What To Expect From Grass-Fed Beef Farms

by Marissa Velazquez

Grass-fed beef farms are not anything like the large conglomerate companies that control most of the meat sales and distribution in this country. They consist of smaller ranches that have single ownership and raise their stock strictly on natural grazing roughage. The large corporations that control the bulk of the trade raise their cattle in huge feeding lots where they stay until fat enough to slaughter.

Changing to large feed lots and feeding the cattle grain rather than grass helped to control the production and supply of meat in America. It helped neutralize some of the things that can change without notice in the cattle industry. The weather, grazing conditions and market pricing became stabilized within a very short period of time. Since that time, however, nutritional experts have determined that the switch from pasture to feed lots was not in the best interests of the health of consumers.

The amount of omega 3 fatty acids in pasture fed cattle is three to four times higher than what feed lot cattle can produce. As the omega 3 dropped in meat, coincidentally, the rate of heart disease and obesity has significantly risen in this country in the past forty years. There are cancer fighting acids, such as CLA that have also been diminished by conversion to feed lot raising of cattle.

Omega 3 fatty acids are not just good for your heart and blood pressure. They also help with neurological issues that can happen as we age or ones such as depression and anxiety that can happen at any age. In addition to omegas there is another acid called CLA in grazing cattle that can effectively fight cancer.

When calves are left with their mothers for a minimum of eight months after birth they stand a better chance of acquiring the proper body frame. They can then be finished correctly and put on the proper marbling of fat. Finishing is the process of putting weight on the animal prior to processing. When the animals are finished in the feed lots they layer on fat rather than marbling their meat.

Pasture grazing is not the most cost efficient method of raising cattle. Fortunately, for approximately two thousand ranchers in America and Canada it is the only method they will use and there is a market for their products. They consider the additives, that the grains used in feeding lots contain, to be seriously dangerous to people.

Cattle that are kept in feeder lots are under constant stress. They get little or no exercise, are fed grain, which is an unnatural food for them, and some other additives in the food such as medications and at one point excess fat from slaughtered cattle was mixed into their food. All of these things add to the taste and texture of the meat that is produced. It is believed that if there is no stress in lives of cattle the end product is more tender and tastier than mass produced meats.

These farmers are not called organic farmers. They are a cut above organic. The farmers who raise these cattle must rotate their fields on a regular basis to ensure that there is no over grazing. The cattle are raised in a calm, stress free environment that encourages some of the best tasting meat found anywhere in the country. On grass-fed beef farms the main goal is producing the purest form of meat to the customer.

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