YV: Grass-fed vs Grain-fed Beef

May 19, 2013

in Youth Voices

Reasearch: By Morgan Bertholdt                       

 

Do you ever think about what you are eating when you eat a hamburger?

If you don’t mind spending a bit more money grass fed beef is better. There are three main types of beef, grass- fed, organic grass-fed, and commercial. In this piece I will show you the pros and cons of the three.

 

Organic Grass-Fed Beef:

To be organic grass-fed means “ that the cattle were fed 100% grasses, without the use of chemicals, were not given antibiotics or growth hormones, and were granted significant access to the outdoors throughout their lives.” It is better for the environment because when people use chemicals on the grass, to feed the cattle and it rains, it may run off and get the chemical into lakes, streams, and rivers. Also it could affect the wildlife and the cleanness of our drinking water. The reason that organic grass-fed is more expensive is because we eat less of it, and because it costs more money and takes more time to feed the cows all grass which means rotating the cows from pasture to pasture. Feedlot farmers can buy cheap corn and give the cows antibiotics to make them grow faster. Also corn fed cattle develop marble and transmuscular fat because of the rapid growth and not moving around much and a lot of people like that taste and texture. Unfortunately for some of the grain fed feedlot cattle they receive some unfair treatment like harsh sometimes brutal mental and physical abuse. There is no solid evidence that organic is beef is nutritionally better than conventional beef.

 

Grass-Fed Beef:  

Grass-fed means the cows were fed 100% grass diet and had the freedom to eat grass outside but what is different about grass-fed and organic-grass-fed is there may be some chemicals on the grass and the cows (when sick) can be fed antibiotics “humans can’t eat grass but the meat we eat should come from animals that did (Natural resources defence council) Grass fed animals don’t need the large quantities of antibiotics that “feedlot” cattle do because they add antibiotics to their water to make them grow faster. Animals that are grass-fed for their entire lives are healthier for you because feeding cows grain will create heartburn and acids that could then lead to that animal to get e coli poisoning. E coli is a bacteria that lives is the digestive tract in people and animals, there are many types of E coli but most of them are harmless. E coli O157:H7 in some people can cause severe anemia or kidney failure which can lead to death. Next you may have bloody diarrhea,stomach cramps and nausea.You get E coli by coming in contact with the feces or (stool) of the infected person or animal. This can happen when you drink the water or eat food that has been contaminated by E coli. E coli can get into meat during processing. If the infected meratis not cooked at 160 degrees E coli can live. Also raw milk or dairy products that have been touched and fruits and veggies that were grown with infected manure fertilizer can still carry E Coli. If we eat that animal with e coli we could get it too. Next, grass-fed cows produce meat that is high in omega 3, and vitamin E. Pastured animals are treated more humanely “from a humanitarians perspective (N.R.D.C)” there is yet another advantage to “pasture grown” animal produce the cruelties, cages barely bigger than their bodies, smushed up like sardines for months on end and standing in manure knee deep. Grass fed cattle graze happily on acres of green grass. The problem is, grass fed beef is more expensive than conventional beef but actually it is not expensive because if you consider the fact that they add all of those antibiotics and the chance of getting e coli its not worth getting unhealthy or sick when grass fed beef is not much more. “So eat less corn fed meat, when you do choose grass fed “know that you are supporting a human, health promoting environmentally responsive system of agriculture (N.R.D.C.)”

 

Commercial Beef:

Commercial beef means that there is a large production of beef cattle and the cows were raised on huge “feedlot” warehouses with literally thousands of cows. Conventional beef producers sometimes use controversial methods such as using antibiotics and hormones for growth and housing cattle in cramped filthy were houses with no access to the outdoors. Also the meat is juicier and has leaner beef. The hitch to commercial beef is the tremendous price difference.

 

Conclusion If money is not an obstacle grass fed beef is a good choice. But before you make a switch  consider the pros and cons of the 3 main types of beef and before you make a decision about what you think the best choice is for you and your family. Think about the pros and cons of the 3 types of beef,Grass-fed,Organic grass-fed or Commercial. Grass -fed beef is best because its humane, environmentally friendly and has more nutrients.

 

               Bibliography

Making the switch to grass fed, Fox news.com. oct 17 2012

“The demand for grass fed beef is growing.” Los Angeles Times.com 11/23/12

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