How to buy a cow

Shirley |  Hand Sourced  |  How to Buy a Cow

Brisbane’s Hand Sourced Provedore   |   Better food, naturally

Aussies are big meat eaters. And much of it is wasted.

Australia is now the meat eating capital of the world.
On average, a human eats only 51% of a cow, leaving behind offal, bones, hide, glands, and fat.  Of this 51%, 75% of Aussies will choose a prime cut.

Buying prime cuts is not sustainable.
There are only so many to a cow, so many scotch fillets and so many rump steaks. The lesser known cuts such as shoulder, shank and y-bone have a lower turnover, and are turned into pet food, low value-added products (flavoured patties, for example) or sold offshore for below production cost. This pressure on the farmer means the consumer pays more to cover the ‘wastage’ and the farmer receives lees than the animal’s true worth.

Buying an entire cow is more ethical, and more economical.
By realising the value of the whole animal, we can bring the cost down, and choose to buy pasture raised, grass fed animals from farmers that make sustainable choices –slow grown pasture raised and finished beef that tastes better, is better for you and has greater economic benefits overall.

Buying an entire cow is not always feasible.
This is why we we section our cows into 1/4s; 1/2s; or a whole if you want to distribute it amongst your own community. And, it’s delivered fresh, not frozen.

Our quality grown on grass beef is bred and raised by Les and Kerryn Hellyar on their beautiful cattle farm ‘Trewellen’ situated just outside Kyogle. No hormones or antibiotics have been introduced.  The Hellyar’s handle their kill in a low-stress environments in small numbers, keeping the livestock calm. This quality husbandry is clearly reflected in the quality of the meat. Tender, soft, and buttery, even the most secondary cut can be simply prepared and cooked.

A win-win solution.
We give you the power – by getting a small community together, whether it be family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, teammates or like-minded strangers to share good food and put more money in the pockets of our hard working farmers.

Weight / Size:

Whole beast (average 120-150kg)
Half beast (full fore and hindquarter – average 60-65 kg)
Equal quarter beast (A little from fore and hindquarter – average 30-37 kg)

You can order allhalf, or a quarter of a beast, which comprises of the following cuts:

Hindquarter cuts:
Osso Bucco | Silverside: corned (or) uncorned | Topside whole (or) steaks | Rump steaks | Eye Fillet | Round Roast | Skirt: can be steaks, minced, or whole | T Bone (or) Porterhouse
Forequarter cuts:
Rolled roast | Y-Bone (or) Oyster blade | Rib Fillet Steak | Blade Roast whole (or) steaks | Brisket | Short ribs (or) Meaty short ribs | OP on the bone
You can receive all bones. All trim is minced and bagged into premium mince, and into sausages.

Where will I put it?
1/4 beast will fill a small compartment freezer (ie: a large esky).
All cuts have a freezer storage life of 2 years from pickup.

Where do we go from here?
Eventually, we’d love to be able to offer even more of the animal. Offal, so healthy. Beef cheeks, so gelatinously good and unfortunately so rare. Most abattoirs keep these to on-sell for pet food and other by-products to claw back some of the huge costs that go into compliance and regulation of processing plants, as small scale abattoirs close all over the country. (But that’s a discussion for another day.)

It’s your turn to make a difference. The time is now.
As Arthur Ashe once said, ‘start where you are, use what you have, do what you can‘. We make it easy for you to purchase ethically produced meat in a more sustainable manner and economically more beneficial to both farmer and consumer.

Thank you for your continued support of Hand Sourced wholesale and farm-share. Please feel free to forward our email to a friend.
We’ll be sure to thank you for your efforts in the most delicious of ways.
Hand Sourced is a small, niche market product distribution company based in Brisbane, Queensland.

We help launch small batch producers into the retail and wholesale market at no cost to the farmer.
We run and support Farm to Plate cooperative which in turn, supports small farms.
We source and supply ethically raised premium produce farmer direct, to you.

 We raise the bar on how you can expect fresh, quality-raised produce to taste.

We research, source and select only that which meets our exacting standards. We support producers working with limited, rare and endangered breeds and farms that raise limited quantity of cared for animals. Farms with transparent ethical and sustainable farming practices, bio-dynamics, organics, and best practice in animal husbandry and produce growing are key factors in making the grade.
We like our animals to be happy.

We are situated in Ascot. Street parking is available.
Copyright © 2016 Shirley Harring | Hand Sourced, All rights reserved.
We build relationships with local producers, growers and farmers committed to quality and provenance. If you know someone who is as into ‘real food’ as you are, why not forward this or suggest they join the list.
Our mailing address is:

Shirley Harring | Hand Sourced

PO Box 173

Brisbane, Qld 4011

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Five Tips for Healthy Aging

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Weight loss – why is it such a big deal?

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Spicy Morrocan Chickpea & Lentil Soup with Chermoula

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

Chermoula marinade:

1 handful of fresh coriander or parsley

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 or 2 fresh red chilli’s (deseeded)

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

sea salt – pinch.

Place all ingredients for Chermoula in the blender and pulse until smooth. Set aside to develop flavour.



1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 fennel bulb, chopped

2 onions diced

3 cloves garlic diced

2 tins organic tomatoes (or 2 cups homemade chunky passata)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger – or 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups vegetable broth or stock

1+ 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 cup green/brown lentils

2 bay leaves

sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

extra water to make soupier if needed.

Saute onion, fennel, garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and allow aromas to develop before adding the tomatoes/passata. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils, chickpeas, broth and bay leaves and allow to cook on low heat for approximately 30-45 minutes or until chickpeas are tender and soup has thickened.  Season to taste and serve topped with as much spicy Chermoula as you like.

Voila! Enjoy

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7 Swaps to go Gluten Free

7 Swaps to go Gluten Free….

Have you been asked to trial a gluten free diet, or recently been diagnosed as gluten intolerant? Sometimes making changes to your daily food choices can become overwhelming.

Unfortunately, a common thing that happens when a new diet comes into “fashion” is that the market responds with a myriad of new food like products in attempt to make the consumer’s life and food shopping easier. The problem is, many of these food products are highly processed, high in sugar and void of nutrition, making them almost as damaging as the gluten itself.

Let’s get one thing straight…being gluten allergic (Coeliac’s disease) or gluten intolerant is NOT a fashion or a fad! In fact, gluten is one of the most difficult proteins for our bodies to digest and it is also one of the most inflammatory foods irrespectively of whether you are a Coeliac sufferer or not. If you are allergic to gluten, it is critical to your health that you avoid gluten 100%.

Just because the packet says Gluten Free, doesn’t mean its good for you!

Take a look in this list for some healthy food swaps to help you go gluten free and continue to make healthy choices.

Swap For…
Your morning slice of toast Sweet potato toast.

Homemade breads – try out some paleo bread recipes, try some gluten free alternative flours such as rice, buckwheat, fava or chickpea flour.

Your bowl of weetbix or other wheat based cereals. Quinoa Porridge

Chia Pudding

Home made muesli or granola using nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, millet, brown rice flakes etc.

An omellette

A bowl of miso soup

Your BLT or chicken salad sandwich Salad with grilled chicken or fish.

Brown rice sushi

Free range, organic bacon with tomato on a slice of homemade gluten free bread with fresh avocado

Nori seaweed sheet with smoked salmon, baby spinach, avocado and saurkraut.

Crackers Rice cakes or Quinoa cakes.

Homemade seed crackers

Home made sweet potato or vegetable crisps.

Your 3pm muffin or biscuit Make your own at home with almond flour, flax meal, coconut, tapioca flour etc. There are heaps of great gluten free or grain free recipes online.
Salad Dressing Make your own at home with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, pepper. Add a dash of tamari and use sesame oil for an asian twist.
Chips, crisps, snacks, desserts Sweet potato or broccoli chips are easy to make and delicious!

Dark raw chocolate.

Stew some fresh fruits and serve with coconut yoghurt in place of ice confection desserts.

So you see, there are heaps of great options when you are going gluten free and you certainly won’t go hungry. All it takes is learning to look at foods a bit more closely, along with a little planning and preparation. Start by mastering one meal at a time – you’ll be surprised how this will become your new “normal” and you will wonder what all the fuss was about to begin with.




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Gluten Free Apple Turnovers

There’s nothing like warm apple pie on a cold winters evening! Here is a healthier gluten free take on a classic that is just as good if not better than the original.

PASTRY (have all ingredients at room temperature)
2 ¼ cups gluten free flour eg. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
¾ cup xylitol or ½ cup coconut sugar or rapadura sugar
50g organic butter at room temperature
50g coconut butter at room temperature (optional –or can use 100g butter)
1 egg beaten (poor egg, you really should apologise!)
4 tablespoons organic unhomogenised milk or coconut milk

5 medium red delicious apples
5 medium granny smith apples
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup filtered water


1. In a medium size saucepan place the peeled, cored and diced apples with the water and allspice. Cook on a low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Cook until tender but not mushy – about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

3. Prepare your baking trays with some non-stick bake on paper or silicon baking sheets

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the beaten egg. Mix until combined. Add the milk and mix well. Add the soft butter and work into a dough consistency. You may need to add a little more flour if the mixture is too sticky to roll.

On a lightly floured bench, divide the dough into 12 portions. Roll a portion into a ball and then roll out to about 8mm thickness in a roughly circular shape. Place a smallish dessertspoon of cooked apple onto the centre of the pastry circle and fold into half pinching the edges of the turnover together with your fingers. Gently poke the top of each turnover with a fork to allow for breathing holes. Brush with milk and place onto your baking tray.
Repeat until your tray is full, then bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from tray onto a cooling rack and lock the doors to make sure you still have your batch for its intended!

Recipe created by Brisbane Natural Health Naturopath and Nutritionist Anne-Marie McDonald

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How to Curb your Sugar (and carbohydrate) Cravings Naturally

Are you at the type of person that is at the café for a piece of cake every afternoon at 3pm? Or perhaps you can’t finish a meal without having a sugary treat. Some of us think about sugar all day long! And no doubt the media has taught you that sugar is the crack cocaine of the food world – so a sugar addiction can’t be good right?

Well, we certainly are eating more of it than ever before, and the type of sugar that we eat is more refined than what  our ancestors were eating. This combined with the fact that most of us sit in chairs all day with limited physical movement has created an issue. However it’s not all bad news. You can have your cake and eat it too – but it’s about understanding the various types of sugar and being in control of when we have it so that we can look after our bodies without feeling deprived.

Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate available to the body and can be used as a source of fuel for our cells to turn into energy. It can also be used a little bit like a drug, making us feel good when we are feeling down or giving us that kick of energy in the mid-afternoon when the post-lunch slump turns the computer screen into a blur. When we have a craving for sugar or for more complex carbs (like grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes) when our blood sugar drops a little (or when we are feeling a bit crappy). This can happen with ‘blood sugar imbalance’, which is not really an illness as such, more a slight dysfunction which is easily fixed. What often happens is we can get caught up in a vicious sugar cycle – we crave, we eat, we crave again, we eat again and so on – and a blood sugar yo-yo effect is what keeps us coming back for more. Breaking this cycle is not always easy, but once it is done, we are no longer in the trap, and no longer a slave to sugar.

Let’s look at some simple ways to improve your blood sugar balance and reduce your sugar cravings:

  • Eat protein at breakfast time – this has been shown to be beneficial for many different physiological syndromes of blood sugar imbalance. It also helps to keep you fuller for longer throughout the day and make better food choices.
  • Try some healthy alternatives when the craving hits– an apple and a handful of almonds or cashews makes a great mid afternoon snack to keep you going until knock off time.
  • Make sure to snack on healthy snacks regularly throughout the day – try a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, a boiled egg, hummus and carrot sticks, bliss balls
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your breakfast or include in cups of tea. Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar, which in turn reduces your body’s likelihood of having a craving
  • Try dark chocolate instead of milk/sweet chocolate. Often a switch to 70% dark chocolate (which is low in sugar) allows you to feel like you have had your treat, without you needing to consume a high level of sugar. Chocolate also contains antioxidants which are protective to your health and theobromines, which make you feel good.
  • If you are going to have a sweet treat, try having it with some protein and fat – this will slow down digestion time, delaying the release of sugar into your blood stream and reducing the yo-yo effect of eating sugar explained above.
  • If you are still struggling with your cravings, please book in to see a naturopath as there can be deeper reasons for this that need examination.


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All about MATCHA

What’s so great about MATCHA?

Matcha is a fine bright green powdered form of specially grown and processed green tea, Camellia sinensis. Historically this tea was used by Japanese Zen monks in the 8th century, as a ceremonial drink for its calming and clarity inducing properties.

The really great thing about green tea, and particularly Matcha is that it has many health benefits, supported by both historical records and literally thousands of scientific studies.

Green tea has a great reputation for it’s health giving benefits as a result of the compounds chlorophyll, theanine and catachins. Matcha green tea is grown in the shade, enhancing its levels of these valuable compounds significantly. 

Here is a quick approximate comparison of the variation of compounds in green tea compared to Matcha.

Compound Green Tea Matcha – 1 teaspoon powder
EGCG (epigallocatechingallate) 80mg per cup 240mg per cup
Theanine 4mg per cup 20mg per cup
Caffeine 31.8mg per cup 68mg per cup

So what do these fancy pants compounds do?

Mood & Brain Food

A 2017 study showed that match tea intake improved attention, memory and suppression of distraction when compared to control subjects.  This was attributed to the unique balance of green tea phytochemicals L-Theanine and caffeine.  L-Theanine reportedly improving relaxation and calmness and reducing tension. The study found that when compared to using caffeine in the form of coffee, green tea had equal or better alertness and focus benefits than coffee without the associated anxiety or jitteriness.

Healthy Heart & Arteries

In a 2016 study, Matcha was shown to improve HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad guy), reduce blood glucose levels and improve antioxidant levels in rats fed a high saturated fat diet in combination with Matcha. In other words rats eating hamburgers reduced their cardiovascular risk if they had Matcha powder with their meal. This showed good potential for Matcha consumption improving fat metabolism, blood sugars and inflammation. Go green!


Unfortunately we live in a world laden with all kinds of toxic compounds, many of which we are exposed to constantly without our conscious knowledge. PCB’s or polychlorinated biphenyls are one such class of toxic chemical compounds which are found in electrical equipment, inks, glues, flame retardents (used in our clothes, carpets and furnishings) and paints. The unfortunate thing about this compound is that is volatile, it can be measured in our soils, drinking water and in the air we are breathing. PCB’s accumulate in our tissues and in those of the animals we eat. Matcha to the rescue! A recent Japanese study showed that rats fed a diet of PCB’s along with Matcha were able to excrete up to nine times more PCB’s in their faeces and also showed reduced distribution of PCB’s in their livers as compared to rats who missed out on the Matcha.

There are many more studies supporting the health benefits of matcha and green tea for everything from protection against cancer to the removal of mould toxins from the body. Do yourself a favour and switch out a cup of coffee per day for a nice Matcha latte!

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Paleo brownies with raw chocolate ‘icing’

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The recipe to living a life you love.

Do you live a life you love? I mean really stop and think about it – are you completely happy and loving your life? Are you happy in your relationships, your job, where you live? Do you do things regularly that make your heart sing? Of course, we all aspire to live a life that we love, but it is all too easy to get caught up in the day to day, leading a less than ideal or mediocre life. This mean you might remain in a relationship or job that doesn’t light you up for longer than you should. Or it could mean that you haven’t cultivated enough self love to truly be happy day to day.

People who live a life they love eat well, workout regularly (because they want to), have strong relationships (including with themselves), enjoy their work and are happy most of the time. They get a lot of joy from life and look forward to the start of each day. They refuse to put up with a beige existence, knowing that life has a bounty to offer them if they find out where to look. We each have the ability to have this – it’s just a matter of peeling back the layers and giving your body, mind and soul what it needs to enhance your life.

After working with over 5000 people, we know that there is a recipe to having a life that you love. it includes the following.

1. Achieving excellent, vibrant health

Good health is the foundation to living a life that you love. When we have physical symptoms it causes pain, discomfort, worry and concern that can strip the joy from our day to day lives. It can stop you from behaving how you normally would, preventing you from doing what you love. It can even colour the way that you perceive the world through negative emotions, as you’ll see in the next section. Achieving excellent health is about eating the right foods, moving your body and healing disease with natural medicines, if possible. It’s also about mindset, as you’ll see in the steps following.

2. Working through emotional toxicity

People who live a life they love have been able to identify and release emotional toxicity that holds them back. This might be working through anxiety, depression or low self esteem by identifying the underlying subconscious causes and triggers. It might be identifying what emotions you have attached to and dis-ease in the body, and where it first started so that you can clear it. Your thought patterns and emotional state are a huge determinant of how you’re feeling and also what behaviour that you present. We all have some emotional toxicity to varying degrees and once you can identify this and work though it your life will be so much better.

We need to identify and release emotional toxicity in order to reach our full potential.

3. Cultivating gratitude and positivity

This step comes more easily once you have mastered the former, but it’s something that you can begin to work on right away. Studies (and ancient spiritual teachings) show that cultivating gratitude makes you happier and more content with life. This can be a simple as consciously and sincerely thanking people more often or keeping a daily gratitude journal. We also need to practice mindfulness – this is observing our thoughts so we can actively try to change them. We are taught to be inherently negative – especially towards ourself. Listen to your self talk – you’ll soon find that you would never speak to someone that way that you speak to yourself. Catch yourself and consciously try to think more positive. This might require more work on step 2 if you find it challenging.

4. Addressing your spirituality

No matter what you religious denomination or what your spiritual beliefs are, once thing for certain is that we are more than our physical bodies. We know from research that people that have a strong spiritual belief in something outside of themselves are happier and more content. Spirituality doesn’t need to be about praying to a certain god or figure, most importantly it is about reconnecting to your own spirit or soul. Doing this can give you your own sense of purpose, help to ground you and make you more comfortable in your own skin. To help nurture your spiritual self we recommend meditation and exploring this side of yourself with a spiritual/energetic healer that can help you to identify if there is anything that can be blocking your growth in this area.

We are complex beings with many layers of physical, emotional and spiritual blocks that can stop up from reaching our full potential and living a life that we love. It is through the exploration of these layers and removal of blocks that we grow and advance as human beings, so that we can truly experience life for all that it has to offer.

At Brisbane Natural Health we are passionate about helping people live a life that they love. We’ve developed memberships to specifically address all 4 of these areas and help you to not only feel better but to truly improve your quality of life. Call us on 07 3367 0337 to ask about how we can help you. 

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