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Old 03-17-2008, 10:53 AM   #1
Kevin Hughes
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'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

A new butcher shop featuring 'organic' meats has just opened in our neighborhood. I spoke to the owner and asked if they'll be selling grass fed beef. He repied that their beef is grass fed for so many days, but for the last 120 days of the animal's life, it is grain fed. I don't know what to make of this, other than the obvious fattening up before slaughter. Is this common in grass fed beef? Anyone heard of this before?
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
Nick Cummings
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

This is common in traditional meat production. I would ask your butcher what is meant by organic. It is generally a highly regulated term which, without the formal definition, can be meaningless. =(
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:37 PM   #3
Jay Cohen
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

My source has his animals in one pasture for quite a while as they put on weight, a few months or weeks(?), before slaughter, he moves them to another pasture with higher end grass's, which I'm told thins out the marbling, improves the Omega 6 / 3 balance, and I'm told, no grains, ever.

I might be off on this, but I'm pretty sure it's correct. Animals are just fed pasture grass's and if it's winter, maybe hay or stored grass's, but again, no grains or other additives.

Best part, the farm is twenty minutes away, have standing invitation to stop by any time.

Ask your butcher if you can go visit the farm.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
Matt DeMinico
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Hughes View Post
A new butcher shop featuring 'organic' meats has just opened in our neighborhood. I spoke to the owner and asked if they'll be selling grass fed beef. He repied that their beef is grass fed for so many days, but for the last 120 days of the animal's life, it is grain fed. I don't know what to make of this, other than the obvious fattening up before slaughter. Is this common in grass fed beef? Anyone heard of this before?
They feed it grain for the last 120 days to give the meat marbling, and it WAY screws with the fat content. The % of total fat that is Omega 3 goes from ~7% at day 0 in the feedlot all the way down to almost 2% at day 120.

In other words, it ain't grassfed beef if they feed it grains, ever.

http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/gra...a_nutshell.htm
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #5
Kevin Hughes
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

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Originally Posted by Matt DeMinico View Post
They feed it grain for the last 120 days to give the meat marbling, and it WAY screws with the fat content. The % of total fat that is Omega 3 goes from ~7% at day 0 in the feedlot all the way down to almost 2% at day 120.

In other words, it ain't grassfed beef if they feed it grains, ever.

http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/gra...a_nutshell.htm
Well said Matt. Thank you all.

Tip o' the coffee cup to you Jay!
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:02 PM   #6
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

I'd choose, in order of preference, grass-fed (no grains) and organic, grass-fed (non-certified organic), organic, and last, super-market standard feed-lot beef.

Organic beef, I believe, can be fed grains, but any feed must be organically raised without pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural fertilizers. They must be raised with adherence to humane principles as defined in the law (don't know exactly what these are for cows, but typically includes access to outdoors). They can't be fed antibiotics (as most feed-lot beef is), hormones, or growth-stimulants.
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:22 PM   #7
Nick Hanson
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

One thing to ask your butcher is if the meat is "grass finished" this means that pretty much all the cows ever eat is grass. I have exclusively started eating grass finished beef and I think it tastes much better and has a lot more nutritional value.

If you want more info (albeit scary) read the book the "omnivore's dilemma" by Michael Pollan. You will only eat grass fed beef after reading that.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
Bin Lu
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

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Originally Posted by Scott Allen Hanson View Post
I'd choose, in order of preference, grass-fed (no grains) and organic, grass-fed (non-certified organic), organic, and last, super-market standard feed-lot beef.

Organic beef, I believe, can be fed grains, but any feed must be organically raised without pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural fertilizers. They must be raised with adherence to humane principles as defined in the law (don't know exactly what these are for cows, but typically includes access to outdoors). They can't be fed antibiotics (as most feed-lot beef is), hormones, or growth-stimulants.
Finding a local farm and meeting the people who raise your beef is, in my mind, the only surefire way to be sure about your product. Horizon products, for instance, though they're certified organic and one of the largest producers in the nation, is barely above the agribusiness standard. Dairy cows are raised in a CAFO (all the bad things you hear about raising beef? They happen at one of these) and get to be called organic only because the corn they're fed is organic. They may receive a patch of grass nearby, but it's a bare step above lip service. Likewise, many "free-range" chickens are only given access to their "free-range" for the last two weeks of their 6 or 7 week life, which means that they have no idea what a pasture is or why they'd go there, and stay in the coop instead.

In other words, know your suppliers, know your food.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:03 PM   #9
Scott Allen Hanson
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

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Originally Posted by Bin Lu View Post
Finding a local farm and meeting the people who raise your beef is, in my mind, the only surefire way to be sure about your product. Horizon products, for instance, though they're certified organic and one of the largest producers in the nation, is barely above the agribusiness standard. Dairy cows are raised in a CAFO (all the bad things you hear about raising beef? They happen at one of these) and get to be called organic only because the corn they're fed is organic. They may receive a patch of grass nearby, but it's a bare step above lip service. Likewise, many "free-range" chickens are only given access to their "free-range" for the last two weeks of their 6 or 7 week life, which means that they have no idea what a pasture is or why they'd go there, and stay in the coop instead.

In other words, know your suppliers, know your food.

I agree. I should have added "locally raised" as a preface to my list.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:49 AM   #10
Sarena Kopciel
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Re: 'Organic' Beef vs. Grass Fed

while i respect everything you are all saying, i trul try to do the best i an at all times, espec in regard to my food. but i too have had to accept certain conditions to my meat purchases too! I keep strict KOSHER and there is no fully grass fed beef/chicken out there. They are all fed grain at some point!! Quite frustrating but so is the case. I try to stick to only the best organic quality but there are few options!! Trust me I have done all the research out there!!

I wonder if anyone keeps Halal and found the same to be true!
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