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Before You Bite: Is Pasture Raised Beef Nutritionally Worth the Price?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/28/2008 7:00 AM   :  97 comments

I was raised on a farm in the Midwest. We had a creek running through our 10 acres of pasture. The water brought hours of summer fun in addition to providing hydration for our animals as they grazed in the field. I showed horses for years as part of 4-H and enjoyed fresh beef thanks to the cow we would raise and butcher each year.

A recent conversation with Coach Nicole regarding grass-fed beef made me curious about how we raised our livestock. As I took a closer look at what those practices might have meant nutritionally for me and my family, I was surprised by what I found. Read on to learn what I discovered.

In the U.S., cattle start out eating grass. Many (about 75%) are grown to maturity with specially formulated grain-based feed, and cattle may be given antibiotics to prevent or treat disease. Likewise, both natural and/or synthetic hormones may be used to promote growth. Most cattle feed on pasture or hay in addition to grain. Some of those grass lands can be treated with pesticides that are ingested by the cattle as they eat.

Federal law requires all beef to be inspected by the USDA for wholesomeness which basically means it is safe and healthy. However not all beef must be graded. Grading is voluntary and based on various factors including the amount of marbling. Marbling is the white fat within the meat muscle. The greater the amount of marbling in beef, the higher grade assigned. Marbling makes beef more flavorful, tender and juicy but also adds saturated fat to the diet. About 2 percent of graded beef is USDA Prime. Consumers pay more for the prime grade compared to USDA Choice beef which is most prevalent in the supermarket. However, the lower priced and less marbled Choice beef is lower in saturated fat and slightly more nutritious.

For years, cattle farmers have found that corn-fed cows develop well-marbled flesh. Grass-fed cattle produce flesh that is lower in fat and marbling. Since the USDA grades beef in a way that rewards marbling, you can see why cattle farmers have continued with the grain feeding practice.

As we look beyond the voluntary USDA grade, we can easily see that the nutritional benefits (in addition to some environmental and animal welfare benefits) make grass-fed animals more attractive. Since grass-fed beef is lower in overall fat, it also provides few calories. A 6 ounce steak from a grass-fed steer can have 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer.

The meat of grass-fed animals has been found to have two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed animals. Research has also found that meat and dairy from grass-fed animals is the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA (this will be a topic for another blog entry). These animals can provide three to five times more CLA than animals fed conventional diets. Grass-fed animals have also been found to provide four times as much vitamin E compared with conventionally fed animals.

Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as grain-fed or grass-fed cows. There are many combinations in between. Each of these various feeding practice combinations leads to different beef labels at the supermarket. So here is some basic information to help you select the most nutritious beef for your money. That might mean you pay more per pound, but it may result in more nutrition for your dollar as well.

Conventional Beef - typically raised using hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and feed lot/grain practices as part of raising the cattle. The beef may be certified as USDA Beef but could not be certified organic.

Natural Beef - could be raised using hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides and would typically use feed lots/grain feeding. The beef may be certified as USDA Beef but could not be certified organic.

Organic Beef - would not be raised using hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides but could include feed lots/grain feeding. This group would also include “grass finished” cattle and would be categorized as certified organic and could be certified as USDA Beef.

Grass-Fed Beef - would not be raised using hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or feed lots/grain feeding. This beef, however, would also not be certified as organic but could be certified as USDA. Beef.

Organic Grass-Fed Beef would be raised without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, or feed lots/grain feeding. This beef would be certified as organic but perhaps not USDA Beef.

So what I discovered is that we raised our cows using a natural beef method. They were pasture and grain fed to produce the desired marbled meat. No hormones or pesticides were used, but occasionally an antibiotic was needed. So the beef I was raised on was U.S. certified but not certified organic and fairly nutritious but not optimal.

I will now pay a little more attention to beef labeling as I shop for my family. When given the opportunity, I may pay the slightly higher price for organically grass-fed beef knowing it will provide slightly more nutrition for my family.

Weigh in on what you think. Is it worth the additional money for less marbled but slightly more nutritious beef?


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Comments

  • EATRIGHT258
    97
    There is a documentary DVD called "Food, Inc." which explores the food industry's practices and exposes their detrimental effects on the health and environment of our country. I think it's a MUST SEE for anyone who is concerned with the food we consume every day. It's going to make me buy organic grass fed beef and organic chickens from now on. - 5/20/2010   8:29:51 AM
  • 96
    Feedlot grains also include wheat and barley, sometimes soy I've read. Grains = pains (for cows and humans). Grains are not natural for consumption imho. Just because you can grind them down into a "whole grain" muffin doesn't make it right. Just because you can make up grainfeed for cows also does not make it right. Grains fatten cows and also people (some more than others). :P

    http://bit.ly/HW5Oc

    It's okay that vegans and vegetarians don't eat meat: more meat for the meat eaters. It's part of world order/balance. I was vegetarian for the most part for my entire life and since my celiac diagnosis have learned to eat meat for the nutrients. I'm grateful for the conscientious farmer who raises grass-fed cows. It sustains me. - 3/6/2010   10:35:21 AM
  • 95
    The easiest way to get grass-fed beef is to buy it from a local farmer. We just got half a cow and our chest freezer is full, full full!! It's incredibly low in fat and has so much more flavor we don't need to season it with anything but a little salt & pepper. - 3/2/2010   10:36:24 AM
  • TXHORSEWM
    94
    We raise grass fed beef,free of antibiotics ,organic. They now know tenderness is genetic . So our grass fed beef is just as tender as anything fattened in the feedlot.Cattle turn grass into protien. They were never meant to eat a lot of corn. If the animals are fed good minerals and enough copper,there are not worries at all of ecoli. Our mineral cycle has been destroyed with petroleum based fertilizers. Cattle fed minerals and holisticly grazed well also improve biodeversity and the mineral cycle naturally. - 3/2/2010   9:15:09 AM
  • 93
    I buy organic grass fed beef whenever possible and don't complain about the price. We like the taste of the grass feed, free range beef the best and since we try not to eat beef more than once a week, the increase in price doesn't make much of a difference in our total grocery bill. I would love to have a blog like this about poultry and fish! - 1/4/2010   8:50:39 AM
  • 92
    I know I should try harder to pick out eco friendly food, but on a graduate stipend and loans I'm just happy to HAVE meat... and it's usually off the "clearance rack" at the fresh and easy. This blog actually really helped me know what to look for, though, when I can afford beef I will at least know what Im getting. - 11/9/2009   10:53:05 AM
  • 91
    "I'm not sure why we humanize animals. They were never meant to be friends and family. They're meant to be sustinence. If you choose to make them human, then your emotions impede your survival (at least in the primitive days)

    Scary vegetarians- grab a burger and enjoy an all-American meal."

    Sigh. Such ignorance.
    We are not "humanizing" animals. For one, humans ARE animals so the statement is already muddled. Non-human animals are sentient and intelligent. They have feelings that are similar to ours. This makes scientific, evolutionary sense. Pain, fear, unease - these all have survival value. In social animals the ability to bond, help one another and work together also has survival value. The animals we eat are social, feeling beings. It is not "humanizing" them to acknowledge that these are individual, thinking, emotive beings who are not so unlike us. They fear, feel pain, feel love for their babies, have friends, mourn when a pack member dies, etc.

    I, for one, don't understand why folks insist on making non-human animals out to be automatons in this day and age. That's so Descartes.

    Also, I like my burgers All- American. Amy's makes a great 'All American' veggie burger. Yum! Let's not confuse patriotism with dietary choices. I'm no less an American because I'm vegan. It's insulting to insinuate otherwise.

    If you choose to eat meat, choose the most humanely raised meat you can afford. You may end up eating less but that's better for you anyway. Humans eat too many animal products.
    Good article. Would like to see one on eggs since they are a notoriously cruel industry with a lot of misleading labeling going on. - 10/19/2009   6:01:18 PM
  • NJ_HOU
    90
    As to the chicken eaters, all i have to say is these animals are completely raised in a 'factory.' Further, if you would check out how chickens are raised you'd blanch. Even worse, to ensure white eggs have a hard enought shell you are allowed to add and in fact much of the feed grain does for arsenic. YES, the FDA your protector allows for arsenic to be added to the chicken feed to make a harder shell. YUK Fish - who knows where it came from and how it was raised. Or what toxic waste pit it grew up in - see White Fish. Plainly marked all over the Great Lakes area for pregnant women to eat basically one serving a month and then how did they get the skin off the fish - cut or lye, yes - lye is allowed and the manufacturer does not have to report thanks to the FDA and other govt agencies giving grades. Natural beef when purchased at your store by the grower should have the data to indicate if antibiotics or hormones have ever been used period. I personally prefer buffalo which tastes like the beef cattle I grew up with. Buffalo has very little fat and is grass fed. - 9/15/2009   3:41:40 PM
  • 89
    I'd recommend people give grass-fed beef a try but in a small amount first. Lots of Americans have never had grass-fed and find the taste funny. Personally I prefer it over grain fed - especially corn fed which tastes very different than grass-fed. Grass fed is popular here (northern California) and it's hard to find because many locals sell out quickly. It's also important to note that it has a different appearance - if you like your meat medium or medium well you may accidentally overcook it as it stays "redder" even when it is cooked at the right temp. - 6/23/2009   7:48:30 PM
  • 88
    Organic grass fed beef is not just better for you, it is better for the cows (and why should we not be humane?) For those not ready to be vegetarians, at least it is a good option to the miseries we foist upon those gentle creatures while they still live and breathe. Read 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and the follow up book "In Defense of Food" if you want to have your views on the subject changed forever. - 3/22/2009   12:54:23 PM
  • FITTOFIGHT1974
    87
    I dont think I really cared if a cow had a fulfilling life. I'm not really sure the cows around here have a care about how their life is other than head down and eat. They're cute but we say, "tasty cows" are better on the grill. I'm not sure why we humanize animals. They were never meant to be friends and family. They're meant to be sustinence. If you choose to make them human, then your emotions impede your survival (at least in the primitive days)

    Scary vegetarians- grab a burger and enjoy an all-American meal. - 3/18/2009   5:26:35 PM
  • KRBRADD
    86
    I believe that is why the beef don't taste the same as it did when I was a child. I grew up in rancher country when Hamburger tasted good.

    Thanks - 2/22/2009   7:36:26 PM
  • 85
    I grew up on a farm where we had grass feed beef hay in the winter month and it is the best meat out there.. I bought a 1/2 of a beef from my brother and will do it again..we eat a lot of beef and the price you have to pay at the store is just stupid.. i payed like $1:80 a lbs,, that is a great price and the meet is great.. i will buy half a pig form him next time.. But i may say that the meat is so much better than any that you can get at any store.. It is funny when we were growing up we would have people over to eat and they would say that the meat tasted so much better than any thing else.. I will always buy from a farmer or my brother before i get it at any store.. the meat is so much more lean ..I am a farm girl at heart and would go back in a min.. to that life that i had on are farm.. We took great care of are animals..My dad did not ever have a problem feeding all of his kids there were 10 of us kids.. and we all did are part on are farm - 2/22/2009   12:55:45 PM
  • 84
    This is a very informative article, and like you I try to buy organic,grass fed beef, but it is not easy to find and the price is definitely an issue. However, since we don't eat much beef it is not usually a problem. My regular grocery store seldom sell organic, grass fed beef but I often find it a Trader Joe's, Quido's, or Whole Foods. It is worth every cent it cost! - 2/5/2009   6:38:47 AM
  • 83
    We love beef. We used to buy regular grocery-store beef that was cheap and eat it pretty often. Recently we've developed a practice of buying local for environmental reasons, and also for those reasons prefer to avoid added hormones and antibiotics. (Antibiotics for disease is fine, but many livestock animals in this country are given antibiotics to promote growth. This type of antibiotic misuse may contribute to the problem of resistant bacteria.) So now we buy local grass-fed beef. It costs a bit more, but the quality is immeasurably better. And the higher price is healthier for us since we now eat beef less often. Personally I can't taste the difference between corn- and grass-fed, but I know the high quality local steaks taste better than anything else out there, and lower fat is better for me. :) - 10/24/2008   6:41:03 PM
  • S.IRBY
    82
    We were given a large amount of range fed beef as a wedding present. It lasted us a year, and when it ran out I had a hard time making myself buy what was in the store. This beef was what my friend's father raised for his family. He raised grain fed for the market, but he didn't eat it. If I had access it's still what I would use. It was wonderful! - 10/2/2008   7:58:55 PM
  • ODEEMV
    81
    Antibiotics for illness don't bother me; I take them when I need them. But, hormones to speed up growth bothers me; just as steroids and HGH taken by humans bothers me. I'm not a huge beef eater, but I do buy ground beef that is from cows raised w/o growth hormones. I'm more concerned w/what my 1 year old ingests than what I do; I guess I feel that I'm already "ruined". ;) - 10/2/2008   9:14:15 AM
  • 80
    I have many friends who still raise cattle (as I did for much of my life) and I know first-hand what goes on in both beef and milk product farms. I have friends who own factory-style farms, and I have friends who raise only super-healthy organic style free-range cattle... I have seen both sides.

    I will tell you a simple truth: If you want them to change how they treat the cattle, stop donating to PETA, and start buying the expensive all-organic grass fed, free range beef. When a person goes to manage his or her farm, the bottom line is, /what can I sell?/ ...and if the heavily marbled factory-produced stuff flies off the shelves while the 'good' stuff goes bad and unsold... they take that as YOU saying YOU want the factory-farmed meat. ...the day a Butcher/Store tells a supplier, "I don't need any more of that ground stuff, I've got plenty- I'm out of those organic steaks- get me some more of those" is the day that supplier tells your business owners "I have more need of organics, and am willing to buy it if you have it"... and that will be the day those practices CHANGE!

    I can also say that most people who use those same heavy growth hormones and who lot-feed and mixed-feed feed, and who use antibiotics regularly do not usually eat those cattle. ;) They don't buy store-sold beef. They prefer to raise one or two head for themselves, using antibiotics only if they need to, and never using growth hormones or mixed feeds, just plain old pasture... that's what they eat.

    I'm just sayin'... if you want to know how it is on the 'inside', that's how it is. DEMAND is what drives this issue, not morals or health facts... they're going to keep making twinkies too, as long as we buy them and eat them. :P - 10/2/2008   1:00:23 AM
  • 79
    We raise cattle, cow/calf pairs and have cattle in feed lots (100 to 200 in the lots which are cleaned regularly and they have room to walk around not "factory farms"). Our cattle are routinely inspected by vets and if we have any that are sick they get treated immediately. I told my husband about this blog and he wanted a few things set straight. When the cattle get off the trucks there is a USDA vet at the plant to inspect the animals while alive. There is a USDA inspector that inspects every carcass and an inspector to check any piece of meat as it goes through the line. Yes, there are good people and bad people who work at plants, just as there are good and bad people who work in every other job in the world. Lockers (like the one in the small town we go to) do not have to be USDA approved. We take our cattle there to be butchered for our consumption. Now a couple of things about the difference between grass fed and grain fed. Grain fed cattle will be ready for slaughter before grass fed cattle. There are more calories in grain plus grass or hay than just grass/hay so they will gain weight quicker, just like humans. What will that mean for the consumer? Grain fed meat will be more tender because it came from a younger animal - the older the animal the tougher the meat - no matter what type of land animal. If you put a grass fed steak and a grain fed steak side by side the grass fed steak will be tougher. The hamburger will be leaner in a grass fed animal because it takes longer to be ready to slaughter, they just aren't gaining weight as quickly. Also, you don't force feed cattle in a feed lot. They are fed every day and they can stop eating when they want to, you can't make a steer or heifer eat just because you tell it to. And when people say they are eating cow... well, you wouldn't want to eat cow except for hamburger. The flavor of an old cow compared to a younger steer or heifer (less than 2 years old) would not be good. I hope this explains some thing to people who don't know about the cattle industry. - 10/1/2008   10:08:23 AM
  • PUMA28
    78
    I grew up on a ranch and grass fed beef. We always thought it tasted better so I would pay more for grass fed beef. We actually pay a lot when you consider how mych fat and waste we cook out or cut off. - 9/30/2008   4:40:34 PM
  • 77
    WHOW...I never knew how really confusing the meat(beef) labeling system is. I know I'll be paying better attention to labels when I shop!
    Thank you for this eye opening article... - 9/30/2008   4:32:29 PM
  • 76
    Google the Weston A. Price Foundation for some eye-opening information. I appreciated seeing this article here. I will continue to support local farms by buying organic, grass fed beef, pork, and fowl (and their eggs). In doing so, I hope to help lower the prohibitive prices so that everyone may reap the benefits of excellent health that this food supports. - 9/30/2008   4:26:51 PM
  • 75
    I seriously doubt anyone on Spark ever worked at what would be considered a "factory farm" since the issue of "factory farming" is a relatively recent development. If your family owned your farm, it was not a factory farm. If you had less than 50,000 animals on the farm, it would not be considered a factory farm.

    Despite what Americans want to believe, the USDA reps are NOT able to inspect all beef, and have actually been prevented from doing so at some of the largest meat packing companies. (In researching his book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser spoke with both the FDA and the Justice Department about this issue.)

    The problems with factory farming aren't just related to animal rights or the health and safety (or lack thereof) of meat. Factory farms have created socioeconomic problems, environmental problems, health problems ... you name it.

    At some point Americans are going to have to recognize that cheap and easy access to just about ANYTHING has a tremendous downside, and we need to be aware of that.

    I have no problem with people eating meat as long as they don't delude themselves into thinking that it's safe and healthy, and that the animal led a fulfilling and happy existence up to the point of slaughter.
    - 9/30/2008   3:13:02 PM
  • 74
    I appreciate SPARKYVN's detailed and informative comment. It's good to know that an occasional pat of butter might not be so bad for me. Also it's a relief to realize that eggs may not be my cholesterol count's enemy. Despite all the wonderful testimonies of those who enjoy organic grass-fed beef, I won't eat it. I just can't afford it due to our meager income. Then again, nutritionally speaking , neither my husband nor I can afford to eat beef. He has a liver disease whereby he is absorbing too much iron, and must stay away from beef, beans and other high-iron foods. Last month, for the first time, my triglyceride count was borderline high. The doctor told me to lay off saturated fats and sugars. In order to afford more healthful poultry and pork choices, and to help my husband's and my health, I haven't cooked with any form of beef for several weeks now. It's difficult to change. We have two teenage sons who grew up eating beef on a regular basis. I am having to get creative in making sure they get the protein and iron (and now I understand even more nutrients beef best provides). - 9/30/2008   11:27:06 AM
  • 73
    We are lucky to have been able to find a local farmer who raises his grass fed beef without hormones or antibiotics. His beef is so good that when we run out we cannot face store bought beef at all.
    There are many reasons to buy organic and locally grown foods and I'm very happy to be able to support organics and contribute to a local business. - 9/30/2008   11:11:46 AM
  • 72
    WOW
    I can truly say that this article is an eye opener for me...I do not eat beef---rarely. I tried organic buffalo, and loved it and now have tried organic beef at Costco....so this article opens my eyes as to what to look for and expect.
    Thank you very much for this article.... - 9/30/2008   10:55:57 AM
  • 71
    My understanding was that basically beef got fed corn because it makes more fat in the meat and makes it taste better. - 9/30/2008   10:47:09 AM
  • 70
    Wow, how confusing!! I'll try to stick with grass-fed, organic beef. Too bad it's so expensive. But I'm sure it's worth the money. Cheaper beef probably means that corners have been cut in terms of our health.
    Thanks for the information!! - 9/30/2008   10:32:53 AM
  • 69
    I grew up on a farm and I'm sure some of you would call it a factory farm. Our animals had hormones, antibiotics if they needed them and were lovingly cared for by my dad, uncles and brothers. I have tried all those different kinds of beef and nothing beats the meat that I get directly off of the farm.

    After college I worked selling boxed beef for one of the largest packers in the country. Training for that job I spent 6 months in a packing plant. Recently I have read so much about USDA only inspects a portion of the animals which is not true at all. There are so many USDA people and they inspect all animals.

    I am also reading the book "Skinny B%$*!" and there is so much stuff in there that is not even accurate. That is not the way that it works in the large packing plants. There are USDA people everywhere watching and making sure of everything. These people also go to a lot of work to make sure that everything is clean, sanitized and sterile. - 9/30/2008   9:54:59 AM
  • 68
    I rarely eat beef or pork because I think it's not healthy for us to eat other mammals, and I believe cattle (ruminants) are hurting our environment by their methane production. I do eat poultry and seafood, however, because I can only tolerate a limited amount of beans, and I haven't yet learned how to get enough protein otherwise. My grandparents had a dairy farm, but I am eating a lot more soy and MUCH less dairy. Thanks for the thoughtful article. - 9/30/2008   9:49:55 AM
  • 67
    I was raised on grass fed beef and we are lucky enough to have a small butcher shop who offers both grass fed and grain fed. I haven't bought beef from a grocery store in many years and refuse to start. We eat only grass fed beef. - 9/30/2008   9:48:33 AM
  • 66
    Since I started to pay extra for grass-fed beef, I find I can't go back -- solely because of the taste! Grain-fed beef is bland by comparison. My boyfriend was wary of the new taste at first, but even he agrees now that regular beef is now boring. We started getting it for reasons of health and environmental conscience... and now we have wholly hedonistic reasons to buy it, as well. - 9/30/2008   7:23:57 AM
  • 65
    I just read a great but scary book, it was a fictional novel, called "My Year of Meat" although it was fiction it did raise a lot of questions about the food industry and the authorities that permit the practises in creating our food. - 9/30/2008   6:04:24 AM
  • 64
    We buy a 1/2 of beef every year. It comes from a local farmer who we know. He does not use hormones, but they are grain fed, in addition to grass. The beef is excellent and with processing it averaged out to $1.79 per pound for all cuts. Find that at a meat market with their hormoned injected beef.
    - 9/30/2008   3:36:49 AM
  • 63
    It is funny that we humans only eat animals that are Vegetarians. - 9/30/2008   1:12:55 AM
  • MYGEORGE
    62
    I am married to a farmer who is a firm believer in grain fed beef. The pasture fed leaves an after taste. I hardly ever buy meat in the store as we have beef, pork and chicken home grown. - 9/29/2008   7:51:38 PM
  • 61
    Corn is very damaging to the digestive systems of cattle. That's why grain-fed beef must be dosed with antibiotics on a regular basis. It may taste better, but it's inhumane. We don't buy beef at all these days; maybe we will someday when organic grass-fed is more affordable. - 9/29/2008   4:35:55 PM
  • MINVER
    60
    I prefer the taste of corn fed beef, since I eat beef so rarely (I get my every day protein sources from other meat and protein sources), having a steak or burger is a big treat for me, so I will eat the extra calories if corn fed beef is what I prefer. I am just not impressed with grass fed beef. - 9/29/2008   2:38:23 PM
  • 59
    We raise our own beef and my preference is Milk-fed, straight from the Cow. Milk-fed will also graze (grass) and eat hay. But I prefer my beef to not be grain fed and we will not use steroids or hormones.

    - 9/29/2008   2:11:53 PM
  • 58
    My husband and daughter both like to eat beef(I can take it or leave it myself) and I was also concerned like others about the effects of all the hormones on developing girls. We switched to grass fed beef a few months ago and I can honestly say that the taste is much better. We do also like to buy organic when we can, but like someone else mentioned, have to consider the budget. So we eat less beef, but what we do eat is much better for us. - 9/29/2008   12:10:45 PM
  • BAKINGDALE
    57
    yes i wood pay more and i am a cook at a rest - 9/29/2008   11:34:01 AM
  • 56
    Thanks for the information! I will pay more attention when I shop for meats! - 9/29/2008   10:08:46 AM
  • 55
    Thanks for that info. I never would have thought about it before. - 9/29/2008   9:38:24 AM
  • 54
    Thanks for the information. i'm gonna try to be more wise about where i purchase my meats from, and read labels more carefully. - 9/29/2008   7:14:03 AM
  • 53
    I live in France where it is much easier to get free range and grass fed beef and I have to say, as soon as I get back to the US, one of the first things I want is a good corn fed beef steak from a good butcher. There is a very big difference, but for me it means I don't eat steak much in France. I do have steaks ground up here though for great hamburger, and I take full advantage of fantastic free range pork and wonderful chickens. We pay a LOT for meat in France, in the US, much less. You kinda get what you pay for when it comes to food, and the solution here for me is to overall eat less meat and more pasta and veggies and beans so I can afford to have really good free range meat occasionally. - 9/29/2008   2:47:26 AM
  • CROWINGHEN
    52
    We raise our own beef in the manner that Tanya's family did, grass-fed with some grain to give a nice amount of marbling. It is great to be able to provide our family with delicous wholesome food. We do eat vegetarian dinner several times a week as my daughter's boyfriend is a vegeterian, plus we don't need meat in a meal to enjoy it.
    all in all we just enjoy knowing that our food is wholesome and that the animals we raise for our food had a great life with green grass and sunshine and was treated humanely and with respect.
    I personally find the marbling of a grain-finished cow to be much better than strictly fgrass-fed. - 9/28/2008   10:49:54 PM
  • 51
    Have you TASTED grass-only fed beef -- it doesn't have the flavor of corn-fed. Being raised on a farm and ranch, I Love my beef, and if that is the case, you just have to use PORTION control. Beef is WONDERFUL! and so are most of the people that raise them.

    If you want good beef, you need to buy from Nebraska. - 9/28/2008   9:19:53 PM
  • 50
    I am amazed at the negative comments that have been generated by people who have totally shunned beef. I would think that - nutritionally, one would be concerned about not only protein, but other nutrients/minerals that build up and restore our systems, such as zinc, magnesium, and iron, which are a few of the essential links in our organic molecules. There is spurious literature about the iron content of - for example - spinach; but in reality, the iron is not available, as it is bound up in indigestible compounds. Even though you can analyze and measure the amount of iron in spinach, it is not available to us because -unlike cattle - we have only one stomach and our enzymes do what they do, not including converting cellulose (grass and straw and the accompanying minerals, as the ruminants do,) to organic proteins -- ruminants have unique bacteria dwelling with them symbiotically to break down nutrients which are indigestible to us; and then synthesize new compounds. I can predict that this next statement will seem gross to some, but I have always thought that ruminants such as cows and deer were "gifted" with their unique systems; and that we had the option of occasionally consuming some of their meat as a benefit of hand-raising them, much as a grain or vegetable or fruit crop is planted, nurtured, and harvested as well as consumed - in order to harvest the mineral resources that are made available in their tissues. I will add that I grew up as a farm kid, raising Angus cattle (calving, feeding, watering, tending, herding), raising soybeans, corn and hay; tending orchards and large gardens as my part of cooperating with my family (of 5 siblings). The beef cattle ate pasture grass and hay and chopped, fermented (for preservation, as sauerkraut - actually "silage") corn stalks (depending on the season); and the beef which was sold on the hoof had a brief season of eating ears of corn ground with the cobs; in order to fatten them for "prime" which went to the consumers of marbled steaks and corned beef.
    I was a science teacher until recently, when I became a consultant. I am constantly appalled at the kinds of beliefs people hold that are largely hearsay, and have only loose connections with academic research; and if questioned, they cite research that is not creditable. Present scholarly research is bravely showing flaws in the common myths such as; the cholesterol in eggs makes them a forbidden food; that the fats in meat are life-threatening; that butter is prohibited in favor of olive oil. Do not fall for un-scientific research, as so many groups have agendas that dictate the outcomes! Stick with rigorous, reproducible, double-blind studies done by authentic, respectable institutions. For goodness sake, have a wholesome diet! There is much to be learned. - 9/28/2008   8:52:53 PM
  • 49
    My hubby is a meat and potatoes man through and through. In his opinion if a meal doesn't have meat in it it isn't a balanced meal. I haven't been able to change his mind in 30 years. The only beef I buy regularly is hamburger but I do get the 90% lean. It's all well and good to pay extra for all the niceties we've learned about here but we also have to buy fuel oil and other necessities. - 9/28/2008   8:52:43 PM
  • 48
    I think it is cruel the way animals are raised on "factory farms" as my dad would put it. Animals should be allowed to move freely not penned up and force fed. - 9/28/2008   8:15:57 PM

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