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I raise premium beef cattle for a living.  The beef cows that I get to spend my time with every day, produce the most tender and best tasting beef in western Canada

But, when my daughter’s health challenges required the highest quality food we could find, My wife bought beef from another rancher. It was frustrating, but it drove me to make a change.

Peony Farms has been known for our Piedmontese breed of cattle for decades.  My father-in-law, Peter, started raising Pieds here over 30 years ago because they have a natural tenderness gene that makes them famous.

Peter’s always tried to produce the best product for his customers…and he thought he was until my daughter’s health needs forced us to take a closer look.

 

When our daughter was born, she suffered some complications that left her with severe health challenges and long term disabilities. Instead of taking her food by mouth, she gets her all her nutrition through a gastrostomy tube…we call it a G tube.

My wife and I didn’t know anything about how to prepare food for her this way…and we learned that the food she ate directly impacted her health even more than it does for most children.

We met with nutritionists, read books, and talked with other parents who were raising kids with G tubes and special dietary needs.

Pretty soon, our kitchen started to look more like a science lab.  We had scales to carefully weigh her food.  We had a commercial blender to ensure it was the right consistency.  And we had the big syringes we used to push food into her G-tube.

We wanted our daughter to have the very best nutrition available, and we were willing to do whatever it took to get it for her…but what was the best nutrition available?

My wife was convinced grass-finished beef, ancestral diets, and organic food were important for getting my daughter the right nutrition.

Part of the blend of foods we prepared for our daughter included beef liver.  But, my wife believed liver from grass-finished beef was healthier than from the grain-finished beef we raised.

So, she left Peony Farms to go buy grass finished beef liver from another ranch.

 

I was frustrated. I wanted the best for my daughter too, but it was hard to know whether this other beef was actually better for her.

So, I started researching.  What I found was that everyone who was talking about nutrient density and researching nutrient density was connected to regenerative agriculture.  These people were building a strong case that positive health outcomes could be achieved by eating nutrient dense regenerative food products.

The people working in this space also showed that the best beef for our daughter would be regenerative grass finished beef raised on a diversity of plants.

Peter and I wanted to raise the absolute best products for our customers…and we raised a great product…better than most of the beef you’ll find.

But, if it wasn’t good enough for my own daughter, we had to make a change.

 

After learning how to run a farm/ranch that balances the soil that feeds our cattle, we moved away from conventional practices and started adopting regenerative ones.

For instance, in the past our fields would’ve had only one species of plants growing and used a lot of nitrogen fertilizer.

But, today, our fields have 10+ varieties of grasses, clovers, and other plants growing in it.  This along with small amounts of targeted nutrients is producing beef with optimized nutrition.

And the cattle we raise not only live healthier lives, they are also more nutritious.  The first year of our regenerative journey our omega 3 levels in the beef increased by 3.5 times over our previous grain finished program.

Today, my family pays more attention to the food we eat and how it was produced than ever before. We’ve cut most of the processed foods out of our diet.  We grow as many of our own fruits and vegetables as possible in our garden using regenerative practices.  What we don’t raise ourselves we try to get from other farmers who are using production practices that we think will improve the nutrient density of the food.

But, I’m also proud to say, all of us…including my daughter…eat the premium, tender, nutritious, Piedmontese beef we raise here on Peony Farms.

We’ve seen the way that nutrient dense foods have supported our daughter’s health journey and we recognize that we feel better eating this way so we want extend those benefits to our customers.