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Grass-fed beef?

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Old 04-02-2010, 06:54 PM   #16
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Funny thing, I just finished reading Omnivore's Dilemma too, and before that, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Kingsolver). Next is Farm City (Carpenter). I'm kind of on a kick. But I hope it's one that sticks.

Anyway, I've been going back and forth on this whole grassfed beef (and free range chicken) thing for a while now.

Our budget is pretty tight, and my family looooooves their meat. But slowly, they're easing into the less meat / more plants diet. Slowly.

I picked up some grass-fed ground beef the other day ($6.89/lb - yikes!) and tonight I'm putting it into cottage pie. I figured that would be a subtle way to introduce its distinctive flavor.

I guess we'll see.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:10 PM   #17
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I'm a vegetarian, but I strongly encourage you to get LOCAL grass-fed beef!! On top of being better environmentally and supporting local business, you can research how the animals are kept and slaughtered and make a more ethical decision.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:22 PM   #18
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OK I made Gordon Ramsey's Shepherd's Pie recipe on Friday night. Though, I used beef, so I guess that makes it Cottage Pie.

http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes...ecipe_p_1.html



I did notice when it was cooking, that it had a ummm... "distinctive" scent. Not bad, but not pleasing.

Once I added all the other ingredients, and it cooked down, it went away.

It turned out quite good!



I would not hesitate to use grass-fed beef again, at least in this sort of context.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:49 PM   #19
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I am a huge fan of grassfed beef and pasture raised chicken. They taste meaty, and I think kaploids hit it right on the nose.

Emu and Ostrich are also really "beefy" and good - although hard to find and need to be cooked minimally as they are tremendously lean.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:04 PM   #20
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Bison around here, from the local ranchers tastes "sweeter" and is definitely leaner than beef. Ain't nuthin' better than a bison ribeye. YUM! We used to get a 1/2 a 1/2 of locally raised beef, pasture fed and finished with corn and other grain. The guy only raised 6 a year, to supplement his social security, and it was fantastic. Hardly any fat on any of the meat at all and even what would typically be considered "tough" cuts were fork tender. And...I like my beef quite well done, but not like leather. There was no way to ruin the meat from this guy's cows.

Now we just buy it from the regular store, because we are not eating much of it, but if you like beef, buy it from the source! It definitely makes a difference what it's fed and how it's raised.

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Old 04-05-2010, 06:08 PM   #21
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Whoever said something about removing themselves from the corn cycle ... that's exactly my motivation for eating meat infrequently and selecting ethical meat sources when I do have it. I am so, so glad this is catching on!!
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:27 AM   #22
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<--- cattle farmer/raised on a cattle farm..

GRASS fed is NOT as good as GRAIN or lentil fed cattle. Grain fed is more tender What you want to look for is a small local farmer that grain feeds and does grass fed steers for butcher. Thats where you will get the best meat.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:09 AM   #23
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Grain-fed beef is fattier, and therefore more tender, and even some would say tastier, but the jury's still out on healthfulness.

I'm not convinced that all of the health claims are true about grass-fed, pasture-raised meat, but on one subject, I think the evidence is pretty strong, and that's the omega fatty acid balance. Grass-fed meats contain higher proportions of omega-3 fatty acids, the fatty acid that more and more health claims are being made about.

Hubby and I are on a tight budget, and rarely can afford local grass-fed meats and eggs from pasture-raised chickens (when we find a deal, we take advantage of it). It's crazy expensive in the winter and spring, but there are often good buys at the farmers' market in the summer and fall.

As a compromise solution, we take a fish oil (omega-3) supplement and I often use flax seed in my breakfast smoothies. It's not a perfect solution, but I think it offsets some of the disadvantages of grain-fed beef.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:29 PM   #24
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Beef for all out healthfulness isnt the meat to choose.

being raised on a farm, you can taste and even smell the difference between store bought and home raised cattle.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #25
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I will keep my response short and sweet - YES, it's worth the added cost!
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:09 AM   #26
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I personally refuse to eat grain-fed beef. It's pretty disgusting when you know how cattle are treated in meat processing plants. Basically living in their own feces, sick and dying. Plus, it's pretty cruel to feed grains to cattle, since they cannot digest it properly (and makes a perfect habitat for e.coli and other dangerous pathogens in their rumen). I can't afford grass-fed beef often, but it does not bother me since eating vegetables and grains makes up most of my diet.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:08 AM   #27
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I agree with luciddepths about the taste. Grain fed is better.

A few caveats. There is no official designation for "grass fed" beef at this time. So the term is being abused. Many beef producers are finishing their beef on grain like they always have but calling it grass fed because they have always started the cattle in pastures. This is the way most beef is handled. Look for the fine print that says grain finished and you will know that it is the same old beef you've always had just marketed better with a higher price -- unless it's organic, which is possible with grain fed. In fact, that it some fine eating. Also there's some producers keeping the cattle in "grain fed" conditions but finishing them on grass (hay) and calling that product grass finished. I suspect we'll find the CLA and Omega 3s that make grass fed healthier is actually falling in those abused grass finished animals similar to the grain fed. It's an educated guess. We'll see. I also suspect we'll find the benefits of grass fed are currently being wildly overstated and the negatives on grain fed another minor food scare.

For goodness sake, my 85 year old uncle has been a heavy grain fed beef eater his entire life and he's solid muscle, in great shape and officiating high school football games. Beef is good food.

If you're convinced only humanely raised grass finished beef is what you want, then Eat Wild is the best source. I've emailed Jo several times about producers lying to be posted on her master list.

To the person who started this thread from the Mojave Desert. Hi neighbor. There is no grass fed beef in SoCal. Well, it's in Santa Barbara, but it stays local and isn't available online. Nick Ranch in San Luis Obispo County is about as local as you can find online. It's expensive but the dry aged rib eyes are as good as any gourmet wagyu.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:57 PM   #28
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therex, they aren't treated horrible. That is about 1 in 100 lots that treat their cattle like that.. BUT if you get it from a local small farmer, you generally wont have that problem.

For cows grains are good, there is no problem digesting it. Grains are listed as the 2nd top food for Cattle. Now what grains are - Corn, Barley and Oats.

Cattle fed Corn aswell are really good!
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:08 PM   #29
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I made the switch to grass fed in 2007 and haven't looked back. Cows evolved to eat grass NOT grain. Grain feeding promotes the growth of E Coli and promotes the need to put the animals on antibiotics. Keep in mind that although beef can be labeled grass fed you need to look for grass FINISHED. I buy my meat online at uswellnessmeats . com (add www in front) as well as from a local farm. I'd like to find someone to split or quarter a cow with but haven't had luck yet. I like US Wellness because they have tons of selection - nitrate free hot dogs, bacon, salami, etc.

What really got me to switch to grass fed was the book Fast Food Nation as well as the movie. The conditions in feedlots/slaughterhouses are appalling, both to the animals as well as the people that work there. I do not want to support a system like that.

As for the taste, I find it great. The grass fed steak is leaner that its grain fed counterpart but that is perfectly fine with me, I am trying to lose weight
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #30
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I'm confused by all of the recommendations for grass-finished over grass-fed. It's was my understanding that grass-finished was less preferred to grass-fed, because grass-finished means the cows are fed grains all their lives except right before slaughter.

Grass-raised or pasture-raised is even better because it's even more precise -that the animals were raised entirely on grass, not just put on grass for the last few weeks of their lives.
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