|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.
Congratulations to Stella Theriot and seven friends who will enjoy a private dinner hosted by INDEats and EatLafayette
The City-Parish Council on Tuesday will be asked to sign off on an agreement between UL Lafayette and Lafayette Consolidated Government that would expand mass transit opportunities for UL students by adding five additional buses to its shuttle run between Cajun Field and campus.
Four bedroom traditional or three bedroom French home
Louisiana's high school seniors are making increased strides on Advanced Placement exams.
The hip little River Ranch shop will open in the Acadiana Center for the Arts in time for the September ArtWalk.
Hot prints and cool wolves
The Alabama game is sold out but tickets for all other homes games can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net.
Among the one-percenters nationally, Louisiana's fattest cat is a relative pauper.
The Republican governor sent a letter Thursday to the president, saying placement of the children in Louisiana could have "potential negative ramifications."
Many laws are minor, though some impact health care options, change educational programs and reach into people's everyday activities.
Responding to Tuesday’s federal appeals court decision to save Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic, Esquire magazine profiles the unique story behind one of the doctors working at the clinic in Jackson.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette’s first-ever Whole Foods Market will open its doors in September.
In reacting to the recently resurrected allegations of sexual abuse among local clergy, is the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette maintaining its old stance of protecting their own?
Louisiana's annual state sales tax holiday is Friday and Saturday.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Breakfast favorites served on a bubbly crust pair with a crisp salad
NJ lady beats Donald Trump; Israel calls up more troops; border hearings accelerated and more national and international news for Thursday, July 31, 2014.
State Rep. Lenar Whitney — one of a handful of Republican candidates vying for Louisiana’s 6th Congressional district — has been described by Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman as one of the most “frightening or fact-averse candidate[s]” he’s ever met following her reaction to an interview last week.
West coast casual
Mid-August hearing dates have been set for dueling lawsuits over Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards in public schools.
An investigation into the last-minute passage of a pension hike for the state police superintendent continues, despite Col. Mike Edmonson's decision not to accept the increase.
Four bedroom traditional Youngsville home or three bedroom traditional Broussard home
On Tuesday, a three judge panel (voting two to one) of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional Mississippi’s controversial law requiring that physicians who perform abortions maintain admitting privileges in a nearby hospital.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
A ballpark snack topped with BBQ meat can be found cruising town on a food truck
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.