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Thread: Grass fed beef organic? page

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    KathyH's Avatar
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    Grass fed beef organic?

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    How can one find out whether the grass that the cow eats is organic? The farmer says it is but the local farm I buy meat from their pasture seems rather small for all the cows so how can I find out for sure?

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    Artbuc's Avatar
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    It depends on if the farmer is a country bumpkin. The FDA requires the farmer to prove his grass his organic by conducting double-blind placebo feeding trials on vegans. Most farmers are able to conduct these tests properly and provide the necessary certification. Unfortunately, many farmers are, in fact, country bumpkins who spend too much time reading (actually most time is spent looking at the pictures and links to you-tube videos) MDA blogs. Do not buy meat from these guys. Hope this helps.

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    I think it is pretty expensive to get pastured cows certified organic. Plus some cows get supplemental hay and I imagine that certified organic hay would be very expensive. I know a small amount about hay/pasture management and they don't dump a ton of chemicals on it. Most people will do a fertilizer and that's about it (so its not like strawberries or something). A lot of people don't do shit to their pastures. The cows if the field looks small probably do get supplemental hay (the beef I buy gets hay in the winter and they don't slaughter when the cows are eating hay- it impacts the flavor.

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    katemary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artbuc View Post
    It depends on if the farmer is a country bumpkin. The FDA requires the farmer to prove his grass his organic by conducting double-blind placebo feeding trials on vegans. Most farmers are able to conduct these tests properly and provide the necessary certification. Unfortunately, many farmers are, in fact, country bumpkins who spend too much time reading (actually most time is spent looking at the pictures and links to you-tube videos) MDA blogs. Do not buy meat from these guys. Hope this helps.
    especially the blind double trial on vegans.

    You are asking if the grass is organic, not the meat? I had not thought of that, I guess you would hope any chemicals the cow ingests from any treated grass is filtered by liver etc ...oh, I guess that doesn't help if you eat the organs.

    I think it is enoughblind faith to trust the butcher re organic (grass fed) meat. Hadn't thought about the grass. Will be interested in the responses.

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    The guy I buy my grass-fed meat from is not certified organic. His cows run around a bunch of hills that he owns; he doesn't spray or do anything to the land, but he's not out there with his binoculars making sure that GMO spores aren't wafting over his land, and he doesn't pay for tests. That's why I can get 5-pounds of ground beef for $20. Organic enough for me.

  6. #6
    bob loblaw's Avatar
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    Most grass fed beef is NOT organic, at least officially.

    Organic is an expensive certification, yet it means little. You can run a horrible slaughterhouse with horrible conditions and be organic. Your hens can sit in their own shit all day in a small, cramped house and be organic.

    I do get most of my food organic, because that eliminates the use of GMO products. But when it comes to my meat, I'd rather have pastured beef then organic, grain fed beef any day. Same with pastured chicken, which I'd much rather have then organic chicken that's been in it's coop for it's whole life.

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    See if they are listed on eatwild.com.

    When you visit the farm, ask the farmer if he/she will give you a tour. I had a farmer drive me all over his property and explain hundreds of fascinating details about what farming entails (he retired from electronical engineering to take up cattle farming, so he was very thorough). There was a lot more pasture land than first met the eye - a lot of times, pasture land occupies land that can't be used for raising other crops due to terrain, so it can twist and wind over hills. If you see cattle eating grain or bags of grain feed in the barn, you'll know the farmer is either cheating or grain-finishing (which, nutritionally speaking, is cheating anyway).

    You might check to see if your state has a sustainable farming association (we have one in PA). They might be able to tell you if the farmer raises on pasture.

    I may be wrong, but the only kind of grass I can recall that is now GMO is alfalfa. And none of the grass farmers (what the farmers who raise cattle on grass sometimes call themselves) use it. In fact, when you visit the farm, ask what kinds of grass he plants -- my farmer used a half dozen different varieties, each with its own reason for being in the mix. Ask if he uses managed intensive grazing (rotating paddocks). Ask what the cows eat in winter.

    Ask questions.

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    Info from US Wellness Meats:
    U.S. Wellness Meats — Our Animals Eat Right So You Can Too.

    In my own area there are two ranches. One sells grass-fed beef. They grow the grass. They use irrigation. They use chickens for fertilizer for the grass. The other ranch grazes the animals on the native grasses and supplements with barley, oats and hay.

    Personally I would not worry one single bit whether the grasses and supplemental feed were certified organic. It's highly unlikely anyone would ever certify animal feed anyway.
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    I buy lamb, beef and chicken from three different local farmers. I have visited all of their farms. I trust them because I know them. They are not certified organic. I don't care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artbuc View Post
    It depends on if the farmer is a country bumpkin. The FDA requires the farmer to prove his grass his organic by conducting double-blind placebo feeding trials on vegans. Most farmers are able to conduct these tests properly and provide the necessary certification. Unfortunately, many farmers are, in fact, country bumpkins who spend too much time reading (actually most time is spent looking at the pictures and links to you-tube videos) MDA blogs. Do not buy meat from these guys. Hope this helps.
    Yup many farmers are "country bumpkins" that can't read are probably smelly and dirty to. When was the last time you were even 10 miles outside of a city?

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