Our beef is nothing short of extraordinary.
We offer two lines of beef:
Certified Organic Beef that is always Locally-Raised and Dry Aged to Perfection
100% Grassfed Beef that is sourced from local sources when in season, and imported from New Zealand at other times during the year to ensure a consistent supply of remarkable, true grassfed Beef.
Any cut you order is being cut for you from a true butcher who deals with whole animals. You’re not getting prepackaged meat.
EDUCATION: To learn more about Beef cuts, click here.
EDUCATION: Learn more about Canadian Meat Labelling.
BULK BUYING: For Beef Bulk Buying options, please click here.
Read more about our Beef »
About Organic Meat
The term “organic” is the only term in Canada that is clearly defined and has significant meaning. We’ve heard people say they’ve read articles about how “organic” laws have been watered down; we’ve heard farmers say “oh, we’re organic all right, we just haven’t been certified because it costs too much money”; and we’ve seen studies that show people’s perception of other terms like “natural” have greater meaning than “organic.” The fact of the matter is, the use of the term organic accompanied with the symbol you see adjacent to this paragraph, means something – actually, a great deal. The use of the term “organic” is governed by federal legislation – Organic Products Regulations 2009 (SOR/2009-176). In order for a farmer or producer to use the Canada Organic logo, it must develop a fully auditable record keeping system allowing an inspector to trace products from seed to plate, and it must be approved by a CFIA-appointed certification body. Organic agriculture is a holistic approach to production which promotes and enhances biodiversity, protects long-term soil health and respects ecological balance through the use of environmentally and ecologically sustainable practices. It has been proven that Organic food is healthier.
Organic production is designed to:
Respect the environment through the responsible usage of soil, water and air, minimizing agricultural pollution;
Protect the long-term health of the soil, encouraging soil biological activity and minimizing soil degradation and erosion;
Provide livestock with humane living conditions for their health and well-being; and
Recycle materials and resources whenever possible and reduce the use of non-renewable resources Organic production does not permit the use of:
Synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or sewage sludge;
Genetically modified organisms;
Ionizing radiation; or
Growth hormones for animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products
The Canada Organic Standard is recognized by both the EU and the US as equivalent - the only certification system to achieve this broad recognition. Our Organic beef is sourced mainly from Fieldgate Organics, and we dry age the beef between 14-60 days to achieve perfection.
About 100% Grassfed Meat
Beef cows are ruminant animals, and they are endowed with the ability to convert grasses, which those of us who possess only one stomach cannot digest, into food that we can digest. They achieve this digestion by the use of a big fermentation tank inside their bodies called a rumen where resident bacteria convert cellulose into proteins and fats. Feeding corn and grain to cattle must rank amongst the dumbest ideas in the history of western civilization and is certainly the cause of many of today’s health problems.
Unfortunately in Canada, the terms “Grass fed” and “Grass finished” are not regulated. The common definition is that “Grass fed” refers to livestock that have been raised on pasture and not confined to a feedlot/grain-fed system vs. “Grass finished” means animals spend their final weight-gain stage on grass (and either did or did not eat grains during their lifetimes).
If those definitions are indeed the generally accepted definitions, than the term “Grass fed” is utterly worthless when used to describe meat like beef. Reality check, 100% of cattle consume grass during their lives; and therefore, 100% of beef on the market can be marketed as “Grass fed”. Within a day of consuming grains, the health of that animal and nutritional composition of its resulting meat plummet. It is unfortunate that there is a plethora of meat sold in Canada marketed as “Grass fed” that has been finished on grains and corn, lending to the perception that that beef is healthier when it is absolutely not. In Toronto, the term “Grass fed” is like a plague – we’ve seen it used at the most luxurious of retail outlets to the quaintest of butcher shops – and it is fact that most of that beef has been finished on grains and corn.
Similarly, “Grass finished” does not speak to the length of time the cattle ate grass exclusively. Did it eat grains until a week before slaughter, and then only grass?
At The Healthy Butcher, we have always stayed clear of labelling our grassfed beef as either “Grass fed “ or “Grass finished”, but instead have always used the term “100% Grassfed”. If we sell a cut of beef in our store using the term 100% Grassfed, you can be assured that the animal has only consumed grass. Period.
We are proud to offer locally raised 100% Grassfed beef from the best local farmers during the months of July till November. Why only 5 months out of the year? Well, in Ontario we don’t have grass in February. Although technically beef fed hay or haylage (i.e. cut up and stored grass) is still grassfed, there is a big difference in health and taste when a beef cow eats live grass versus dead grass.
During other times of the year, we are very proud to exclusively offer 100% Grassfed Wagyu from Firstlight Farms in New Zealand. This beef is arguably the World’s best beef.
VIDEO: The Healthy Butcher visits Firstlight Farms in New Zealand
For more information on Firstlight’s 100% Grassfed Wagyu and for more photos, click here.