Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Basics of Grass-fed Beef

I’d like to switch gears today and talk about ag, mostly grass-fed beef. I’m passionate about raising natural, happy beef. Cattle raised on grass are healthier, happier, and lead more fulfilling lives. Why is this important? you ask. Why should I care how my beef lives?

Here’s why.

Cattle raised on hormones and antibiotics typically live in stressful, crowded feedlots. While these types of situations are necessary to raise beef on a massive scale, smaller, more sustainable alternatives are available. While the demand for cheap, low-grade beef drives the market, if people demand higher quality meat, most farmers I know would love to oblige.

So check out this video from Purdue on the basics of grass-fed beef and we’ll resume this conversation.

So what’s the big deal about receiving nutrition from forages rather than grain? First of all, grass is healthier. According to, grass fed beef contains far higher levels of vitamin E, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, and conjugated lineoleic acid, or CLA, which has been linked to lower risk of cancer. Grain to cattle is like potato chips to us. It provides energy and puts on weight, which is good for cattle and bad for us. So if people consume beef that’s been raised on a poor diet, they have a poor diet, essentially eating what the cattle ate. Ruminates, such as cattle and sheep, are amazing in that they can convert grass, something humans can’t digest, into meat, which is something people can. Corn is highly inefficient for both people and animals. It’s hard to digest and is essentially made up of sugars that store to fat instead of muscle. The main benefit of grass-fed beef is that it is made up of salad greens instead of sugar cane.

This says it much better. Get back to basics, reality, and quality of life.

Tomorrow I'll talk about environment and how a grass-fed basis benefits humans and animals alike.