Food Stuff

McDonald’s recently asked its beef suppliers to reduce their use of antibiotics. It’s a nice gesture, but we’d be better off if Big Mac bought from Prather Ranch. Prather operates an 11,000-acre spread in the wide-open grazing lands of northeastern California. Unlike the mega-cattle ranches, Prather does not use antibiotics, eschews growth hormones, provides a free-range environment and does not value quantity over quality. Prather Ranch cattle are raised on spring-fed water and organic, homegrown, vegetarian feed. To top it all off, Prather dry-ages the beef for at least 21 days to produce robust flavor and tenderness. We’ll probably never find Prather Ranch beef at McDonald’s because this certified-organic beef, produced on a relatively small scale, would cost more than the fast-food giant would care to pay. But this fine California beef costs less than you might think, and it is available now at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op as well as the Nugget Market on Covell Boulevard in Davis.