By Jill Johnson

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Images and thoughts of San Simeon and the castle loosely ascribed as Xanadu do not usually bring the word “natural” to mind. Perhaps they should. The Hearst family has been raising cattle on the Central Coast since 1865. Hearst cattle are grass-fed, humanely raised, and never given growth hormones or antibiotics. The result is beef with extraordinary flavor. It’s healthier, too. Grass-fed beef contains 10 times more beta-carotene and three times more vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids than beef not raised on grass. For its efforts in sustainability and humane practices, the Hearst Ranch has been awarded a Food Alliance Certification and meets the Humane Farm Animal Care Standards.

This historic working ranch will also be preserved thanks to one of the largest land conservation easements in California history, a joint effort with the California Rangeland Trust, the American Land Conservancy, and the State of California.

Where can you rustle up some Hearst Ranch Beef? Neiman Marcus and Williams-Sonoma sell some specialty cuts through their Web sites. And now you can round some up at hearstranch.com.