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  • Kiwis, help please.

    Grass fed beef? Don't cows eat grass?

    I am a bit confused by this so I am asking other Kiwis what our cows eat. Having said that in Pak n Save yesterday i noticed some beef on the top shelf that was more money and it proudly stated "grain fed beef"

    New zealanders on this forum, I am assuming all our animals eat grass. Am I right? And they don't in America?

    Kit in Christchurch.

    (Who is going to work out how to do a profile today)
    My journal

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29984.html

  • #2
    I'm in America. You hit the nail right on the head. Grass is the natural food of cattle, but here in America they cram all of them into concentrated feeding lots and stuff them with excess subsidized food crops like corn, and then proudly declare it like it's supposed to be good for you. This forum is enlightened enough to know that this has a negative impact on the meat and the cows, and is one of the reasons that they get sick and need to be pumped full of antibiotics.

    I don't know about cows, but I once researched lamb from New Zealand (because there was a good deal at the store) and found that virtually all sheep in New Zealand are grass-fed.

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    • #3
      "Grain fed" is touted as a bonus because the animals lay down more fat, so the end product is "more desirable". If you're used to cooking grain fed, then grass fed meat can end up tough if you treat it the same.
      Eg in the UK the normal rearing of beef involves mostly grass/hay/silage, then being sold as "store cattle" which are then bought and grain fed for their last 6 months or so.
      It alters the types of fat too (lots of info around the forum).

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      • #4
        Hi kit, the vast majority of our beef, lamb and mutton is grass fed, and as you said grain fed meat is seen as a luxury item for a couple of reasons:

        1. It's rare, due to being a way more expensive way to feed than just letting the animals roam free on our abundance of grassland and find their own food in the way of grasses.

        2. It adds more fat to the meat, marbling etc. so is more desirable to the gourmet set. I attended a wealthy family friend's birthday at a very expensive hotel recently and the restaurant was very proud to be serving grain fed beef. I tasted it out of interest and couldn't tell the difference to be honest.

        3. Because it's so popular in the states it's seen as something to aim for.

        When I first got into pb I asked a couple of local butchers if their beef were grass fed and they looked I was mental "what else would they eat?" :-)
        If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

        Originally posted by tfarny
        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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        • #5
          Thank you for your replies, especially Misabi. Its great to have an experienced Kiwi member to ask about our groceries!

          So I shall just buy the normal meat from the butcher then!

          What about bacon/ham? There are a lot of specials on ham at the moment. Are these OK? The book is on order from Fishpond, but it won't be here until the end of the month.....

          Kit
          My journal

          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29984.html

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          • #6
            to be honest, we still look for it on the label, because we do not know the finishing process here (prior to butchering). a fair bit in the US is grass fed and grain finished (as Saorse said), and that's where i'm from, and so we would get pasture raised, grass finished meats.

            what i'm really struggling to find here are non-grain fed chickens. but just about everything else is free range. i try to follow up with the specific supplier, honestly.

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            • #7
              I don't expect NZ to flip to a grain dominated beef grass fed specialty culture like we have here in the US but "grain fed" was once touted as something special and desirable (and more $) here in the US as well. Your population would become marbled with fat just like the damn cows.
              Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                Your population would become marbled with fat just like the damn cows.
                Oh, don't worry about that. A lot of kiwi's have managed it quite easily without grain fed/finished meat
                If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                Originally posted by tfarny
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

                Comment


                • #9
                  in Mid Canterbury I know a farmer or two who fatten up steers on their property with a mix of rape and hay, rape is fast growing, yields a lot, the cattle dig it, though too much bloats them, they get let at slices of the field each day controlled by movable electric fences. Once they are a certain weight and age those farmers sell said steers to the five star beef lot in Mid Canterbury which according to one town website says
                  The Five Star Feed Lot at Wakanui takes in healthy animals at about eighteen months old, pampers them in a stress-free environment and feeds them a scientifically planned diet of grain so that they nearly double their weight in around 250 days, producing the type of grain-fed marbled beef valued by Japanese gourmets
                  pampered damn! lucky cows being pampered with those tasty grains!

                  New Zealand's Only Significant Feedlot Is State Of The Art
                  this from 2002 states "that Wakanui Feedlot, with its one-time capacity of 15,000 head, is the only cattle feedlot of any size in all of New Zealand. " granted that is 2002, maybe more have popped up?
                  And most of the beef from that feedlot is sent to Japan as Itouham - big Japanese meat firm are behind it. Besides you couldnt afford the beef that comes out of there. It's bloody expensive stuff! The prices the farmers get for selling one steer to the feedlot pre fattened makes it very worthwhile for them to do it.


                  so unless there has been a paradigm shift in the produciton of beef in NZ, the only grain feed steers in NZ are coming here to Japan and not your plate.
                  Fear of the unknown...They are afraid of new ideas. they are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based onÖ if something is new, I reject it immediately because itís frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                    what i'm really struggling to find here are non-grain fed chickens. but just about everything else is free range. i try to follow up with the specific supplier, honestly.
                    I have 3 backyard chickens (for eggs). Aren't chickens okay to eat grains? I've always thought that grains were biologically appropriate for birds. Mine eat as much grass & bugs as they desire, but they still beg at my kitchen window for corn-based scratch. What I think is sad is "vegetarian" chicken eggs. My chickens seem to adore protein - including bugs, leftover fish, cottage cheese and (gulp) chicken.


                    I am very envious of your grass fed beef and abundant lamb in NZ!

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                    • #11
                      Hi fellow kiwis!!! I am back home after living in London for 24 years! I had my 'awakening' in the UK, so I am feeling like a novice learning about food in NZ after so long away (and so much has changed). I saw this program the other night (episode 9) about pig farming:

                      What's Really In Our - Shows - TV3

                      I don't like all the programmes in this series. She seems a little to easily lead by 'experts' and nutritionists, but she couldn't deny the images of the holding pens - shocking. She makes a good point that what you really need to look out for is meat products where it says that it contains meat from other countries. This could include meat from countries that use hormones, regular dosing of antibiotics and cruel farming practices.

                      I was disturbed to hear John Key (NZ PM for those not in the know) talking about the intensification of farming in terms of progress (i.e it is a good thing). This worries me. Our livestock may be grassfed now but how much longer? We need to be aware and spread the word when possible.

                      Not long after I arrived back there was a scare over noxious fumes that were making people's eyes water. Turned out there was a leak from a nearby strawberry farm of the chemicals they put on the fruit! I have now started to wash my produce in warm soapy water. Probably better to avoid fresh fruit and veg - sad comment on a country that prides itself on being 'clean and green'.

                      For those looking for free range chicken, I found some in both Countdown and New World but they insist on taking the skin off. Pisses me off so I won't buy it. I need to discover some farmers markets. I hear there is a good one in Clevedon, South Auckland.

                      Nice to meet you all

                      Jo
                      Last edited by jo; 07-18-2011, 05:35 AM.
                      My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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                      • #12
                        Hey Jo
                        slightly envious you are back home. I left NZ for the UK last year and I am feeling just slightly homesick!!
                        It is a shame about the amount of chemicals that are popping up in NZ in terms of pesticides etc. I guess I always assumed we were clean and green too. Not too hard to find organic stuff though... Clevedon farmers market is great, it's big and you'll find everything you need there but a bit of a mission to get to. Also there is an excellent one in Oratia (west auckland) - slightly smaller but there are enough stalls to get everything you need - eggs, veges, meat, plus I always found it to be pretty cheap.

                        I think generally the beef and lamb are still the best in NZ. I just haven't had a decent steak since I got here, and I have to spend a fortune trying to find grass fed beef. I usually end up just buying NZ lamb from the supermarket because at least I know it is safe (plus NZ lambs liver is only like £1 at Tesco hehe)..not so great for the food miles though.

                        I'm really hoping we don't go down the intensified farming route. Freakin National. They need to get out ASAP!

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                        • #13
                          I go to Clevedon market pretty much every weekend now. They've just moved a few hundred metres down the road to what looks purpose built stable like stalls and you don't need gumboots to walk around the stalls anymore either
                          Can't beat a tray of 30 free range eggs with dark orange yolks for $14!

                          Clevedon town centre now has a market on on sunday mornings and Whitford has just started a small one on Sundays too, with a lady selling good natural ingredient soaps inside the village hall.

                          Warkworth's market is worth the drive, especially since the Orewa bypass has opened. I've heard the Oratia and Albany markets are good too, but haven't made the trip out there.

                          Free-range chooks are readily available, but unfortunately most (if not all) available in the usual shops are grain fed. But the only grain-fed beef I've ever seen here has been in very expensive hotels/restaurants.
                          If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                          Originally posted by tfarny
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks guys. I live in Papakura so Clevedon Market is a must do. Glad to hear the prices are reasonable and that I won't need to take my gumboots! LOL. Farmers markets in the UK can be more expensive.
                            My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by catparade View Post
                              Hey Jo
                              slightly envious you are back home. I left NZ for the UK last year and I am feeling just slightly homesick!!
                              !

                              Oh poor thing. I remember feeling like that too. A few trips across the Channel helped me. Let me know if you need in any help or advice. Where are you living? I was in SW London.
                              My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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