BY ELIZABETH FRIEDLY / AJT //

Turns out watching what you eat may involve watching your food’s diet as well!

p16 foodie Griller's PrideAlthough it may seem like common sense, not until recently have consumers begun to question what is fed to livestock and how it might affect the animals’ health. The verdict can be summarized thusly: If the cattle are healthier, so are we.

Taking this into account, Atlanta’s own kosher meat provider, Griller’s Pride, now debuts its own grass-fed beef products to the public. Foodies and the health-conscious alike have responded with enthusiasm, said company president Peter Swerdlow.

The road to offering such a product wasn’t entirely easy. Swerdlow has been working on securing a reliable source of American grass-fed beef, free of hormones, antibiotics and steroids, almost since he launched his delivery service.

“Up until now it’s been almost impossible,” said Swerdlow. “We’ve always been able to get the beef from Uruguay or Mexico. However, that beef is very tough, just because of the way they’re reared.”

But thanks to a source in California, Griller’s Pride can now offer a more desirable option. Much of the tenderness of the meat is attributed to the treatment methods, such as weaning calves more gradually and limiting the number of cattle per acre so as to avoid over-grazing.

“The cattle don’t have to dig down and eat the scraps of the grass, which they often do with the South American product,” said Swerdlow. “That makes a huge difference.”

Your typical “grain-fed” cattle eat grass as well, but the difference lies in the final stages. Frequently, a grain-fed cow is stuffed with a concentrated mix of corn, soy, grains and other supplements, plus hormones and antibiotics to speed up growth.

Many claim that to refrain from these practices is not only more ethical but also results in tastier meat.

“You get the real taste of meat; it comes through without any of these added hormones or steroids,” said Swerdlow.

And in addition to introducing their new line of grass-fed angus, Griller’s Pride is already in full swing preparing for Passover. When asked about their most popular item for the holiday, Swerdlow laughed.

“Briskets. In terms of meat, it’s brisket without a question,” Swerdlow said. “Passover is very big for us.”

He encourages customers to place orders as soon as possible in order to secure prices. Griller’s Pride will also offer an online grocery department for a variety of products, including dried fruit, blintzes and matzah balls.

Swerdlow, a native of South Africa, shared about the Passover traditions of his homeland, how things differed and how they are comparable to those in the U.S.

“It’s very, very similar,” said Swerdlow. “You know, in South Africa, we don’t have Thanksgiving – so for the South African Jewish community, [Passover] is the one time that all the family gets together. Everyone comes home…it’s a very family-oriented holiday.”

No matter your style of celebration or your preference in beef, Griller’s Pride seeks to simplify shopping by offering home delivery and discounted items. Serving the Atlanta Jewish community for nine years, they want to help you stay both healthy and kosher in 2013.

Editor’s note: Visit grillerspride.com or call (770) 454-8108.