Monday, October 13, 2008

Beef eats grass, remember?: Part II

Still no cow in sight...

Beef eats grass: Part I ended with “But my tasting showed that with 100 percent grass-fed beef you can have it all: sustainable, more nutritious beef with clean, juicy, beefy flavor. (Because the beef has less fat, though, it must be cooked at lower temperatures and for less time.)…”

I felt so good to find this information of how good it is to raise, grow, and eat grass-fed beef, that I searched more, and I have found out more… much more…

In this post is more good news about grass-fed beef versus corn-fed beef. This is a summary from The Food Revolution web site authored by John Robbins. It is only a small piece of what he writes (in a very lengthy article), so I’ll summarize more for you on the next post.

“Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed beef, but in the United States today what is commercially available is almost all feedlot beef. The reason? It's faster, and so more profitable. Seventy-five years ago, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. Today, they are 14 or 16 months. You can't take a beef calf from a birth weight of 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a little more than a year on grass. It takes enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics and other drugs, including growth hormones.

This leads directly and inexorably to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These are the new "superbugs" that are increasingly rendering our "miracle drugs" ineffective.

As well, it is the commercial meat industry's practice of keeping cattle in feedlots and feeding them grain that is responsible for the heightened prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria.

Many of us think of "corn-fed" beef as nutritionally superior, but it isn't. A corn-fed cow does develop well-marbled flesh, but this is simply saturated fat that can't be trimmed off. Grass-fed meat, on the other hand, is lower both in overall fat and in artery-clogging saturated fat.

Grass-fed beef… has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats… When cattle are taken off grass, though, and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they immediately begin losing the omega-3s they have stored in their tissues. As a consequence, the meat from feedlot animals typically contains only 15- 50 percent as much omega-3s as that from grass-fed livestock.

In addition to being higher in healthy omega-3s, meat from pastured cattle is also up to four times higher in vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle, and much higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient associated with lower cancer risk.

As well as these nutritional advantages, there are also decided environmental benefits to grass-fed beef… the corn we feed our feedlot cattle accounts for a staggering amount of fossil fuel energy. Growing the corn used to feed livestock in this country takes vast quantities of chemical fertilizer, which in turn takes vast quantities of oil. Because of this dependence on petroleum… a typical steer will in effect consume 284 gallons of oil in his lifetime…”

Oil and eliminating our dependence on foreign oil is always a “Hot” topic, so I’ll leave you at that for today.
More to come in a few days.

Meanwhile, you share your thoughts on the subject, if you have any. Do you?
Send me an e-mail at: nurit AT familyfriendlyfood DOT com, or better, comment below.

1 comment:

susan allport said...

Thought you would be interested in this short omega-3 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIgNpsbvcVM