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Our CLA beef trial

Dear Reader

Providing our clients with the healthiest beef available is one of our goals. Despite the evidence (this is for the scientific peer reviewed obsessed factory farmers out there) there are many misguided souls who believe in feedlot beef. They will come around to the facts, eventually.

One of the major benefits of grass fed beef is CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). Regarded by many as anti cancer, anti inflammatory etc.

We have started a 5 year experiment with 8 different beef breeds to see which produces the highest CLA count. This was inspired by the Simmentaler Breed Society who claim that their breed has 30% higher CLA than any other breed.

Our 5 year trial is being supervised by Dr Carel Muller of Elsenburg with input from Prof Kennedy Dzama of Stellenbosch University. Post slaughter a sample of the loin muscle is taken from the carcass and once all have been slaughtered then the Medical Research Council will do the analysis. We have 10 oxen from each breed and by the end of this year we should have slaughtered all of them.

The English Breeds ( the first two are currently topping the scales on daily weight gain)





The French Breeds




The South African Breed



Mixed breeds


Brangus (not in this year’s trial but we plan to from next year)

This high CLA beef is only available from Bill Riley Butchery, 021 511 552, or from us as the one whole animal mince which I wrote about here. Finally occasionally from the Somerset West Spar and Paul Roos Spar in Stellenbosch. Of course only the Cape’s finest restaurants serve it too.

Stay well


  1. Post comment

    Beef ( irrespective of being pasture or grain fed ) has never been a good source of CLA’s . For that you should eat fish . All beef is a good source of protein , b vitamins and iron .

    Marketing high CLA beef I believe is misleading and irresponsible . How can you make these statements without any trial work as of yet ?

    To do this trial correctly you must pasture rear cattle in all of the different biomes cattle are reared in . Futher you will have to get numerous samples of grain fed beef from each different feedlot (we all feed our cattle differently) to use as a bench mark . What are you currently using to serve as a base line for CLA content ?

    I believe to do this trial properly will cost a few million rand . Whatever the answer is you gain from your trial work will be highly debatable at best as the trial is flawed from the outset.

    1. Post comment

      Willem (Factory Farmer/owner/manager) Wethmar

      Where did you read the words fish in the blog posting? Please keep your insecurities about fish vs factory/grain fed beef to yourself.

      You obviously also did not click on the link with all the scientific peer reviewed research showing the nutritional superiority of grass fed over grain fed beef.

      Do you also have a degree in statistics that makes you an expert on what constitutes an acceptable trial or not? Or is statistics a major subject in the 4 year animal science degree that you lose no opportunity of reminding the readers that you studied?

      We are merely comparing the CLA content of the different breeds finished on our farm. Under the supervision of those who would have taught you at Stellenbosch University.

      Angus (Natural/Organic/Biodynamic Farmer) McIntosh

  2. Post comment

    Angus : I have no insecurities about fish but recognise it as a superior source of CLA’s to ANY form of beef . For someone to market beef on CLA content is like marketing orages vs. aplles on water content ( LOL ) .

    Statistics was part of my course for a number of years . I am also involved in various trials and do statistical analysis regularly ( you asked ) .

    You are not merely comparing the CLA contents of breeds of cattle on your farm : you stated that grass fed beef is nutritionally superior because of a higher CLA content so how is that statement just confined to only your farming operation ?

    You have taken an intricate study and simplified it to a level where it actually means very little .

    By the way : are you going to post some of my other replies from august , september and october as you undertook to do or not ?


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