Although corn or grain-finished beef has been widely promoted over the years, cattle are not meant to consume it! Grass fed beef is truly natural and organic, provided the grass they are allowed to graze is not treated with chemicals.
Studies have shown that corn actually causes E. coli to form in the stomach of cattle. Consumption of grass has been shown to effectively eliminate E. coli.
Grass-fed products naturally contain higher amounts of the following components:
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is an essential fatty acid with some pretty amazing properties. Studies suggest that it:
Although CLA is available in the form of a pill, animal products containing natural CLA are found to be 600% more effective in fighting cancer.
Vitamin A helps fight cancer and is linked to both good vision and good sex. It is also necessary for bone development and the prevention of skin disorders.
Omega-3 is a potent anti-carcinogenic and is essential for a sharp, well-functioning brain. It also reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart attack. To maintain good health, a 2-to-1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is recommended. The diet of most Americans is currently estimated to be 20-to-1.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that lowers the risk of both heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants are also considered to be ‘anti-aging’ agents that help your body resist the negative impact of oxidation.
Learn more about the health benefits of grass-fed....
Cattle raised on grass are not just good for the environment, they actually improve the environment.
Although grass fed cattle can be raised in a large-scale operation, they are also a great option for the small farmer. Moving cattle onto fresh grass every day or two (depending on stocking rate) is much less labor-intensive than hauling hay to feed stockyard cattle. It is also less expensive than feeding corn and silage.
When you consider the cost of fuel needed to run the tractors used to plant, spray, and harvest grain crops, not to mention the plowing and finishing of the soil prior to planting, the profitability of pastured beef becomes obvious.
Manure is also a non-issue. Instead of cleaning stalls, loading a manure spreader and distributing the manure over pastures, the cattle do it for free. This is the best organic fertilizer that money can't buy!
Miniature cattle are an even better option for the small farmer. Due to their smaller size the pasture stocking rate is twice that of traditional Angus or Hereford cattle.
Joel Salatin is arguably the trail blazer in the field of grass-fed beef. He has had proven success with this practice and shares his experiences and knowledge. My own bookshelves are filled with his books and were a great inspiration for me to raise our own grass-fed meat.
Our cattle shelter is portable - it has no floor, and hooks on one end that allows it to be towed wherever it is needed (see photo below for how hooks are attached).
It is also versatile enough that it can be used as a storage building.
The roof on this structure is metal so we collect the rain water in the water trough. There is also a water hose running from the barn to the trough to facilitate filling when rain is not enough.
One element of farming that I feel is crucial - remain flexible! As soon as you build a permanent structure for one use, it limits your ability to change your operation as your needs change.
The USA is the world's largest beef producer with 21 percent of the world production followed by Brazil at 16 percent, the EU at 14 percent and China at 10%, according to CattleFax.
Since 2008, global beef production has declined by 7.5 billion pounds while the world's population has grown by 300 million. This population increase is the equivalent of adding another United States to the world. This shrinking supply coupled with the increasing demand is expected to continue in 2012, keeping world beef prices at record highs.
No shift to significant herd rebuilding is seen in any of the world's major beef producing countries in 2012.
Summertime brings lush green grass - and flies!! We do not use any chemicals on any of our animals or ground, but have discovered very effective organic pesticides that keep flies and other pests away.
Multi-species grazing is a natural way to prevent internal parasites. When pigs or chickens follow cattle in the pasture rotation, they effectively eliminate the parasites that persist when cattle constantly graze the same pasture.
Request your free issue of the Stockman Grass Farmer today!
Food, Inc will change how you look at the food you buy at your local grocery store - a must see!!