We’re very proud that the majority of the meat we sell comes from small American farms. Occasionally though we will bring in some of our steaks from Tasmania, a small island off the coast of Australia. So why do we get beef shipped literally halfway around the world? Why can’t we just go 100% American?
Well, it all comes down to the shape of a beef. One good-sized beef is good for two flank steaks, two skirt steaks, two of all those other good cuts, and about four hundred pounds of ground meat. The farmer needs to sell the whole beef in order to make money. So if they raise more beef in order to sell more of the yummy steaks we all love, they need to be able to sell a whole lot more hamburger too.
But here’s the problem. Although there are plenty of us in America who love eating great steaks, hardly anyone wants to pay the extra for top-quality burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf. Farmers just can’t afford to let half a cow go to waste, so they have to limit their production of steak.
It’s a problem across the entire American grass-fed beef industry. There’s not enough demand for ground meat, so there’s just not enough steak to go around. American farmers would totally love to increase grass-fed beef production, but y’all gotta promise to eat a lot more cheeseburgers!
So, to ensure we can keep bringing you that fabulous ribeye, our beef suppliers have partnered for the last thirteen years with a fantastic company in North-West Tasmania, H.W. Greenham & Sons. They’ve been award-winning cattle farmers for six generations, and they produce some of the best beef in the whole world. The climate Down Under is absolutely perfect for cattle: they don’t get the extremes of temperature that we get over here. It never drops below freezing, and it’s rarely hotter than 80, unlike Missouri which can get down to -20 in winter and over 100 in summer. There’s water all year round, and they don’t have problems with insects. And, of course, because they’re in the southern hemisphere, it’s summer over there while it’s winter over here.
Now, you may be thinking, what about the cost? And the environmental impact? And the ethical standards. All fair questions. Well, we don’t fly the beef over here. It’s carried by sea. That keeps the overall costs low, and the carbon impact is minimal. If anything, it’s probably cheaper and less harmful than shipping beef by road across the US. And Greenham’s ethical standards are first-rate, unlike suppliers in South America or other places we could have gone to.
So, when demand for steaks goes up, we buy a little Australian beef to make up the difference. It means we can keep you happy, and our American suppliers are still making a little profit.