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Thread: Whole steer- partial grass fed

  1. #1
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    Whole steer- partial grass fed

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    So I have an opportunity to purchase a half steer. The cow is grass fed majority of its life then it's finished off with hay, oats and alfalfa sprouts. There's no antibiotics or hormones. What do you guys think? Does that sound almost as healthy as 100% grass fed? I can get it at 6.80 lb. should I go for it?

  2. #2
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    I would make sure there was no soy involved in its food, and if so, I might get that deal if it were offered to me. Others may have a different take on it. I live in New Orleans and I gotta say, they don't make it easy. About 70% of my grocery money is spent online finding healthy versions of what I can't find locally.
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  3. #3
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    If you are buying the steer, why aren't they willing to give it to you straight off the pasture?

    "Finishing" is done for two reasons- the convenience of the meat producer since the steers are generally purchased off ranches and then collected together for processing and need to be fed something, and to create a consistent fat level in a highly genetically varied product so that the consumer will be happy.

    You're the consumer, and you want the product off the pasture.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by garod82 View Post
    So I have an opportunity to purchase a half steer. The cow is grass fed majority of its life then it's finished off with hay, oats and alfalfa sprouts. There's no antibiotics or hormones. What do you guys think? Does that sound almost as healthy as 100% grass fed? I can get it at 6.80 lb. should I go for it?
    All cows are fed grass a majority of their lives. I might still eat it if it were raised and finished locally, in an operation I could witness with my own eyes, but it's not what we mean when we talk about 100% grass-fed beef. It's the exact thing we're distinguishing 100% grass-fed beef from.

  5. #5
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    I would, if for no other reason that you'll learn if you like the taste. I know one farmer who could do grass fed the entire life of his cows but decides not to because he likes the flavor imparted by oats. Hay is also mostly grass although my understanding is that the term is not fixed and there can be different compositions yet can still be labeled hay. Alfalfa is technically a legume and can also be included in hay.

    I know some places I get "grass fed" meat from specifically say that in the winter they offer hay to their animals because grass does not grow as extensively in the winter and/or snow may be literally covering their fields. Some wild grazing animals like bison (even when held captive) only give birth in the spring because that is when grass is most available. In the winter the bison consume their fat stores because grass is not readily available. I understand that farmers have to do this if they want to offer meat year round although I have been castigated on other forums for suggesting a less that fundamental approach. I'm a realist.

  6. #6
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    Is that 6.80 a # for butchered meat?

    I have yet to buy a cow or pig, but one organic place was advertising halves for 2.99 a # unprocessed, 7.99# for processed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by garod82 View Post
    So I have an opportunity to purchase a half steer. The cow is grass fed majority of its life then it's finished off with hay, oats and alfalfa sprouts. There's no antibiotics or hormones. What do you guys think? Does that sound almost as healthy as 100% grass fed? I can get it at 6.80 lb. should I go for it?
    Befor you commit, check out Eatwild to see if you can get a better deal and a better product.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffC View Post
    I would, if for no other reason that you'll learn if you like the taste. I know one farmer who could do grass fed the entire life of his cows but decides not to because he likes the flavor imparted by oats. Hay is also mostly grass although my understanding is that the term is not fixed and there can be different compositions yet can still be labeled hay. Alfalfa is technically a legume and can also be included in hay.

    I know some places I get "grass fed" meat from specifically say that in the winter they offer hay to their animals because grass does not grow as extensively in the winter and/or snow may be literally covering their fields. Some wild grazing animals like bison (even when held captive) only give birth in the spring because that is when grass is most available. In the winter the bison consume their fat stores because grass is not readily available. I understand that farmers have to do this if they want to offer meat year round although I have been castigated on other forums for suggesting a less that fundamental approach. I'm a realist.
    That's a lot of meat to buy as a test to see if they like the taste.

    When you refer to alfalfa as a legume, what stage in its lector are you taking about? Anything beyond the sprouted seed stage would be ok as far as I can tell (and that's for humans, I doubt cattle need to be concerned about the phytate that sprouting would remove). I believe what they're referring to as alfalfa in the feed is alfalfa hay, or silage made from it.
    Last edited by Misabi; 06-26-2013 at 12:39 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I like that you're a realist and speak the common sense truth. Except from the south, there is no 100% grass fed anything. You can find it, but who can afford it? The solid truth is, grass fed when you can get it, but grain fed is still better than eating grains.

  10. #10
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    I live in Canada... Close to quite a bit of farmland but the grassed is pretty hard to come by. There are a couple cuts available at the farmers market, but it seems sparse. I wish it were more available, I have a hard time justifying getting meat from New Zealand... Seems so environmentally un-sound....

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