About Our Cattle

At Pusheta Creek Farms, we proudly raise Maine-Anjou and Simmental beef cattle. Each breed has a long and unique history.

Maine-Anjou originated in the northwestern part of France, and were known for their easy fattening and delicious marbling. In 1843 a French agriculturist wrote that they were “the last to be put onto the grass but the first to be picked out to go to the markets in the capital city.” The Maine-Anjou is one of the larger breeds, with mature bulls ranging from 2,200 to 3,100 pounds, and mature cows range from 1,500 to 1,900 pounds. They were first imported into North America in 1969.

Originating in Western Switzerland, the Simmental is one of the most widely bred cattle, with an estimated 40-60 million around the world. Popular in many other countries as both dairy and beef cattle by the mid-1800s, the red and white Simmental were likely introduced to the United States around 1887, but they did not immediately catch on and were re-introduced in the late 1960s.

Both breeds are gentle and adaptable to our variable Midwestern weather conditions. We participate in both breeders’ associations so we can stay up-to-date about how to maintain a happy and healthy herd without use of hormones or antibiotics. Our customers enjoy the delicious results in our juicy strip, T-bone and tip steaks, delicious English, chuck, and rump roasts, and much more. Check out our online store and make your selections today.

The Pusheta Creek Herd

So often our customers say, “This is the best beef I’ve ever tasted!” Many are curious about what we do to create such delicious steaks and roasts. Our secret is not just the “clean” way we raise our cattle, with no hormones and no antibiotics, but the breeds of cattle we have in our herd.

While Maine-Anjou and Simmental are our primary breeds (see earlier article), our cows also have strains of Chianina and Angus cattle. We strongly believe that a mixed genetic pool creates a much healthier herd, but it’s important to understand what each strain offers.

Chianina (pronounced kee-a-nee-na) are thought to be one of the oldest breeds in existence. They originated in west central Italy and were models for many Roman sculptures. The U.S. did not discover the breed until servicemen in World War II noticed them, often used as draft animals, and it was not until 1971 that the first Chianina were introduced into the United States. They are frequently cross-bred into herds to naturally improve growth rate.

Angus cattle originated in Scotland. In four counties along the North Sea. The breed is believed to have originated in the 16th century. By the beginning of the 19th century, the region and breed were famous for their excellent beef. In 1873, four bulls were moved from Scotland to the Kansas prairie. These bulls (which are naturally hornless) were crossed with Texas longhorns, producing cattle that were better able to survive the harsh winter on the American prairie. Between 1878 and 1883, more than 1200 Angus cattle were imported to the U.S.

This genetic mixture, combined with our free range practices, creates a happy, healthy and fast-growing herd, allowing us to offer you hormone-free and antibiotic-free steaks, roasts and burgers. Click here (link to store) to fill up your freezer with naturally nutritious and delicious porterhouses, rib-eyes, and sirloins, hamburger, and rump and chuck roasts. Enjoy!

Hormones, Anti-Biotics, and the Beef on Your Table

Many people wonder about the safety of the hormones and anti-biotics used in mass-produced meat. Why are they used and what do you need to know?

The hormones used in raising large livestock – let’s use beef cattle as our example – are a combination of natural and synthetic hormones. The FDA “has approved a number of steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle… including natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions. These drugs increase the animals’ growth rate and the efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into meat.”

So that explains why hormones are used when raising beef cattle – increased growth rate with less feed. That equals more beef to sell at a lower expense. The safety of hormone use in cattle beef is widely disputed. While the FDA has approved the use of those listed above, the European Union does not allow the sale of U.S. beef treated with these hormones.

And while the FDA has found these are safe for adults to eat, there have been few studies done specifically about the effects of these trace hormones in growing children. There have also been few studies done specifically about women and certain cancers linked to hormones, such as breast cancer.

Anti-biotics are also often used not just on sick animals, but on all animals in a herd to prevent them from getting sick. This can allow some beef manufacturers to raise livestock in closer quarters (technically speaking, all beef cattle are “free range” but some have more space available than others), thereby increasing production and profits.

Pusheta Creek offers hormone-free and antibiotic-free steaks – juicy sirloins, porterhouse, rib eyes – plus clean, nutritious roasts, kabob beef, and hamburger. Feed your family worry-free beef that is also the most delicious you’ve ever tasted from Pusheta Creek.

That Red Juice in Your Meat Isn’t Blood!

red-juice-steak-meat

Sometimes when you order a steak at a nice restaurant you get a plate with red “blood” on it. It can freak some people out. Yeah, you might want to eat meat but the blood can make some people squeamish.

But actually that red juice in your meat is not blood.

Blood is removed during the slaughter process and afterwards very little blood remains in the muscle tissue. That red liquid is water mixed a protein called myoglobin.

See as meat ages, the muscle tissue breaks down – and it doesn’t take long. The water and myoglobin cells inside the meat are released and voila, a red blood-like liquid emanates from the meat when it is prepared.

Interestingly, myoglobin is what separates white meat from red meat. The more myoglobin cells, the redder the meat is. Most mammals have a high amount of myoglobin and are called red meat. Animals with a low level of myoglobin are considered white meat, these are animals like poultry or seafood.

Myoglobin is similar to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is different because it helps red blood cells store oxygen. Myoglobin on the other hand helps muscle cells store oxygen. Myoglobin is needed for muscles that need oxygen on demand, for active and frequent use.

(FYI –  that red liquid in your steak is called the “purge” in the beef industry.)

So you can relax when you see that red liquid the next time you eat a steak.

You can also sound super nerdy the next time you eat a steak by dropping the term myoglobin 😉

7 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Beef

We bet you didn’t know all of these…  if not, consider sharing with a friend!

  • Just 6 ounces of beef has all the protein you need all day.
  • The word “steak” comes from a derivative of the word “stick” – it used to be “steik” which meant meat on a stick.
  • You may know that cows have 4 stomachs, which is prettty cool, but they can also detect smells up to six miles away!
  • You know that red juice in meat? It’s actually not blood. Very little blood remains in muscle tissue of an animal. That red liquid is water mixed a protein called myoglobin.
  • Beef protein is a complete protein – meaning it has all of the essential amino acids you need to maintain and repair body tissue.
  • Cows don’t have top teeth in the front of their mouths. Since they’re herbivores they don’t need to chew things up that much.  The top of their mouth is a tough pad of skin called a dental pad. They do have molars in the back of their top jaw to help grind food up.
  • On average, a cow has about 40,000 jaw movements a day. Just chew on that for a while…