Frequently Asked Questions
+Why is your lamb shipped frozen, not fresh?
At Lava Lake, we raise our lambs in harmony with the seasons. Because our Ranch is in the mountains of Idaho where the winters are cold, this means our lambs are all born in late winter. When the snow melts, new grasses, herbs and flowering plants grow and flourish, providing the nutritious feed our lambs need to achieve the peak of health. Our lambs graze on fresh, rich pasture and rangeland for their entire lives and are never finished in a feedlot. They reach maturity in six to nine months, so they are all processed within a fairly brief period of time in late summer; we cannot supply fresh lamb year-round the way grain-finishing operations can. Furthermore, we have found that by processing the animals at the absolute peak of their physical maturity and flash-freezing the cuts of meat in vacuum-sealed packaging, our lamb retains all its flavor and freshness for many months.
+Does Lava Lake support sustainable agriculture? If so, how?
Lava Lake strives to make all our operations sustainable by (1) avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides and maintaining our organic certification on over 60,000 acres of pasture and range land; (2) continually evaluating our impact on the land where our animals graze through scientific research and monitoring; (3) implementing a variety of habitat restoration projects; (4) participating in and supporting local farmers markets and our local food distribution networks; and (5) conserving resources wherever we can.
+What makes Lava Lake a predator-friendly operation?
Lava Lake Ranch is situated at the edge of one of the largest roadless areas in the Lower 48 States; as a result, our region has abundant wildlife. Large herds of elk and pronghorn, and predators such as coyote, bear, mountain lion, and wolves inhabit the Ranch. Our approach to predator control is to avoid interactions by proactively discouraging them. For instance, whenever possible we move our sheep out of areas where wolves are active. When that isn’t feasible, we set up temporary electric corrals which are strung with bright colored flags that wolves tend to avoid. We add extra guard dogs and use loud “cracker shells” to deter predators when they approach.
+How old are your lambs when they are processed?
Our lambs reach the peak of their physical development and are processed anywhere between six to nine months of age.
+What is the difference between New Zealand lamb and Lava Lake Lamb?
Most New Zealand lamb has traveled thousands of miles over several days before it reaches retail outlets in the United States. Even when shipped to states outside of Idaho, Lava Lake Lamb is a much more local choice.
+What is the best way to thaw frozen lamb?
We recommend that you thaw our lamb in your refrigerator overnight or, for faster thawing, submerge the watertight package of lamb in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until the lamb is thawed. Changing the water will keep it cold, which is essential for safe thawing. Times will vary, depending on the cut of lamb.
+What are the health benefits of eating grass-fed lamb, over grain-fed lamb?
When you eat Lava Lake 100% grass-fed lamb, you are dining on a naturally lean red meat with an absolutely stellar nutritional profile. USDA Scientists who compared grass-fed lambs with lambs fed grain in a feedlot found that “lambs grazing in pasture had 14% less fat and about 8% more protein compared to grain-fed lamb.”1 Grass-fed lamb is an excellent source of vitamin B-12, niacin, zinc, and a good source of iron.2 While other red meats offer those nutrients as well, grass-fed lamb stands out with a surprising nutritional benefit. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, the cancer-fighting, heart-healthy fatty acids3.
For more information on the benefits of eating grass-fed meat, we suggest you visit www.eatwild.com.