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Thread: Kiwis, help please. page

  1. #1
    Kit Rivers's Avatar
    Kit Rivers is offline Senior Member
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    Kiwis, help please.

    Primal Fuel
    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)

  2. #2
    dragonmamma's Avatar
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    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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    "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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    Misabi's Avatar
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    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?" :-)

  5. #5
    Kit Rivers's Avatar
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    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

  6. #6
    zoebird's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
    IvyBlue's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Misabi's Avatar
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    Quote 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

  9. #9
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    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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    Quote 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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