Cows are not designed to eat grain, but grass. Feeding cows grain that they are hardly able to digest results in severe intestinal blockages, infections, diseases, and with that an increased usage of antibiotics. Furthermore, grain fed cattle are usually fed in troughs in feed lots, while grass fed cattle must be let out to pasture.
Feeding cows grain leads to increased suffering for the cow.
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Grass fed does taste so much better...and from what I've read is better for us.
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We have a small herd of cattle and butcher one out every year for our own consumption. I feel much happier eating something that I've raised myself or is locally raised because of the conditions in stock yards and the use of hormones and antibiotics in those cattle. I feel it makes us healthier.
As for whether grain fed or grass fed being better for you, I'd say that the more natural and unprocessed the food that they consume, the better food it will provide for you, just like when we eat less processed food, etc. It just makes sense.
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Grass fed tastes so much better. My dad raises a couple head of cattle for his horse training and work so he keeps one every year or so to butcher. The cows live in the pasture with the horses and eat primarily grass. Sometimes it is supplemented a little bit with grain depending on the time of year and weather. The taste is very much different (in a good way) from the store bought stuff. Plus, the meat is a lot leaner since the cows are running around the pasture instead of not able to move packed into a building (doesn't make good hamburgers for this reason, but it is awesome for casseroles and there is pretty much zero fat to drain off).
I think grass-fed beef tastes better (I do believe it is healthier). I used to work at a horse farm where they also raised cattle and they gave me some-it was the best I ever had!
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I NZ we don't really have the choice - it is generally grass-fed, grass-fed and more grass-fed :-) (unless we are in drought :-(
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I choose 6oz grass-fed beef about twice a month for some heme-iron. I believe grass-fed is healthier based on all the articles I've come across.
Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 3/16/2013 (20:55)
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The answer to this question is inconclusive. While beef from grain-fed cattle is higher in fat overall, both grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef contain saturated fat, which often is associated with a greater risk for heart disease. However, in grass-fed beef, a higher percentage of this fat is stearic acid, which does not raise cholesterol.
Grass-fed beef also is richer in omega-3 fatty acids than conventional beef, but the amount pales in comparison to that in fish, and it's in a form (alpha-linolenic acid) that may not have the same benefits as omega-3s from fish. In addition, grass-fed beef has more conjugated linoleic acid, which is often claimed to help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. But most of the evidence comes from lab and animal studies, so it's hard to draw firm conclusions about its effect on humans.
Grass-fed cattle rarely require antibiotics, while those raised on grain routinely get drugs. Many scientists believe that the widespread use of antibiotics in animals is contributing to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.
* Source: Robert J Davis, PhD, adjunct professor, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, and the author of "Coffee Is Good For You: The Truth About Diet and Nutrition Claims" (Perigee).
** This article is from the Bottom Line/Health newsletter, Volume 27, Number 4, April 3013
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