Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Grass Fed Cattle - What's the Beef

Grass Fed Cattle

Yes, there is grass fed cattle that do stay in the fields and never get 'finished off' in feed lots. However, what many people do not understand about grass fed cattle is that it is common practice to spray weed killer in the pastures.

With this being said there is no such thing as "Organic" beef. The weed killer is still in the ground and in the roots of the grass being eaten by the cattle.  Plus the rancher must rotate the pastures in order to allow for grass to recover.

All cattle still need to be inoculated against deadly infectious diseases. Many times cattle are inoculated with a 'bead' behind the ear which slowly provides them with antibiotics for health.

There is also grass fed cattle that are 'finished' off in feed lots. In feed lots cattle can gain 5 pound and more per day. This puts on the weight which is needed to get a good price at the sale barns. Even though these grass fed cattle are 'finished' off in feed lots they are still labeled at "Grass Fed".

The price per pound of grass fed beef can be $6.50 per pound and can even be more.

Cow Calf Pairs

January starts the calving season and it ends in April at the latest. This ensures that the calves grow large enough to be taken to the sale barn in the Fall.

Cow calf pairs are put out to pasture away from the bulls because some bulls can kill a calf and loosing a calf is not an option for a rancher. Calves are worth $500 once they hit the ground.

The photograph above is a cattle ranch near where I live. These cow calf pairs will stay out in the field for the summer months until the calves are weaned and separated from their mothers. (It can get quite noisy around here when weaning happens as both the cows and the calves are bawling for a couple of days) Then the breeding process starts all over again. Yes, these calves will be sent to a feed lot. This field is not sprayed with insecticides because it is not financially prudent for the rancher to do so.

Ask any grass fed operation and you will find that even with their high prices per pound that they are barely breaking even.

Marbling and Taste

Corn fed beef has white fat and is well marbled as shown in the steak to the far left. The marbling makes the steak not only taste better as it adds juices into the meat, the meat is tender and not tough.

Grass fed beef has yellow fat and a small amount of fat. This yellow fat does not add juices to the meat and the meat is tough. Kind of like chewing cardboard. Not to mention if you are purchasing "Grass Fed hamburger" guess what, fat is added and your hamburger really will not taste good because it is fat from other grass fed cattle.

The Healthiest Beef

If you really want some great tasting and healthy beef find a local rancher or a local butcher who processes cattle. I guarantee you will be eating beef that has no added chemicals that make the meat red and appealing to the eye.

Real beef is actually brown in color not bright red as we see in the grocery stores. The taste is pure and not contaminated. No, it doesn't taste 'gamy' such as deer meat. Just don't tell your friends what they are eating because some people just can't put a face to what they are eating.

Be Frugal, Eat Healthy, Live Healthy

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

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