Archive for Nutrition

With all the snow things are Hectic


Even when things are crazy and your system is compromised by something like the snow It’s reasuring to recognise that the focus on quality pays off even now.

With all the snow all the sheep have come inside so they are not grazing the wildflower pastures at present. However, because all my conserved forage (hay and haylage) is from wildflower grasslands they are still getting great nutrition and their meat is still infused with the wild herb flavour. Sticking to a positive system seems to always lead to a positive feedback.



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Alzheimer’s concerns grow


Alzheimers Research TrustThere is plenty in the news at present about the risks of various forms of dementia to an already ageing population. The number of people with dementia in the world is going to double every 20 years. There are obvious concerns about who is going to pay for this NHS care in the future and how to reduce the instances of dementia in the future.

Many studies now point to Omega 3’s being vital in reducing the risk of dementia, some studies into Alzheimer’s show upto a 70% reduction in risk for people who regularly eat oily fish.

As a result there has been a major campaign to promote Omega 3’s in our diet (you may have noticed). However, are we asking the right questions? Why not address the behaviour that is causing this imbalance in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – not to mention many other essential fatty acids for so many people – THEY’RE CALLED ESSENTIAL FOR A REASON.

So what is the cause of this imbalance?

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Meat for Fuel


Having recently read about Dean Karnazes and his amazing feats it strikes me that the Omega 3 balance must be absolutely vital for athletes. In fact on his site he has a really good section on nutrition. Yet again he makes the classic mistake of thinking organic is related to nutrition when it is primarily about soil protection and the environment.

He would do well to get in touch with Ted Slanker and get some grass fed beef rather than organic corn fed beef he might be eating.

If you run 50 marathons in 50 days then I’m thinking that when your body needs to restore the muscle and body tissue it would be better to provide it with the natural balance of essential fatty acids as these are the building blocks of every cell in the body.

remember also that the right fat is good for you

See Deans Blog here for some great insight on Nutrition and all things running


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Butchery versus Flavour

Lamb CutletsI’ve just come back from a very helpful “meet the Cheff” event run by HEFF.

Part of the event was a butchery demonstration by a master butcher. I’ve cut up plenty of meat but this guy was really good.

The thing is he was cutting up half a lamb that was bought at a livestock market – so it was a commercial lamb, bred for production not for flavour.

We used to produce commercial lamb and were part of the EBLEX better returns programme. Basically we were producing lean meat as cheaply as possible that tasted like cardboard.

Part of this agricultural revolution also did for the rare breeds as they had a higher fat content for finished beasts. But as we know the fat is where the flavour and the nutrition is.

Something the butcher said really struck with me: “new regulations meant we had to pay to dispose of the fat we trimmed off the joints so we worked with EBLEX to design animals with less fat on”

When the motivation for producing food is not nutrition or flavour but fat disposal regulations quantity and shape the result is not good food.

With food you reap what you sow!


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How positive is your Product or Purchase?

When we moved from being a commercial farm that looked after the wildlife on the farm to a quality meat producer that based the whole business around managing and improving wildflower meadows and pastures, I’d like to say there was a big plan and that I knew all these positive feed-backs would materialise from the new system but to be honest we just kind of stumbled upon them.

I knew Rare hardy Breeds were ideal for less productive but flower rich pastures-  but I also learned that the wildflowers contain properties that act as natural medicines – reducing my need to administer them.

I knew that Rare Breeds produced less but tasted better – but I soon learned that when they grazed wildflower pastures they took on the flavour of the orchids and wild herbs in the sward.

I soon found out that grass fed beef, lamb and mutton was nutritionally better for you but what surprised me was that corn fed or concentrate fed meat was actually harmful. Especially as I had been eating it for so long! I was then forwarded some research from a customer that had found that livestock fed on Wildflower meadows had an even better balance of essential fatty acids that just grass fed stock. More positive feed-backs.

Obviously we care about the environment and so we had been concerened about all the reports about the carbon footprint of meat so I looked into it. Common sense tells us that actually grass fed meat has to be carbon neutral. Which was another great positive feedback.

The upshot is that we have happier, healthier livestock, more marketing tools and a better and more popular product than I could ever have imagined. I can only think that having tried to start something positive there were going to be more positive outcomes than I could have foreseen.

I’ve put together this amateurish flow-chart to show the journey of discovery that we have taken. You’ll have to save the picture to enlarge it if you need to – I need some techie help otherwise.

Production flowchart

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Why imbalance your Omega 3 ratio in the first place?

omega3LogoThis organisation are doing the important job of demonstrating just how important Omega 3s are to our nutritional requirements.

But I always wonder why the focus is on trying to remedy the situation after we have created the imbalance in our essential fatty acids. Dosing up on oily fish is fine but why put yourself in a position where you have to do this to be healthy in the first place?

A prime example of shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

Of course the real problem is that the supermarket meat we buy (organic status is irrelevant) is creating the imbalance in the first place. If we didn’t do this in the first place we would not have to worry about oily fish in our diets. Do you think cave men had Omega 3 issues? – Exactly.

Best to buy grass fed red meat from a local farmer in the first place and save yourself the worry.


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