What’s in Your Beef?

I recently found a Time magazine article that illustrated the difference between organic beef and the crappy beef you find at large chain grocery stores. I stopped eating meat but when I did eat it, I ate only grass-fed beef. I had no idea only 1% of beef comes from organic, grass-fed cows. These cows only eat grass because that is what cows are meant to eat! They are not given supplements or growth hormones. Bill Niman, an organic beef farmer, rotates his cattle to ensure that the land is not overgrazed. Overgrazed land requires chemicals to grow. The cow waste fertilizes the land naturally. Grass-fed beef is higher than regular beef in Omega-3s, beta-carotene and vitamin E.
In contrast, conventional cows eat mostly corn, which gives the beef a marbled taste. Corn makes them fatter…and makes humans who eat it fatter. It also makes them sick. Conventional beef comes from cows that are crammed into industrial feed lots where infection and disease spreads like wildfire, so they are fed a steady diet of antibiotics. Some are given growth hormones.

In one week, 1,000 cows produce 280 tons of waste. That seems like more fertilizer than any amount of land can handle. It makes entire towns smell like manure. I have read that farmers spray liquid manure into the air to get rid of it, which ultimately ends up in our groundwater and waterways miles away. Gross.

I wouldn’t encourage anyone to eat meat because I think it’s cruel and unnecessary, but I am very realistic about it. I know, no matter what, not everyone is going to choose a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. So if you are going to eat beef, I suggest that for your own health and the health of the environment, stick with organic, grass-fed meat. You will likely also be supporting small time farmers rather than the monstrous, multi-billion dollar commercial farming industry that essentially profits from animal cruelty and Americans’ obesity and poor health.

See the original article here:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1917726-5,00.html

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