eal refers to a young male calf raised for its meat. Traditionally veal calves are a byproduct of the dairy industry; since they cannot contribute to milk production, they are raised separately for the lean and tender veal meat long prized by chefs and gourmands. But D’Artagnan veal is different. Arguably the most humane veal in the world, from cattle breeds known and raised for quality meat, not dairy, it’s a whole new take on veal. Read on to learn more about the 5 points that make our veal unique in the world.
Humanely Raised for a Reason
At D’Artagnan our first concern is that our animals are raised in the most natural and humane way. That’s why we searched the world to find the most humane veal possible. We found what we were looking for in Southwest France, well known for its incredible food traditions. These are 5 points that make our veal different from any other on the market.
1. Best breeds. Our cooperative of small farms raise Charolais and Limousin breed cattle known for providing superb beef. The calves are not simply a by-product of the dairy industry but are raised specifically for their quality veal meat, to 6 months of age and a maximum of 450 pounds.
2. Never caged or penned. The calves live untethered in open group housing, with clean straw bedding, and are free to socialize with other calves in a sunlit, comfortable environment.
3. The 5 Freedoms. Our French veal complies with the “5 Freedoms” statutes of the E.U., a guarantee that far exceeds the humane standards for veal in other countries. These are: the freedom to express normal behavior; freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury and disease; freedom from fear and distress.
4. Quality milk diet. Our calves get mother’s milk for 14 days before being weaned onto a milk-based formula. This is an important distinction because mother’s milk is important in building and stabilizing a young mammal’s digestive processes. In the veal industry calves are taken from their mothers immediately. In our more costly process, calves are properly weaned to ensure they have an easy transition to a milk-based formula feed. Another point of difference: they are not finished with grain, which is common in veal farming.
5. Focus on nutrition and health. The calves get a daily ration of natural ruminants to aid in digestion, along with clean, mineral-enriched water, and iron. This important nutrient keeps the calves healthy and is often withheld by other veal farmers to produce pale veal meat.
We are proud to be the exclusive source for this veal in the United States. Our farming cooperative is famous for providing the highest quality veal to the best restaurants, and butcher shops throughout France and Europe. After all, France is the largest consumer of veal in the world, and expectations are high.
There’s a world of flavor to be discovered with tender veal cuts, whether cooking classic Italian recipes, French favorites, or even Wiener schnitzel from Austria. Explore our veal recipes to find a new dish. Try our veal chops, veal tenderloin or veal sweetbreads … but take care not to overcook veal meat, as it is quite lean.