Longhorn Beef hits health food market
By Kellie Bischof, [email protected]
With more attention garnered for healthy options in the past few years, local farmer Gary Kudrna is looking to gain some traction in the health food market with his grass fed longhorns.
Kudrna’s family farm, owned for 117 years, is located at the Cottonwood Creek Ranch east of Ennis on Highway 34, where more than 100 cows graze until they can fulfill their purpose of providing healthy red meat to the people of Ellis County.
Red meat has notoriously received a bad rap because of its high fat content and scientific link to heart disease and cancer. However, the beef available at the Cottonwood Creek Ranch is much different. Unlike conventional red meat, the Longhorns are raised naturally. They are allowed to freely graze in pastures, eat a diet of grass, and thrive without the potentially harmful addition of hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. They do not receive grains or protein; they only eat what Longhorns are designed to eat.
When taking a careful look at the Longhorns, the first thing one might notice is that they are very lean, so much in fact, that they might be mistaken for being underfed. However, these cows are far from neglected. They are lean because of their grass diet and free-roaming lifestyle, which allows them to carry fat the way Longhorns are meant to…inside their stomach cavity rather than in the muscle. Longhorn beef has no marbling, only lean, uniquely flavored beef.
Longhorn beef has far less calories, fat and cholesterol than its conventional beef counterpart. Perhaps surprising to some, it even beats chicken and turkey in those categories. It also contains more bio-available nutrients since they are raised as nature intended. These factors allow Longhorn beef to be classified as a health food. Finally, red meat has a place in a healthy diet!
The cows at Cottonwood Creek Ranch are graded by Texas A&M using the sheer test. More often than not, they receive a rating of 2.5 or less, which is an indication of very tender beef. The beef is available at Anne’s Health Food Store in Waxahachie, but can also be direct purchased from Gary Kudrna at Cottonwood Ranch, if ordered in advance.