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    Feanor78's Avatar
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    Grass Fed Beef is for McDonalds

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    I was talking with my dad about the primal blueprint and he had an interesting story to tell - after college he lived in New Zealand and worked in the meat industry. According to him, grass fed beef was considered inferior, and most of the grass-fed/pasture-raised beef in New Zealand was sold to McDonald's and Burger King. The grain/corn-fed beef was considered far superior (because of the marbling of the meat) and was shipped to restaurant suppliers and supermarkets.

    This isn't to say grass-fed beef is bad, but it's interesting how cultural feelings about food can have ramifications for decades... now that corn-fed beef is the mainstay, former fast food meat is a luxury item. Oh for Mickey D's steak tip salad with some of that inferior beef

    It also occurred to me that this was the scenario right before the Nixon administration decided that America should grow as much corn as humanly possible, and it's likely that the glut of corn led to the glut of corn-fed beef we have in restaurants and shelves today.

    This got me thinking... as a food nut, I salivate when I think of Wagyu or Kobe beef, but dang it must be chock-full of omega-6s...

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    Misabi's Avatar
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    Hi feanor78,

    I'm not saying that you're dad got it wrong at all, but times must have changed. I'm living in NZ at the moment, and after I started reading all the info on here about grass fed vs grain fed etc. I asked at a couple of butchers about their beef, and each time I asked if it was grass fed I was looked at like a lunatic "what else would they eat?" was the usual response. This country is essentially one huge field / paddock where cattle and sheep graze on grass to their hearts content on lush green grass. So, yup beef served in fast food restaurants (if it is just beef..) here is very likely to be grass fed.

    In fact, I've had very little success in finding any mention of grain or corn fed beef being sold here, or even mentioning it, apart from a few locally published articles which seem to be regurgitated american articles and one restaurant which actually advertises a grain fed burger as a specialty

    According to the beef NZ website NZ "Beef cattle production systems are pasture based" which could also be why "The majority of beef produced is exported" and "North America dominates beef exports, most exported beef is destined for the processing industry".
    http://www.beef.org.nz/statistics/sld0011.asp#an1

    I've driven all over this beautiful country and have certainly not come across any feedlot farms, but have seen big healthy looking cattle roaming all over the place

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    Misabi's Avatar
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    Also, just found this article on a local farming website which is quite interesting

    http://www.country-wide.co.nz/cgi-bi...le&border=none

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    Analog6's Avatar
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    I absolutely loathe Wagyu beef - all that marbling is so tasteless. I used to 'grow my own' - and wish I still could and I have butchered my own too (not the slaughtering but l the cutting up). The best meat I ever had was some Brangus we bred - this is 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus ross - the meat is divine. We grass raised them and for the last 2 weeks they had supplementary boiled barley and linseed - while still with free access to grass - just to finish them off. We are talking here of a woman who takes thin slices off the roast and eats 'em raw - nothing touches good raw steak for taste.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misabi View Post
    Hi feanor78,

    I'm not saying that you're dad got it wrong at all, but times must have changed. I'm living in NZ at the moment, and after I started reading all the info on here about grass fed vs grain fed etc. I asked at a couple of butchers about their beef, and each time I asked if it was grass fed I was looked at like a lunatic "what else would they eat?" was the usual response. This country is essentially one huge field / paddock where cattle and sheep graze on grass to their hearts content on lush green grass. So, yup beef served in fast food restaurants (if it is just beef..) here is very likely to be grass fed.

    In fact, I've had very little success in finding any mention of grain or corn fed beef being sold here, or even mentioning it, apart from a few locally published articles which seem to be regurgitated american articles and one restaurant which actually advertises a grain fed burger as a specialty

    According to the beef NZ website NZ "Beef cattle production systems are pasture based" which could also be why "The majority of beef produced is exported" and "North America dominates beef exports, most exported beef is destined for the processing industry".
    http://www.beef.org.nz/statistics/sld0011.asp#an1

    I've driven all over this beautiful country and have certainly not come across any feedlot farms, but have seen big healthy looking cattle roaming all over the place
    do you ask specifically if it's grain finished? most cattle around here are grass fed and grain finished (but we're in the middle of the US, so you might be right about NZ).

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    I read once (here? somewhere else?) that America doesn't have cheap grain because it has feedlots, it has feedlots because it has cheap grain. Or something to that effect. Anyway, the grain-"finishing" is due to the glut of corn and crap - it's a cheap way to put pounds on cattle fast and get them to market sooner. I don't think the same subsidies exist in NZ so there's no economic reason to feed cows anything other than grass.

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    Misabi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spughy View Post
    I read once (here? somewhere else?) that America doesn't have cheap grain because it has feedlots, it has feedlots because it has cheap grain. Or something to that effect. Anyway, the grain-"finishing" is due to the glut of corn and crap - it's a cheap way to put pounds on cattle fast and get them to market sooner. I don't think the same subsidies exist in NZ so there's no economic reason to feed cows anything other than grass.
    Sounds about right from what i've read and seen.

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    I live up in Ontario Canada and I could see all kinds of grass fed roaming cows, they for sure look pretty lean and healthy to eat. On the other hand there are some other cows that have a big stash of hay that they eat from, since there is not enough grass land for them to eat, the cows that eat the hay seem alot fatter and unhealthier.

    Its true for the saying you are what you eat, if you eat meat from healthy animals you are likely to become healthier as well. But if you eat fat unhealthy animals you will possibly become fat and unhealthy as well.

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    I think we probably get more grass-fed beef than we realize. I live in Oklahoma and the pastures around here are full of beef. The beef is fed some grains when they are taken to the stockyards but for most of their lives they are roaming around the pastures eating grass. But chickens, well, that's a different story.
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    In my opinion, Grass fed/Grass finished is the way to go. That is what they were meant to eat and when they live in large, open pastures and graze at their free will.
    My Dad owns a ranch and sells Grass Fed beef and having been on the property watching them in their natural wide-open surrounding and instead of these poor grain-fed/grain-finished and lesser evil Grass fed/grain finished cows crammed together in tight spaces with Corn being virtually poured into them it makes you 'deal with' the leaner/less flavorful meat pretty easily. I do some marketing and designed his website so doing all of that research is partially what lead me to this diet - the desire to eat real food in the state that it should be in. Learning about the nasty feedlots that the 'normal' beef comes from these days is enough to convert most anybody.
    Grass fed is leaner, has less marbling and so therefore, may not taste as good as some of the mass-produced stuff you are used to. The key is to cook the meat differently -Here are some instructions that may help with cooking (can’t take credit for this, found it on another website):

    Your biggest culprit for tough grass fed beef is overcooking. This beef is made for rare to medium rare cooking. If you like well done beef, then cook your grass fed beef at very low temperatures in a sauce to add moisture.

    Since grass fed beef is extremely low in fat, coat with virgin olive oil, truffle oil, butter or favorite light oil for flavor enhancement and easy browning. The oil will, also, prevent drying and sticking.

    Tenderize your beef. If you don't own a tenderizer, we recommend marinating your beef before cooking especially lean cuts like NY Strip and Sirloin Steak. Choose a recipe that doesn't mask the delicate flavor of grass fed beef but enhances the moisture content. A favorite marinade using lemon, vinegar, wine, beer or bourbon is a great choice. Some people use their favorite Italian salad dressing. If you choose to use bourbon, beer or vinegar, use slightly less than you would use for grain fed beef. Grass fed beef cooks quicker so the liquor or vinegar won't have as much time to cook off. For safe handling, always marinate in the refrigerator.

    If you do not have time to marinate and don't own a tenderizer, just coat your thawed steak with your favorite rub, place on a solid surface, cover with plastic and pound your steak a few times to break down the connective tissue. As an added benefit your favorite rub will be pushed into your grass fed beef. Don't go overboard and flatten your beef unless your recipe calls for it. If you don't have a meat mallet, use a rolling pin or whatever you feel is safe and convenient.

    Grass fed beef has high protein and low fat levels, the beef will usually require 30% less cooking time and will continue to cook when removed from heat. For this reason, remove the beef from your heat source 10 degrees before it reaches the desired temperature.

    Use a thermometer to test for doneness and watch the thermometer carefully. Since grass fed beef cooks so quickly, your beef can go from perfectly cooked to over cooked in less than a minute.

    Let the beef sit covered and in a warm place for 8 to 10 minutes after removing from heat to let the juices redistribute.

    Never use a microwave to thaw your grass fed beef. Either thaw your beef in the refrigerator or for quick thawing place your vacuum sealed package in water for a few minutes.

    Bring your grass fed meat to room temperature before cooking . . . do not cook it cold straight from a refrigerator.

    When grilling, sear the meat quickly over a high heat on each side to seal in its natural juices and then reduce the heat to a medium or low to finish the cooking process. Also, baste to add moisture throughout the grilling process. Don't forget grass fed beef requires 30% less cooking time so watch your thermometer and don't leave your steaks unattended.

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