How does Novy Ranch beef differ from conventionally raised beef?

Novy Ranch beef is 100% grass-fed beef.  This means that the cattle are never fed grains. Rather, they feed off pasture grasses, hay and grass pellets.  Our pastures are never sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and no chemical fertilizers are ever used. Nowhere in the cattle's life are they fed grains, including corn, which is the traditional finishing feed of factory-farmed and feedlot cattle.

Our cattle are pasture raised and allowed to graze on natural grasses.  This allows the herd to live in their natural state and remain healthy without the use of antibiotics in their feed. Conventional cattle are typically confined in crowded feed-lots, where they are fed corn, other by-products and hormones to fatten them up.  These conditions cause stress on the cattle and a less healthy product.

What is the difference between grass-fed, organic, and natural meats?

According to USDA standards, grass-fed requires that an animal’s only source of feed be grass or forage, except for milk consumed prior to weaning. 

Organic labeling requires that animals are raised with feed that has not been treated with pesticides, petroleum, sewage-based fertilizers, or genetically engineered materials.  The animals must have never received antibiotics or growth hormones. 

Natural, in meat products signifies that the product contains no added coloring or artificial ingredients and was minimally processed.  “Natural” does not mean organic and is not a USDA certified standard.  It is also important to note that most “organic” and “natural” beef are usually grain-fed.

What are the health benefits of grass-fed beef?
      • High quality lean proteins
      • Less saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol than corn-fed beef
      • Significantly higher levels of Omega-3 and essential fatty acids than corn-fed beef
      • Higher levels of Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, and other antioxidants
      • Significant levels of Iron, Zinc, and B-complex vitamins
      • Increased levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Vaccenic Acid

What is CLA?

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a human fat component with many benefits.  Some of the best natural sources of CLA are grass-fed meats and dairy products.  CLA’s have been linked to the following benefits:
      • Increased metabolic rate, reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass.
      • Lower cholesterol and trglyceride levels, reducing likelihood of cardiovascular disease and risk of stroke.
      • Boosts immune system, strengthening the internal defense system of the body to better act against toxins, bacteria and infections.
      • Lower insulin resistance to help prevent adult on-set diabetes.
      • Reduced food induced allergic reactions, allowing the body to function more efficiently.
      • Antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, with studies showing that CLA’s block three stages of cancer: initiation, promotion and metastasis.

What are Omega-3s?

Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids.  They are necessary for human health, but the body can’t make them.  You can only get them through food.  Fatty fish is also a good source of Omega-3.

Omega-3 provides the following benefits:

      • Reduces inflammation which may lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.
      • Improves cognitive and behavioral function, impacting memory.
      • Improves energy, dry skin, heart problems, circulation, mood swings and depression.

Do Novy Ranches use hormones or antibiotics on their cattle?
No.  Our cattle are never fed antibiotics, processed feed or animal by-products, and are never given growth hormones.  Our meats are minimally processed and never have added ingredients or food coloring.  Our sausage products have no added nitrates, nitrites or MSG.  No meat products from other sources are ever added… only 100% Novy Ranches grass-fed beef.

    Is Novy Ranch beef inspected by the government?

    Yes.  All our beef is examined and stamped as part of the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service at the plant.

    Is Novy Ranch beef safe from Mad Cow disease?

    Yes.  Novy Ranches cattle have never been fed anything other than pasture grass, hay and the extra salt and minerals we feed them.  “Mad Cow” has only been found in cattle that have been fed animal by-products and has never been found in cattle that have been exclusively grass-fed.  ALL our cattle are born and raised entirely on Novy Ranches property.  No calves are purchased from outside sources.  We have a closed herd.  This means Novy Ranches knows exactly where these cattle have been all of their lives.

    Is Novy Ranches safe from E.coli?

    Research conducted at Cornell University by Russell and Diez-Gonzales showed that grass-fed cattle had significantly less E.coli than cattle fed on grains such as corn.  Since Novy Ranches has never had pathogenic E.coli and since we are a closed herd, the chances of ever having E.coli are highly unlikely.  However, due to the lack of overall scientific certainty, people eating grass-fed beef should practice all the safe handling techniques recommended for grain-fed beef.

    How are Novy Ranches cattle processed?

    Novy Ranches utilizes humane animal practices within a plant that is USDA inspected and approved.  Dr. Novy has worked very closely with the facility to establish the highest criteria and expectations.  Not only is a USDA inspector on site throughout processing, a Novy Ranch employee is purposely on site as well, to ensure that all animals are handled in the most humane manner.  Our on-site inspector tracks the product every step of the way, including dry aging and final packaging.

    What is dry aging?

    Dry aging is a process that not only adds flavor, but tenderizes the beef through enzyme action, concentrating its flavors and producing a meat that is superb in taste, texture and rich in color.  Dry aging is more costly due to time, storage and labor.

    At Novy Ranches, we dry age our beef a minimum of 21 days for the best taste and tenderness.

    Why is your beef frozen?

    Due to the quantity of cattle that are harvested at one time and the process of dry aging, freezing is the most effective way to preserve its freshness and taste.

    Does freezing the beef affect its quality?

    Our beef is vacuum packed and then frozen.  Even with freezing, there is some rupturing of cells within the meat, but this does not affect the overall quality of the product.

    How should I thaw the meat?

    You should thaw the frozen meat slowly in the refrigerator in its original packaging.  To thaw more quickly, place the sealed packages in COLD water for half an hour to an hour.  NEVER use the microwave to thaw Novy Ranch meats, as it will change the texture and toughen the meat.

    How do you cook grass-fed beef?

    Grass-fed beef is much leaner than grain fed meat and thus, is less forgiving of overcooking.  The unsaturated fats in grass-fed meat melt at lower temperatures and more quickly than the saturated fats of grain fed cuts.  A rule of thumb is that grass-fed beef needs about 30% less cooking than conventional beef.  Our beef is best if cooked rare to medium.

    How do I get Novy Ranch grass-fed beef?

    Our meats are available for local pick-up at our Simi Valley Store and at Farmer's Markets throughout Southern California. We also have local pick-up available in Siskiyou County and most of our beef can be shipped to other locations.  If you have any questions regarding where to buy Novy Ranch beef products, call us at 805-217-7152.  Currently we are not able to ship outside the contiguous United States.  Shipping usually takes 1-3 days.  Orders are shipped on Mondays and Tuesdays to ensure their speedy delivery and freshness.  If you are picking your order up, it is usually ready same or next day.

     Your satisfaction is our commitment.  We are proud to be a part of a solution that is healthful, good for the planet, and wonderfully delicious.