As a result, we have made the majority of our cattle and goats dependent on a high grain diet in order to perform at the levels demanded.
In the case of commercial type cows, they finish in half the time and are ready for slaughter. Of course it comes with a price. Out of balance omega -3 and omega-6 ratios in the meat, and little if any CLA's in the fat.
Just as costly is the fact that good grass-fed genetics are almost non-existent as compared to commercial grade cattle.
Then to add insult to injury, along comes a farmer and hears all about 100 percent grass-fed, grass-finished beef. "This is the ticket!" he exclaims.
Off he goes to raise 100% grass-fed and finished beef. The only problem he discovers; it's one thing to throw some cattle out on grass, but a whole different deal to get them to finish on grass.
Many times he discovers this once his cows are hanging at the slaughter house on the rail.
Or worse yet when customers start calling and saying it's tough, or dry, or tastes funny etc.
The farmer has some choices at this point, upgrade his herd, go back to grain, or educate his customer about why his beef is different.
It seems many farmers are opting to educate the customer. I suppose some education is good seeing as how many people are not the best cooks I've ever seen. Over cooked beef of any kind is dry.
But the truth is as I have talked to farmers all over the country....much of the beef out there is not genetically capable of finishing on grass.
That might not be exactly how they say it, but from what I can tell, that's the translation. Farmers usually say things like "well it's grass fed so it going to be dry." or very lean, or chewy.
Sometimes they say things like "the ground beef is out of this world."
So I asked about steaks and then we're back to "well now it's grass-fed...."
Come to think of it, I'm not sure who is actually having a dilemma:
- The herbivores - can't get along without grain.
- The Farmers - can't produce a good product on grass.
- The Consumers - can't figure out how you eat grass-fed beef.
Cows can thrive on a 100% grass diet. Farmers can find genetics that will help them upgrade their herd. And consumers can find beef that is out of this world good tasting and tender with marbling. To top it off it's also loaded with all the health benefits of omega 3's, CLA's and all the other things yet to be discovered!
Until next time...
Posted by David @ 09:35 AM EST [ Comments  ]