds?

A: On the contrary, we think you will find that North Coast beef is some of the most delicious you have ever tasted, combining the clean flavor of “grass-fed” beef and the depth and richness of “grain-fed” beef. This is because our cows’ diet is about 60%-80% grass, and the remainder a blend of natural grains specially formulated by a nutritionist for optimum health. There is no animal that receives a better, more nutritious diet than a dairy animal. And common sense says the best beef comes from the healthiest cows. Perhaps for this reason, taste tests have shown that even experienced chefs cannot tell the difference between “dairy” and “meat” breeds.

Q: Is dairy beef safe to eat?

A: Absolutely. Dairy animals are tested twice per day to be sure that they are healthy. They are weighed to be sure they are getting enough to eat, their temperature is taken, and their milk is sampled for bacteria and what is called “somatic cell count,” a measure of their health. Cows from North Coast farms turn out to be some of the healthiest in the nation, and our ranchers work hard to make sure they stay that way.

Moreover, unlike feedlot animals fed large grain rations before slaughter, our animals do not harbor the dangerous strains of E. coli that makes people sick. All our animals are slaughtered and processed under USDA supervision, and must meet standards that are more rigorous than those applied to “beef” cattle.

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