They utilize forage supplies in a way that sustains the environment and promotes healthy regrowth. Their ability to turn plants that would go unused into lean protein makes them one of the most effective tools available to enhance the landscape and provide a healthy food product to Americans. The increased use of these beautiful animals will help restore the integrity and reverse the desertification of our western range lands.
Our heritage bred Criollo (krēē-ō-yō) cattle possess the same genetics as their ancestors allowing them to perform well their entire lives on range land and pasture grasses. Due to their genetics, Criollo beef has exceptional flavor and tenderness yet is lower in total fat, saturated fatty acids and cholesterol than traditional breeds. Their natural resistance to diseases of all types means that they require no antibiotics in their life cycle, resulting in a completely natural meat that is very lean and tender.This naturally lean beef has a higher proportion of red muscle fibers versus white muscle fibers and that translates into an increased amount of marbling and tenderness through all the cuts of meat.
A heritage breed, Criollo Cattle can be traced back to the first cattle brought to the new world by the Spanish as early as 1493. For over 500 years, these cattle have been adapting and thriving in the arid climate of Mexico and its border regions including Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They eat significantly less than the big beef cattle, and like Texas longhorns (which many believe to be descended from Criollos), they require less water and can live on sparse open range. The small, athletic framed cows, weigh around 800 pounds, and easily traverse the mountainous and desert landscapes of the Southwest, traveling long distances to search for water and grass.
In addition, our beef is higher in 2 critical health areas: Omega 3's and CLA's. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid for human growth and development. We must have it to be healthy. Our beef has consistently tested high in Omega 3's* making it a great choice for individuals with heart disease and new research is showing that foods high in Omega 3's may have an anti-carcinogen effect. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is found preferentially in dairy products and meat. Studies indicate that CLA is also a powerful anti-carcinogen. Our cattle have consistently ranked higher in CLA's* than traditional beef animals.
*All of our testing has been performed by the University of Arizona, Meat Sciences Lab. .