Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of lamb is Pure Bred?
In terms of the breed, we cross a Dorset ewe (female) with a Suffolk ram (male). This is a very traditional cross, creating a tremendous quality lamb for the table.

Beyond the breed, Pure Bred represents a broader and more highly refined philosophical expression of Holistic Lamb®, which involves respectful stewardship of the animal throughout the entirety of the life cycle and its product form. No part of the process is neglected because the eventual sum of every detail is represented in a product form at your table. Not unlike a highly detailed, even complicated recipe, that a skilled chef would prepare–it is more than just time and temperature or any single ingredient, but rather how all of these” details” come together to create something magnificent and unique. So it is not just about genetic make-up or “breed”, or water quality, pure feed, stewardship expression, sustainability or animal compassion, but rather all of these details and more. That system collectively makes our statement of Holistic Lamb®, represented by the brand name, Pure Bred.

Is Pure Bred Organic?
No, in order to be called organic, we would have to seek certification by a third party. We do not use hormones or antibiotics in the feed, nor are our animals or feed exposed to pesticides. Pure Bred is holistic, which is our standard. Holistic goes beyond whether chemicals are employed to full accountability to every detail of how our lambs are cared for throughout their lives and up until they reach your family’s table. We are able to track individual animals from ewe to you. Please see Why Holistic on our philosophy page to learn more about the process.
We have excellent relationships with our local feed growers as part of the holistic system. We engaged these partners because of their commitment to being good stewards of the land and for the quality, nutritious feed they provide our flock. They don’t use pesticides, and we stand by their responsible farming process, but we do not require them to be certified organic.

How is Pure Bred lamb shipped?
We ship our fresh lamb via UPS with chilled gel packs in an insulated container that preserves the quality of the meat and the exceptional texture of a product that has never been frozen. We ship via overnight service Monday through Thursday, only. We regret that we cannot arrange weekend deliveries or delivery outside of the continental United States or internationally.

Because there is no frozen inventory of Pure Bred lamb, we require a 10 day lead time for processing this fresh product before it can be shipped overnight to you.

Is Pure Bred USDA inspected?
Yes, our facilities are inspected for safety and wholesomeness by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Where is Elysian Fields Farm?
Our Farm is located in the village of Ruff Creek in Southwestern Pennsylvania, approximately 1 hour drive from Pittsburgh.

Is the Elysian Fields Farm Lamb served in restaurants the same as Pure Bred?
Yes, Pure Bred lamb is the highest quality lamb available. There is no difference between the lamb you order on this site to enjoy at home and what the restaurants receive, except in terms of how it is cut (most restaurants we work with do their own, custom portioning). Our consumer brand is called Pure Bred, but many chefs prefer to refer to the product by the farm name. We think that is fine, as it honors the contribution of the place and the tremendous gifts we enjoy in this beautiful and abundant part of Pennsylvania.

Why did you patent Safe Alternative?
In order to protect the integrity of the process and assure our customers that any lamb called Pure Bred is raised according to a strict protocol that you can trust.

Are you working with any culinary schools to promote the philosophy of holism in farming?
Yes! We are eager to bring the voice of the lamb to the culinary training kitchens. Along with Chef Thomas Keller, whose transformative leadership continues to elevate the standards of the industry, Keith Martin has spoken for the lamb at the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University. Chefs are in a unique position to showcase what is exceptional about an ingredient and their leadership can do so much to promote the responsible stewardship of their product sources. Chef Keller has been a vital partner in the evolution of our philosophy and in bringing it to a larger audience. We endeavor to honor his support by helping to train the next generation of culinary leaders.

Why Holistic?

Raising our lamb holistically allows you, the consumer, to be connected with the farmer and united in this philosophy of care and respect for the animals they raise. By joining with farmers who share these beliefs, we hope to bring this quality lamb to as many consumers as possible. And those consumers who buy Pure Bred likewise share in and encourage these convictions about how livestock is raised in America. Find out more here

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Because of the stewardship and care provided each animal through the “Safe Alternative® method” online orders take a full week process, but are shipped when prepared overnight to your door.

Frequently Asked Questions