LOCAL LUXURY: What Makes Alberta Beef Unique?



Lifelong Albertans may take it for granted, but the beef produced in this province is recognized around the world for its rich taste and consistent quality. Of course, beef does not start at the butcher’s counter– all meat begins as an animal raised with care by a rancher on Mother Nature’s land. There is more to Alberta beef than just taste and quality, keep reading to find out more!



As with most of the world, cows are not native to North America– they were spread by European settlers as they colonized the West. To encourage settlement in Alberta and elsewhere, large parcels of land were given to ranchers and cattle was allowed to be imported without taxation. Innovations in irrigation and animal welfare were all fully developing as many Albertan cattle ranchers were established. By standing on the shoulders of those before them, the Alberta beef industry made the most out of an already advantageous climate and geographic location.


Many rural regions could support a large agricultural industry like Alberta’s, but it would take a lot to match the province’s commitment to developing its own strengths. The oil industry is the main source of this advantage, because there is little financial pressure on agriculture to be our main export. Reinvestment in the farming world exists as subsidization, research and education, so Alberta also enjoys the benefits of being a leader in technological innovation in this discipline.


So now that we understand how Alberta came to be a powerhouse in cattle production, how does our product differ from other types of beef? Alberta’s beef products boast rich taste, even fat distribution and consistent quality– but it’s no secret: the answer lies in the diet of our cows. Major cattle producing areas (like Ontario or the US) often rely on corn for feed, but Alberta is too far north to grow enough to support our herds. Instead, ranches in our part of the world usually feed and “finish” cattle with resilient grains like barley and rye. Combined with Alberta’s other advantages, this unique diet is just the final touch our high quality product needs to help it stand out from the herd.

**NOTE: “Finishing” is the process of changing a cow’s feed as they transition to slaughtering age and size. Outside of Alberta, cattle is typically raised on corn and grass or grain is only introduced in the finishing stage.

D’Arcy’s Meat Market is proud to carry top grade, local beef because we understand that quality food starts with quality producers. From fresh ground chuck to a dry aged porterhouse; from sustainably grass-fed to traditionally grain-fed– D’Arcy’s has everything you need and can always provide custom orders with enough notice. Contact or visit us today!

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