|Photo by Lucius Fontenot|
|A happy cow at Gonsoulin Land & Cattle|
Local grass-fed beef is gaining popularity nationally and Acadiana is following suit. Locally pastured beef producers Brookshire Farm, Gonsoulin Land & Cattle and Rolling R Ranch are seeing an increase in pastured beef sales because of the many benefits to our health, economy and environment. And consumers are beginning to take interest in the treatment of the cattle they are consuming and who is raising it as well.
“I feel like our family benefits in so many ways from buying local meat,” says Megan Romer, a mother and local foods consumer. “The meat we buy locally comes from animals who have been raised and slaughtered humanely, fed the correct food for their species — chickens eat grubs, cows eat grass, and so on. Local meat is the healthier choice, and it aligns better with our morals.”
Stores are also beginning to notice an increased consumer demand for local pastured beef. Recently, Rouses Supermarkets began selling Gonsoulin Land & Cattle beef at 18 of their stores. Traditionally these products have only been available from farmer’s markets or through direct order from the farmer. “The availability of our beef in a supermarket will make it easier for consumers to purchase healthy, local products,” says Shannon Gonsoulin, a veterinarian and owner of Gonsoulin Land & Cattle.
Brookshire Farm, Gonsoulin Land & Cattle and Rolling R Ranch are all raising their beef hormone- and antibiotic-free. Grass-fed cows are less stressed because their bodies digest grasses better than grains. Grains alter the pH of the cow’s manure causing a breeding ground for E. Coli, which is commonly linked to food-borne illnesses and outbreaks because manure is a popular soil fertilizer for the fruits and vegetables we eat.
For Brookshire Farm co-owner Anne Blanchet, raising cattle is a science. She plants her pastures with native grass species and carefully selects refined forages, which help to enhance the taste of the meat. “Pastured beef’s distinctive flavor comes from healthy soil, nutritious plants, clean water and the weather seasons,” says Blanchet. “The flavor of [our] beef is enhanced by our management practices. Our animals are selected to be able to fatten on grass.”
In addition to consumer health, the local economy and environment are shown to benefit from beef raised and purchased locally because money is being kept within parish and state boundaries and going back into the pockets of Acadiana residents. And meats raised within Acadiana are not trucked long distances, decreasing the carbon footprint of the operations.
“We know every cow in our pasture and many of the consumers who purchase our beef,” says Gonsoulin. “It is a very rewarding process to know that the beef and associated revenue will stay in our region and benefit our community members’ health and the economy.”
Tyler F. Thigpen is a wetland ecologist and president of Acadiana Food Circle (www.AcadianaFoodCircle.org), a community-based nonprofit that connects local food producers to consumers.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising as new job seekers keep entering the market.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.