Sherman Oaks, Calif. (June 1, 2011) – Pioneering a new culinary movement, Whole Foods Market introduces seasonal Hearst Ranch Grass-fed Beef. This seasonal beef program is the result of a ground-breaking partnership between Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Region and Hearst Ranch Beef, which is produced by Hearst Corporation on its two Central California ranches: the 82,000 acre San Simeon Ranch, which surrounds the world-famous Hearst Castle, and the 73,000 acre Jack Ranch located sixty miles inland. With just over 600 head of Hearst Ranch Grass-fed cattle available, this seasonal beef will be limited to select Whole Foods Market locations in Southern California and will be available from June to August, or when quantities run out.


This partnership between Stephen T. Hearst, William Randolph Hearst’s great-grandson, and Whole Foods Market is a continuation of the legacy of Hearst Ranch which began in 1865, when   William Randolph’s father, Senator George Hearst, purchased the land that became the San Simeon Ranch.


“Our iconic ranches are a large part of California’s historic working landscape and grass-fed beef is the logical extension of our philosophy of conservation-minded stewardship of the land,” said Steve Hearst, Vice President and General Manager of Hearst Corporation's Western Properties.  “In 2005, Hearst Corporation, in concert with a coalition of visionary Californians, preserved the fabled San Simeon ranch as a grass-fed beef ranch in perpetuity through the historic Hearst Ranch Conservation Agreement.  Grazing pasture-raised cattle offers many benefits to the Ranch.  Not only does their grazing increase the biodiversity of the working landscape of the ranch, they also provide our signature premier-quality Hearst Ranch Beef. The idea of bringing this fresh, locally raised, sustainable, grass-fed beef to Southern California makes so much sense.  Whole Foods Market fulfills this vision in a very big way and I am thrilled.”


Born and raised at the Hearst Ranches, the cattle range freely and graze solely on the grasses that grow on the ranches, resulting in a distinctive flavor that comes from the unique combination of the grass, soil, water and climate of the region.  Just as the region or “terroir” adds unique taste characteristics to wine varietals, the Central Coast terroir adds a zesty grassiness to the beef of Hearst Ranch.

“Hearst Ranch Grass-fed Beef has a robust and delicious flavor,” says Hearst. “For people who love a good steak, they will be able to readily savor the difference: it is the authentic flavor of the American West. I wouldn’t be surprised if soon we started seeing appellations, like those for the wine country, being applied to grass-fed beef.”

With the introduction of this local seasonal Grass-fed Beef, Whole Foods Market and Hearst Ranch Beef are embarking on a joint educational program.  Through tasting events, special recipes and in-store signage, the companies will reach out to foodies and enthusiasts of quality meat about the exceptional taste, texture and health benefits of seasonal Grass-fed Beef.


“While it is a whole new concept to today’s shopper to think about beef as a seasonal food, grass-fed cattle have been a part of the natural agricultural cycle since ancient times,” said Mike Hacaga, Whole Foods Market Regional Meat Coordinator, Southern Pacific Region. “We’re proud to be a part of a new beef program that not only will bring mouth-watering new flavors to our customers’ dinner tables but also support the sustainable practices of a local rancher.”


Hearst Ranch seasonal Grass-fed Beef will be sold at select Southern California Whole Foods Market locations in Glendale, Pasadena (Arroyo and Pasadena stores), Porter Ranch, Santa Barbara, Sherman Oaks (East and West stores), Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Valencia and Woodland Hills.


Hearst Ranch Grass-fed Beef has earned an impressive Rating of 4 from the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program, meaning the cattle have been raised on a pasture with no antibiotics, added growth hormones or animal by-products.


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Media Contact: Heather Gordon | 310.552.4123 |