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  • Grass fed- grain finished

    I have a friend who raises her own cows for beef. I could conceivably buy beef from her and she is one of the few sources of non CAFO beef around here, and all the others I have found are grain supplemented.

    They are 100% grass roaming cows until a few weeks before slaughter but then she supplements with grain the last 2-3 weeks because she likes what it does with the marbling.

    How much is this ruining the beef? Is it still worth it?
    MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

  • #2
    Don Matesz at Primal Wisdom has a GREAT series of articles about grass-fed vs. grain-finished. Here is a link to the lastest one: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/0...ide-to_21.html

    To net it out, grain finished isn't very bad, especially in your case where the cows will only be grain supplemented for a couple of weeks. What typically happens during that time is that the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio increases as the cow stops making Omega 3s (or at least in quanity). You can "help" this issue by supplementing your diet with a bit of fish oil and/or purchase leaner cuts of meat.

    ...Tim

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    • #3
      I'd rather support a small farmer than a Big Agri CAFO any day. JMO.

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      • #4
        I forgot where I read this, but apparently it’s almost necessary to give cows grain at some point, even in grass fed operations? Obviously wild cows (if any remain) eat only grass and do just fine, but I seem to recall an article (a paleo one) about how expecting fully grass fed/finished beef is rather unrealistic due to the cows and farmers needs… I’m sorry I can’t provide a link.

        I would absolutely buy from your friend, though.
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          It is not necessary to give grain to cows. Ever. Honest grass-finished beef producers do not feed grains to their cows.

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          • #6
            I'd happily eat it.
            And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
            Kahlil Gibran

            http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

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            • #7
              This is the link, make of it what you will (that blog is pretty good, this is actually a guest post, but bookmark the blog or add it to your RSS feeds) http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.c...-grain-debate/

              it says that grain is SOMETIMES needed because cows can't freely travel and graze, and apparently not all grass is created equal, especially given the poor conditions of the soil.
              I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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              • #8
                I imagine grass-fed farmers probably supplement with hay if they need to.

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                • #9
                  They do feed dried grass hay, but a farmer who sells grass-finished beef does not feed grains. They move the cows around the pastures to the grass. When the grass is in short supply, they feed hay.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                    I forgot where I read this, but apparently it’s almost necessary to give cows grain at some point, even in grass fed operations? Obviously wild cows (if any remain) eat only grass and do just fine, but I seem to recall an article (a paleo one) about how expecting fully grass fed/finished beef is rather unrealistic due to the cows and farmers needs… I’m sorry I can’t provide a link.

                    I would absolutely buy from your friend, though.
                    I'd buy from the friend over buying from the store but I'd consider it grain-fed not grassfed. "What it does to the marbling" = increases overall fat content because the cows are eating biologically inappropriate food.

                    If you can get other grassfed that isn't supplemented ever, it's much much better.

                    And no, it's not necessary to feed grain. Many pasture operations *do not ever* feed grain. Some do either because they don't have enough pasture, or b/c of seasonal availability in pasture, or because, like your friend, they want a(n) (inappropriately) higher fat content animal.



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                    • #11
                      We search for grass fed meat because of it's superior (from a health standpoint) fat build. However grass fed-grain finished is grain finished for the exact reason that it turns that grass fed type fat into factory farm type fat which makes it more market acceptable (for all the soccer moms and tv dinner dads).
                      "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."
                      -J.Stanton

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                      • #12
                        Buy a huge freezer. Ask her to raise one full grass fed cow for you and then when it is slaughtered you will buy the whole animal (including organs and suet).
                        A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                        • #13
                          Read this: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2...avoidance.html
                          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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