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What We’ve Learned From Tenderness Testing Our Beef

As spring weather finally reaches our Simcoe farm and we get to see the cattle enjoying some sunshine, it’s hard to imagine anything else. We’ve written about this before, but it’s worth saying again: we believe in treating our environment and our animals right. This means handling our cattle with care, making sure they have access to open space, fresh water and green grass, and generally looking after them respectfully. Our pastures are never treated with synthetic herbicides or pesticides, and we don’t give our cows any hormones or antibiotics. It’s a good life here on the VG family farm!

The importance of treating our cattle well

When you work with grass-fed, hormone-free cows that have lived a low-stress life on our beautiful rural property in Norfolk County, the difference is tangible. Not only are we proud of how our cattle is raised, we are proud of our beef products. In fact, we are the only beef producer in Canada (perhaps in the world) selling tenderness tested beef. This is a huge achievement for us, as we’ve identified ways to get a product that is high quality, juicy, flavourful and of course, incredibly tender. How do we do it? Well, the science is complicated and there’s no silver bullet or shortcut to producing high quality beef, but we know one thing for sure: happy cows create a better product.

What we’ve learned

By doing what we’ve always done - treating our cows well - we’ve made some incredible discoveries. Cattle that is managed well generally results in a better meat product. It’s more tender, which makes it more appealing to consumers. Our beef is sold in some of Ontario’s finest restaurants as well as through FreshSpoke, 100kms Foods and directly from our Simcoe and Stoney Creek stores. This is because of its exceptional quality - something discerning chefs and customers demand!

Tenderness testing helps us identify better beef, but treating our cattle well is what allows us to create it. If all Ontario farmers were to adopt these practices (we know many who do), it would strengthen our industry and help us with our mission to put Ontario beef on the map. We can see this happening already among some of our like-minded peers in food production - they are treating their cattle at the same level as VG Meats does, and the results are amazing. Our team would be thrilled to see this become the standard.

If you’re interested in learning more about our farming and processing practices or our tenderness testing method, please feel free to reach out. We have no secrets and would be happy to answer your questions!