Beef in the United States
Over the last 70 years, the beef industry has turned into a billion-dollar industrial enterprise. With the goal to fatten up cattle as quickly as possible so that a profit can be turned. Gone are the days when the cattle happily grazed fields for three years while they naturally matured and gained enough weight to be harvested. Within the United States, 85% of the beef produced and supplied to grocery stores come from 4 major meat processing companies. These companies all use a grain-lot methodology for feeding the herds. Typically, to meet the demand from consumers, each feedlot contains approximately 100,000 head of cattle. After birth and castration, approximately 25% of the herd is taken to a grass pasture to feed until slaughter and the other 75% are taken to a grain feed-lot until harvest. The cattle stay in this environment for a period of 12-24 months until harvest and distribution to various grocery stores and other retailers.
Typically the cattle will spend the first six months of their lives in a pasture and then they’re transferred to a feedlot where they spend the next 7 to 8 months fattening up to slaughter weight. This fattening process involves the consumption of huge amounts of corn and grains. They are also confined to pins that limit movement and thus calorie usage. The resulting meat is high in fat content and low in nutrition. To keep them “healthy” during their confinement in the pins they are given antibiotics. They are also given growth hormones to speed their maturation and increase their size. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, approximately 70% of all antibiotics consumed in the United States is used to treat cattle in feedlots. Studies have indicated that consuming meat with hormones in them may be linked to increased risks of cancers such as prostate, breast and colon cancers.
So, although it may seem obvious, grass-fed cattle are simply that GRASS-FED. They are kept in open pastures where they forage native plants and grasses. During winter months their diet may be supplemented with hay…but again, in the pasture where they continue to forage and freely roam. This is not only “natural” for the herd it’s also much healthier and humane for the animal. The focus is on the natural maturation and weight gain of the cattle, hormones are never used. Antibiotics are not necessary because the living conditions of the animals are cleaner, the animal is less stressed and therefore less susceptible to disease. Because the animal consumes a wide variety of native plants and grasses over the course of their 2-3 years prior to harvest, the meat is significantly higher in beneficial nutrients.
Grass-Fed is Healthier
Grass-fed beef is significantly lower in fat. It’s also higher in several key nutrients and vitamins such as a beneficial fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been linked to reducing inflammation and improving the immune system. There’s also increased antioxidants as well as 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional beef. Grass-fed beef contains as much as 4 times as much Vitamin E and 7 times more Vitamin A.
Consuming grass-fed beef from is a huge step forward in a healthy well-balanced diet. We offer packages in a variety of sizes. The greatest savings are in our larger packages. Consider joining together with family, friends, and co-workers to purchase larger packages and take advantage of the greater savings.