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The #2 food farmers are afraid to eat.

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Big Muddy rancher

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Corn-Fed Beef

The Expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.
The Reason: Cattle are naturally grass eaters… not grain eaters. In order to fatten the animals (and profit margins), farmers feed them corn and soybeans. And while the farmers are beefing up their earnings, they are minimizing the nutritional benefits. The article mentions the findings from a recent USDA-conducted study comparing corn-fed beef and grass-fed beef showing that grass-fed beef is “higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease.”
The Solution: Pretty straight forward: Opt for grass-fed beef instead.

WATCH VIDEO: Why Grass-Fed Beef? Emeril Answers
 

eatbeef

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There are just as many studies to show that corn fed is as nutritional as grass fed, just a preference in what you like or believe. In our part of the country and alot of others grass rent is getting so outrageous because of competing farmground and dumbass "big farmers with cows", that you can almost drylot cows cheaper than rent or own grass. I would hate to ever have to go to that. My cows basis is grass, but make use of available stalks in the winter and supplemented with protein, but all my calves are corn fed and i am proud of it and enjoy eating a good corn fed steak.
 

LazyWP

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I would say its all personal preference. I have had grass fed beef, and I don't like it. Its not what I grew up eating, thought it tasted like deer. I like my beef on corn, and lots of it. I'm not overly impressed with cattle fed on distillers, but there again its MY opinion.
I will go out on another limb here and say that if a person wants to make the most money the last year and this year, around here, you would have sold your calves in mid winter, and with the extra grass, taken in cattle. With the prices of grass in this part of the country you can't afford to rent grass to fatten out cattle.
Just my opinion, and I have strong shoulders. Let the assaults start flyin.
 

loomixguy

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A few years back, I was in a pretty high end steakhouse in California, and ordered what should have been a great steak. I couldn't choke it down, and asked the waiter just what in the hell had I been served. He told me it was the very finest California grass fed steak money could buy. I said back home, we'd feed it to the dog. I want my steak corn fed.

The high end restaurants in the US are smart enough to know that if a sports team from the midwest is coming to play in their fair city (Bowl games, etc) that they better order corn fed steaks to keep their customers who visit there happy.
 

Dylan Biggs

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Loomixguy, unfortunate to hear you had a poor grass fed steak. Not hard to find a poor grass fed steak, maybe harder to find a good grass finished one. Eating quality is a result of a range of variables and to draw conclusions from one bad eating experience would be the same as concluding all beef was terrible from one bad beef eating experience. Plenty of ranchers who kill well fattened dry two year old heifers off the grass can tell you that it can be excellent eating. Our customer base continues to expand, it is difficult to imagine that it is due to a complete lack of quality.

Some grass fattened 2 yr old steers.

301985_227137100668833_100001176351705_606857_397140783_n.jpg


298800_227137077335502_100001176351705_606856_1193101251_n.jpg


305124_227585490623994_100001176351705_607996_2034505391_n.jpg


315641_227585440623999_100001176351705_607994_2130933863_n.jpg


The first red steer on the rail showing proper finish.

307033_227585503957326_100001176351705_607997_1799495384_n.jpg


Dylan Biggs
 

loomixguy

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I must admit, Dylan, I sure like what I see in your pics..... 8)

I really think that some meat from one of H's goats would have probably tasted better than that so called high end Cali steak. They probably threw a piece of Holstein bull on my plate, anyway.... :wink:
 

VCC

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one would think that the type of grass a steer was finished on could play a big part in taste. I think that if you could graze them on oat or barley grass the last 2 or 3 months it might help with fat and flaver.
I have not ever had grass fed beef, we buy a calf at the fair every year, and do not see myself doing any different in the future.
 

Larrry

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heres something I don't see mentioned.

An athlete works the heck out of his muscles to build them up hard and strong. So why wouldn't a steer walking all over do the same thing. Probably it is like someone said it has to be the right grass. probably could never get a good grass fed steer if the country was so hard that the steer had to pack a sack lunch to have the energy to get back home.

Rocky Mountain Oysters=the original sack luck
 

PATB

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Finishing cattle on grass is an art and science of balancing grass production and cattle needs. Anyone can sell grassfed beef not many can finish an animal for a excellent experience. I prefer good grassfed beef but will not turn down a good grain finished steak. :D I have had some grain finished steaks that I would have been better off chewing on a old leather boot. Price does not equate to quality in some steak houses :mad: :mad:
 

littlejoe

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I'm gonna have to go with "cats".

Although I'm against cats in the house (and fishin in the rain) I don't hate them enuf to eat them. (various ethnic restaurants not withstanding)
So--"cats" for #2.
 

andybob

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VCC said:
one would think that the type of grass a steer was finished on could play a big part in taste. I think that if you could graze them on oat or barley grass the last 2 or 3 months it might help with fat and flaver.
I have not ever had grass fed beef, we buy a calf at the fair every year, and do not see myself doing any different in the future.

The type of feed be it grain or grazing definitley influences the flavour, the barley fed beef here is noticebly different to the corn fed we had back in Rhodesia, our main export there was veld reared beef, the blend of native grasses, legumes, forbes and acacia leaves and pods which impated a unique flavour etter than that from monoculture planted grasses.
 

gcreekrch

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I have to agree with Dylan. The best beef we consistantly eat is from a 2 year old heifer that has lost her calf in spring and maybe lost a little weight before grass. Hang them up between the end of July and mid-August and there is no finer, tender eating. Ours seem to finish with the same fat colour as Dylan's steer.
 

leanin' H

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The key to any steer or heifer, regardless of what they are fed, is ARE THEY FINISHED? Having fed out both, i agree with Dylan. If you keep a steer on good grass, while it takes me longer to have him finished, they taste pretty good, as does a grain fed calf. My preference is a grass fed calf that's put on grain the last 45 days after he's within 75 pounds of slaughter weight. But then again, us goat farmers are unreliable at best! :D One day at the sale barn, which should be the title to a book, i watched about a 500 pound holstien/simmy/german shepard cross steer sell. At that particular sale the local processor is always there with a trailer and you can send them straight to processing. The auctioneer asked for a name and the guy said "such & such" and "send him to Circle V Meats". The ol' auctioneer said ya may wanta give that steer some groceries as most of what was standing there was hide, ribs and tailhead. The "buyer" said, and i quote....."That steer is finished just the way we like them"! :shock: I joked with the guy next to me that maybe he had brand new teeth and was trying to dull them up a little. :D The Auctioneer spent the rest of the day commenting on every set of 500 weight calves on how "here's another nice bunch of "finished" beef! :lol: To each their own, i reckon! :wink:
 

Faster horses

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gcreekrch said:
I have to agree with Dylan. The best beef we consistantly eat is from a 2 year old heifer that has lost her calf in spring and maybe lost a little weight before grass. Hang them up between the end of July and mid-August and there is no finer, tender eating. Ours seem to finish with the same fat colour as Dylan's steer.

Gcreek, I agree with you on that. We have eaten many just like
you described. I think it has to do with the stage the grass is in, rather
than the type of grass. People selling grass-fat beef do it year round,
or do they not? If they sell grass-fed all year long, how do they get
that done?

On another note, my in-laws were getting a steer ready to butcher and
they kept that steer in a little apple orchard and he ate the apples that
fell on the ground. That meat was delicious and did have a different flavor.

I don't care if cattle are fed grain, corn, barley or grass, they MUST
be on the gain when killed to be tender. We get our beef from a friend
who feeds a couple out each year and I'd put that meat up against
anyones. You can BBQ the round steak its so tender. One year we
took ours in, no problem. He took his in a day later and when the
brand inspector got inside the trailer with the steer, the steer went
beserk!! He got really upset and HOT--but our friend took him in anyway.
That meat was AWFUL. He knows now that he should have taken him
home and given him time to cool off. I think many of the 4H steers
are taken back home for a bit in order to get over the big change in
life they had when being shown at the fair. At least the ones purchased
locally and plans are to eat them.

Another thing, we prefer a 2-year old. Tastes like BEEF. :D

We have in the past, had an older thin cow that we put in and fed
grain and she gained to beat the band. Put on new muscle, that
was always good eating. The connective tissue was tougher, but that's
all. And the flavor was really good, having been much older.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Grass fed or grain fed, Longhorn or Angus it's all a matter of personal preference.
What I was getting at with this post is Joel Salatin is a fairly visible livestock produce giving talks maybe around the world, North America for sure. Maybe his name has been used with out his permission but why would he let it stand that Grain fed beef is something we should be afraid to eat.
I know some of you have met him, Maybe you could let him know about this if it is something he does not endorse or he could come on here and explain his reasoning to us.

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/7-foods-so-unsafe-even-farmers-wont-eat-them/
 

Ben H

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Big Muddy rancher said:
Grass fed or grain fed, Longhorn or Angus it's all a matter of personal preference.
What I was getting at with this post is Joel Salatin is a fairly visible livestock produce giving talks maybe around the world, North America for sure. Maybe his name has been used with out his permission but why would he let it stand that Grain fed beef is something we should be afraid to eat.
I know some of you have met him, Maybe you could let him know about this if it is something he does not endorse or he could come on here and explain his reasoning to us.

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/7-foods-so-unsafe-even-farmers-wont-eat-them/

You've done exactly what Joel wants, he stirs up the pot and gets people talking about it. Unfortunately the reality is the grain feeding is just a way to add value to subsidized corn. Grassfed beef can be better or worse, it depends on the person finishing it. It takes a heck of a lot more expertise to finish an animal on grass then grain, it's like taking the training wheels off. What they eat can influence the flavor, animals shouldn't be finished on fescue for example, that will cause off-flavors and will be enhanced with extended aging, I only shoot for 10 days. Grain feeding gets it done fast and easy, but when you compare there really just isn't much flavor there.

I have yet to see a study that says feedlot finished beef is just as healthy as grassfed that wasn't biased and paid for by those promoting it. Research has to be funded and someone has to pay for it, there isn't much money coming in from inputs when all you do is manage a pasture correctly. And pretty much no inputs if you do it holistically.

Animals can't be finished on grass in just any pasture, to make a good product it needs to be done on prime soils with excellent dairy quality forages to graze. When you do that, I don't see that animals are really putting on significantly more miles then a feedlot animal. This is one area where grassfed gets a bad name, too many people without the right kind of land or grazing experience want to jump onto the bandwagon and don't have the resources to do it right.

This is how fast the fat type changes when you start feeding grain:

gr_nutrition2.gif

Data from: J Animal Sci (1993) 71(8):2079-88.
http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

I think there is also too much talk about Omega-3 and not enough talk about Omega-6. We can only do so much to increase Omega-3, grassfed beef helps, but it's more important to eliminate as much Omega-6 from our diet as possible. That comes from grains and oils, and animals who eat grains and oils. That alone is one reason I don't like to eat grain fed beef or fish for that matter. Not only that, the more I learn about the residual effects of glysophates and the effects on animal and human health, the more concerned I get. A huge amount of corn, wheat and soybean is glysophate resistant and therefore more of the chemical is used. Now they've added another crop to the rotation, alfalfa that is resistant.
 

leanin' H

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Ben H said:
Big Muddy rancher said:
Grass fed or grain fed, Longhorn or Angus it's all a matter of personal preference.
What I was getting at with this post is Joel Salatin is a fairly visible livestock produce giving talks maybe around the world, North America for sure. Maybe his name has been used with out his permission but why would he let it stand that Grain fed beef is something we should be afraid to eat.
I know some of you have met him, Maybe you could let him know about this if it is something he does not endorse or he could come on here and explain his reasoning to us.

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/7-foods-so-unsafe-even-farmers-wont-eat-them/

You've done exactly what Joel wants, he stirs up the pot and gets people talking about it. Unfortunately the reality is the grain feeding is just a way to add value to subsidized corn. Grassfed beef can be better or worse, it depends on the person finishing it. It takes a heck of a lot more expertise to finish an animal on grass then grain, it's like taking the training wheels off. What they eat can influence the flavor, animals shouldn't be finished on fescue for example, that will cause off-flavors and will be enhanced with extended aging, I only shoot for 10 days. Grain feeding gets it done fast and easy, but when you compare there really just isn't much flavor there.

I have yet to see a study that says feedlot finished beef is just as healthy as grassfed that wasn't biased and paid for by those promoting it. Research has to be funded and someone has to pay for it, there isn't much money coming in from inputs when all you do is manage a pasture correctly. And pretty much no inputs if you do it holistically.

Animals can't be finished on grass in just any pasture, to make a good product it needs to be done on prime soils with excellent dairy quality forages to graze. When you do that, I don't see that animals are really putting on significantly more miles then a feedlot animal. This is one area where grassfed gets a bad name, too many people without the right kind of land or grazing experience want to jump onto the bandwagon and don't have the resources to do it right.

This is how fast the fat type changes when you start feeding grain:

gr_nutrition2.gif

Data from: J Animal Sci (1993) 71(8):2079-88.
http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

I think there is also too much talk about Omega-3 and not enough talk about Omega-6. We can only do so much to increase Omega-3, grassfed beef helps, but it's more important to eliminate as much Omega-6 from our diet as possible. That comes from grains and oils, and animals who eat grains and oils. That alone is one reason I don't like to eat grain fed beef or fish for that matter. Not only that, the more I learn about the residual effects of glysophates and the effects on animal and human health, the more concerned I get. A huge amount of corn, wheat and soybean is glysophate resistant and therefore more of the chemical is used. Now they've added another crop to the rotation, alfalfa that is resistant.

With all due respect Ben, you just gave us information pubished by folks who raise grassfed beef. I'd imagine thier study says grainfed isn't as healthy! :lol: Instead of bashing one side to sell the other, how about we all remember we play on the same team. The average ranch in America is something like 85 head. That isnt BIG INDUSTRIALIZED AGRICULTURE!!!! That is all of us. When we waste energy fighting amongst ourselves we simply get weaker to attack from the folks like PETA and the vegan crowd. How about we raise cattle and allow the customer a choice in how they like their beef? And lets stay friends while we do it. :wink: Are we perfect? NO. But we raise the best, healthy, delicious beef around regardless of how it is finished. In my opinion! :D
 

Ben H

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How about we eliminate grain subsides so we can start the discussion on an even playing field.

Do you honestly think we would be feedlot finishing cattle at the scale we do in this country if grain wasn't subsidized?

Yes the graph came from a grassfed website, but the data came from an Animal Science Journal.
 

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