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The #2 food farmers are afraid to eat.
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gcreekrch
Rancher
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Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 10946
Location: west chilcotin bc

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Dylan. The best beef we consistantly eat is from a 2 year old heifer that has lost her calf in spring and maybe lost a little weight before grass. Hang them up between the end of July and mid-August and there is no finer, tender eating. Ours seem to finish with the same fat colour as Dylan's steer.


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leanin' H
Rancher
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 5467
Location: Western Utah Desert

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key to any steer or heifer, regardless of what they are fed, is ARE THEY FINISHED? Having fed out both, i agree with Dylan. If you keep a steer on good grass, while it takes me longer to have him finished, they taste pretty good, as does a grain fed calf. My preference is a grass fed calf that's put on grain the last 45 days after he's within 75 pounds of slaughter weight. But then again, us goat farmers are unreliable at best! Very Happy One day at the sale barn, which should be the title to a book, i watched about a 500 pound holstien/simmy/german shepard cross steer sell. At that particular sale the local processor is always there with a trailer and you can send them straight to processing. The auctioneer asked for a name and the guy said "such & such" and "send him to Circle V Meats". The ol' auctioneer said ya may wanta give that steer some groceries as most of what was standing there was hide, ribs and tailhead. The "buyer" said, and i quote....."That steer is finished just the way we like them"! Shocked I joked with the guy next to me that maybe he had brand new teeth and was trying to dull them up a little. Very Happy The Auctioneer spent the rest of the day commenting on every set of 500 weight calves on how "here's another nice bunch of "finished" beef! Laughing To each their own, i reckon! Wink


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Faster horses
Rancher
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Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 24468
Location: SE MT

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gcreekrch wrote:
I have to agree with Dylan. The best beef we consistantly eat is from a 2 year old heifer that has lost her calf in spring and maybe lost a little weight before grass. Hang them up between the end of July and mid-August and there is no finer, tender eating. Ours seem to finish with the same fat colour as Dylan's steer.


Gcreek, I agree with you on that. We have eaten many just like
you described. I think it has to do with the stage the grass is in, rather
than the type of grass. People selling grass-fat beef do it year round,
or do they not? If they sell grass-fed all year long, how do they get
that done?

On another note, my in-laws were getting a steer ready to butcher and
they kept that steer in a little apple orchard and he ate the apples that
fell on the ground. That meat was delicious and did have a different flavor.

I don't care if cattle are fed grain, corn, barley or grass, they MUST
be on the gain when killed to be tender. We get our beef from a friend
who feeds a couple out each year and I'd put that meat up against
anyones. You can BBQ the round steak its so tender. One year we
took ours in, no problem. He took his in a day later and when the
brand inspector got inside the trailer with the steer, the steer went
beserk!! He got really upset and HOT--but our friend took him in anyway.
That meat was AWFUL. He knows now that he should have taken him
home and given him time to cool off. I think many of the 4H steers
are taken back home for a bit in order to get over the big change in
life they had when being shown at the fair. At least the ones purchased
locally and plans are to eat them.

Another thing, we prefer a 2-year old. Tastes like BEEF. Very Happy

We have in the past, had an older thin cow that we put in and fed
grain and she gained to beat the band. Put on new muscle, that
was always good eating. The connective tissue was tougher, but that's
all. And the flavor was really good, having been much older.


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Dylan Biggs
Rancher
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Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Posts: 1480
Location: hanna,alberta

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All very good points LH and FH.


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Big Muddy rancher
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Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 19258
Location: Big Muddy valley

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grass fed or grain fed, Longhorn or Angus it's all a matter of personal preference.
What I was getting at with this post is Joel Salatin is a fairly visible livestock produce giving talks maybe around the world, North America for sure. Maybe his name has been used with out his permission but why would he let it stand that Grain fed beef is something we should be afraid to eat.
I know some of you have met him, Maybe you could let him know about this if it is something he does not endorse or he could come on here and explain his reasoning to us.

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/7-foods-so-unsafe-even-farmers-wont-eat-them/


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Ben H
Rancher
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1742
Location: Gorham, ME

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Muddy rancher wrote:
Grass fed or grain fed, Longhorn or Angus it's all a matter of personal preference.
What I was getting at with this post is Joel Salatin is a fairly visible livestock produce giving talks maybe around the world, North America for sure. Maybe his name has been used with out his permission but why would he let it stand that Grain fed beef is something we should be afraid to eat.
I know some of you have met him, Maybe you could let him know about this if it is something he does not endorse or he could come on here and explain his reasoning to us.

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/7-foods-so-unsafe-even-farmers-wont-eat-them/


You've done exactly what Joel wants, he stirs up the pot and gets people talking about it. Unfortunately the reality is the grain feeding is just a way to add value to subsidized corn. Grassfed beef can be better or worse, it depends on the person finishing it. It takes a heck of a lot more expertise to finish an animal on grass then grain, it's like taking the training wheels off. What they eat can influence the flavor, animals shouldn't be finished on fescue for example, that will cause off-flavors and will be enhanced with extended aging, I only shoot for 10 days. Grain feeding gets it done fast and easy, but when you compare there really just isn't much flavor there.

I have yet to see a study that says feedlot finished beef is just as healthy as grassfed that wasn't biased and paid for by those promoting it. Research has to be funded and someone has to pay for it, there isn't much money coming in from inputs when all you do is manage a pasture correctly. And pretty much no inputs if you do it holistically.

Animals can't be finished on grass in just any pasture, to make a good product it needs to be done on prime soils with excellent dairy quality forages to graze. When you do that, I don't see that animals are really putting on significantly more miles then a feedlot animal. This is one area where grassfed gets a bad name, too many people without the right kind of land or grazing experience want to jump onto the bandwagon and don't have the resources to do it right.

This is how fast the fat type changes when you start feeding grain:


Data from: J Animal Sci (1993) 71(Cool:2079-88.
http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

I think there is also too much talk about Omega-3 and not enough talk about Omega-6. We can only do so much to increase Omega-3, grassfed beef helps, but it's more important to eliminate as much Omega-6 from our diet as possible. That comes from grains and oils, and animals who eat grains and oils. That alone is one reason I don't like to eat grain fed beef or fish for that matter. Not only that, the more I learn about the residual effects of glysophates and the effects on animal and human health, the more concerned I get. A huge amount of corn, wheat and soybean is glysophate resistant and therefore more of the chemical is used. Now they've added another crop to the rotation, alfalfa that is resistant.


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leanin' H
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Posts: 5467
Location: Western Utah Desert

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben H wrote:
Big Muddy rancher wrote:
Grass fed or grain fed, Longhorn or Angus it's all a matter of personal preference.
What I was getting at with this post is Joel Salatin is a fairly visible livestock produce giving talks maybe around the world, North America for sure. Maybe his name has been used with out his permission but why would he let it stand that Grain fed beef is something we should be afraid to eat.
I know some of you have met him, Maybe you could let him know about this if it is something he does not endorse or he could come on here and explain his reasoning to us.

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/7-foods-so-unsafe-even-farmers-wont-eat-them/


You've done exactly what Joel wants, he stirs up the pot and gets people talking about it. Unfortunately the reality is the grain feeding is just a way to add value to subsidized corn. Grassfed beef can be better or worse, it depends on the person finishing it. It takes a heck of a lot more expertise to finish an animal on grass then grain, it's like taking the training wheels off. What they eat can influence the flavor, animals shouldn't be finished on fescue for example, that will cause off-flavors and will be enhanced with extended aging, I only shoot for 10 days. Grain feeding gets it done fast and easy, but when you compare there really just isn't much flavor there.

I have yet to see a study that says feedlot finished beef is just as healthy as grassfed that wasn't biased and paid for by those promoting it. Research has to be funded and someone has to pay for it, there isn't much money coming in from inputs when all you do is manage a pasture correctly. And pretty much no inputs if you do it holistically.

Animals can't be finished on grass in just any pasture, to make a good product it needs to be done on prime soils with excellent dairy quality forages to graze. When you do that, I don't see that animals are really putting on significantly more miles then a feedlot animal. This is one area where grassfed gets a bad name, too many people without the right kind of land or grazing experience want to jump onto the bandwagon and don't have the resources to do it right.

This is how fast the fat type changes when you start feeding grain:


Data from: J Animal Sci (1993) 71(Cool:2079-88.
http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

I think there is also too much talk about Omega-3 and not enough talk about Omega-6. We can only do so much to increase Omega-3, grassfed beef helps, but it's more important to eliminate as much Omega-6 from our diet as possible. That comes from grains and oils, and animals who eat grains and oils. That alone is one reason I don't like to eat grain fed beef or fish for that matter. Not only that, the more I learn about the residual effects of glysophates and the effects on animal and human health, the more concerned I get. A huge amount of corn, wheat and soybean is glysophate resistant and therefore more of the chemical is used. Now they've added another crop to the rotation, alfalfa that is resistant.


With all due respect Ben, you just gave us information pubished by folks who raise grassfed beef. I'd imagine thier study says grainfed isn't as healthy! Laughing Instead of bashing one side to sell the other, how about we all remember we play on the same team. The average ranch in America is something like 85 head. That isnt BIG INDUSTRIALIZED AGRICULTURE!!!! That is all of us. When we waste energy fighting amongst ourselves we simply get weaker to attack from the folks like PETA and the vegan crowd. How about we raise cattle and allow the customer a choice in how they like their beef? And lets stay friends while we do it. Wink Are we perfect? NO. But we raise the best, healthy, delicious beef around regardless of how it is finished. In my opinion! Very Happy


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Ben H
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1742
Location: Gorham, ME

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about we eliminate grain subsides so we can start the discussion on an even playing field.

Do you honestly think we would be feedlot finishing cattle at the scale we do in this country if grain wasn't subsidized?

Yes the graph came from a grassfed website, but the data came from an Animal Science Journal.


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LazyWP
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Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 1606
Location: about 40 miles southeast of Soapweed

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben H wrote:
How about we eliminate grain subsides so we can start the discussion on an even playing field.

Do you honestly think we would be feedlot finishing cattle at the scale we do in this country if grain wasn't subsidized?

Yes the graph came from a grassfed website, but the data came from an Animal Science Journal.


You are way off topic here. There no way that the US will ever quit subsidizing grain. Its just been going on way to many years. You are starting to sound like if we don't raise cattle your way, we just aren't doing anything right!
And just for the record I still don't like grassfed beef, and I have tried quite a few different cuts from quite a few producers, surely they all can't be poor finishers?


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PATB
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 550
Location: Turner, Maine

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LazyWP wrote:
Ben H wrote:
How about we eliminate grain subsides so we can start the discussion on an even playing field.

Do you honestly think we would be feedlot finishing cattle at the scale we do in this country if grain wasn't subsidized?

Yes the graph came from a grassfed website, but the data came from an Animal Science Journal.


You are way off topic here. There no way that the US will ever quit subsidizing grain. Its just been going on way to many years. You are starting to sound like if we don't raise cattle your way, we just aren't doing anything right!
And just for the record I still don't like grassfed beef, and I have tried quite a few different cuts from quite a few producers, surely they all can't be poor finishers?


The taste of grassfed beef is not for everyone. I agree with leaning H lets sell the most wholesome beef possible and let the customers decide which they spend their dollars on. The important thing is they are spending their dollars on BEEF.


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Haytrucker
Member
Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 516

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to nitpick, but the quoted article alludes to glyphosate resistant wheat. I know several neighbors who would be interested in some seed, if that is true.
Just sayin, one suspect "fact" casts a shadow on the whole "truth".


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Ben H
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1742
Location: Gorham, ME

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LazyWP wrote:
Ben H wrote:
How about we eliminate grain subsides so we can start the discussion on an even playing field.

Do you honestly think we would be feedlot finishing cattle at the scale we do in this country if grain wasn't subsidized?

Yes the graph came from a grassfed website, but the data came from an Animal Science Journal.


You are way off topic here. There no way that the US will ever quit subsidizing grain. Its just been going on way to many years. You are starting to sound like if we don't raise cattle your way, we just aren't doing anything right!
And just for the record I still don't like grassfed beef, and I have tried quite a few different cuts from quite a few producers, surely they all can't be poor finishers?


I disagree, the subsidies are an integral part of the discussion of grassfed vs. grainfed, and I will fight until my final breath to end the subsidies. If New Zealand can do it, so can we. In case you haven't noticed, our country is BROKE and we can't keep throwing good money after bad! If it doesn't pencil out without subsidies, then we shouldn't be doing it.


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