7 Reasons Grass-Fed Beef Benefits Are Overhyped.

7 Reasons Grass-Fed Beef Benefits Are Overhyped.

I was on a health & fitness website. The juicy steak picture immediately drew my eye. I immediately started reading through the recipe, when bam, there it was in the ingredients list: “grass-fed beef.”

Why “grass-fed beef” instead of just “beef?”  Is it going to taste different if the beef is not grass-fed? Is the recipe healthier or less healthy if it is grass-fed? Are there any hidden grass-fed beef benefits? Why is the “grass-fed” label so important that it’s there on the ingredient list of a recipe?

A quick Google search finds a number of websites praising the grass-fed beef benefits. Most of them talked about its better fatty acid profile (we discuss this later.) But I also found gems like this one on the website of an 100% grass-fed beef company:

Grass fed beef cattle are raised on pastures all their lives, living solely on a natural diet of grass. They are free to roam and graze at their leisure with the sun on their backs and grass at their feet. Conversely, corn fed beef cattle are spatially confined to feedlots where they are plumped by an unnatural diet of corn which is commonly supplemented with hormones and antibiotics.

It appears that the hype goes far beyond the “health benefits” and into animal welfare. I decided to investigate. I looked into the research comparing grass-fed beef with grain-fed beef and, not to provide any spoilers, I concluded that the grass-fed beef benefits are completely overhyped (and sometimes simply not true.) From a health perspective, you’ll be much better off instead of splitting hairs with what beef to buy, to make sure you exercise. Let’s review.

First, what is grass-fed beef?

From the conference call notes of the Agricultural Marketing Service of USDA:

Producers or companies making a 100% Grass-Fed claims on their meat and meat product labels should be fed Grass (Forage) Fed 100% after being weaned from their mother’s milk.

There is currently no federal standard defining “Grass-Fed.” However, farmers can apply to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and get a grass-fed claim on their label.

If we see Grass Fed on a label at a store we can assume that its 100% grass fed?

Yes, unless it states a percentage. For example: 50% Grass-Fed, 50% Grain-Fed or 90% Grass-Fed, 10% Grain-fed.

Grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef: The (overhyped) grass-fed beef benefits.

Now let’s get started with the claims surrounding beef.

1. Grass-fed beef is healthier than grain-fed beef: Not exactly.

There are a number of claims around beef. One is about the grass-fed beef’s omega-3 fatty acids profile, another is about leanness, and another about it being a better vitamin source. Overall, it’s true there are some nutritional differences between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef. The question though is – do those nutritional differences actually make a difference? Will we be healthier because of them? Let’s review.

Grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef: Fatty acids

You may have heard that grass-fed beef has a better omega-3/omega-6 profile than grain fed beef. This is actually true and supported by studies.

Because beef is not really a source of omega-3s and omega-6s, this grass-fed beef benefit becomes inconsequential and/or irrelevant. Tamar Haspel illustrates this at the Washington Post:

An 100-gram serving (a little under four ounces) of grass-fed top sirloin contains 65 milligrams of omega-3 fats, loin has 40 and rib-eye has 37. So even that 65-milligram amount is only about 22 milligrams more than that for regular beef and still far below levels in low-fat fishes such as tilapia (134 milligrams) and haddock (136). The omega-3 powerhouse king salmon has 1,270 milligrams.

Setting the omega-3/omega-6 situation aside, the picture of which beef is best gets more complicated as we examine more facts: Leheska et. al., in their 2014 study found that grass-fed beef had significantly less content of MUFA (monounsaturated fat = good fat, just like olive oil, ) and researchers in Texas A&M found it had more saturated fat and transfat.

Grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef: Leanness

Daley et al., in their 2010 study report that grass-finished cattle are typically lower in total fat as compared to grain-fed contemporaries. This is useful to know but still kind of irrelevant in this debate, as you can find lean beef that’s both grass-fed and grain-fed. Just check the labels at the store.

Still,  I asked Dr. Spencer Nadolsky, an obesity and family physician, whether lean beef has any health benefits compared to less lean beef. “It really depends on the totality of your diet,” he said. “For the most part, I tell my patients to buy leaner cuts of beef or very lean ground beef and have them get their fat sources from mostly plants eg olive oil, nuts, and avocados.”

In other words, there’s no proof that grass-fed beef is better for you, esp. when comparing beef pieces that have the same amount of fat percentage. Saying the grass-fed beef is healthier is at a minimum jumping to conclusions, or more accurately, making up claims.

Grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef: Vitamins

Grass-fed beef is richer in Vitamins A and E. However, this doesn’t seem to make a difference. Quoting Food Insight, a non-profit education company:

Several sources have highlighted that grass-fed beef could be beneficial in having more Vitamin A & E than grain-fed beef. Actually, neither beef provides Vitamin A. Grass-fed beef provides only .02 mg more of Vitamin E per serving than grain-fed beef, so if you’re concerned about your vitamin intake, you will be much better off looking towards carrots, almonds, and fortified products.

The verdict

The recommendation is to get beef that has a lower fat content, regardless of whether that beef was grass-fed or grain-fed or anything in between.”Regarding grass-fed vs. non grass-fed, if you get leaner choices, the differences in health outcomes are minuscule. The reason you go for grass fed may lie in taste preference and also the treatment of the cow,” said Dr. Nadolsky.

(Hint: If you’re a labeling nerd, I strongly recommend you check out National Nutrient Database. You can search any food, and find its nutritional composition. It’s pretty awesome to have all this information at your fingertips.)

2. Grass seems to be better food for cattle than grain. But is that true?

So you’re not attracted to grass-fed beef because of its health claims. Maybe it just seemed more “natural” to you. Maybe it seemed “better” for the cattle. But is that true? Farmers don’t arbitrarily come up with dietary plans for cattle. Their vets and expert nutritionists advise them on what is best for their animals. Michelle Miller, the farmer behind the popular facebook page Farm Babe, explained:

Nutritional plans are industry standard information. We work with vets and industry experts who use TMR (total mixed rations) or self-fed rations which has a proper balance of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, etc.

The popular argument that cattle is “not supposed to eat grain” is simply not true, say vets everywhere. And the misconception that corn is bad for cows is also not true. Miller explained:

ALL beef cattle are grass-fed and raised on their mothers until they are weaned at about 7-10 months of age. There is a common misconception that cattle should not eat corn. As an ancestor of the teosinte plant, corn is technically a type of grass. The difference between teosinte and maize (corn) is about 5 genes. We have been feeding corn to our happy, healthy cattle for decades with great success.

And now that’ve covered food, let’s address living conditions.

3. Grain-fed cattle get to go outside on a regular basis too. It’s not just grass-fed cattle who get to go on a stroll.

To make this clear – the grass-fed label only examines what cattle are eating, it does not examine how much time cattle spend outside. So this argument is tangential at best.

Still because it does get mixed up with grass-fed beef on the internet I brought the claim that “grain-fed beef is confined” to Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe. She immediately stroke back:

Almost all beef cattle have access to the outdoors, it’s much more common for beef to have both indoor and outdoor access, regardless on the size of the operation. I think when people haven’t worked with livestock, they think of the term “feedlot” with a negative connotation. A feedlot is just an area of space, a pen if you will… It can have as few as 10 head or thousands.

Personally, ours are always outside, but they can go in the barn if they like. Depends on the weather usually. I would say that’s pretty industry standard.

Feedlots come with specifications on the number of cattle they can fit. Just like elevators say “15 people max” – same with feedlots. And as Miller said, they can come in smaller sizes or they can be so big they can accommodate thousands of cattle (e.g., Cactus feeders with tens of thousands.)

4. Both grass-fed and grain-fed cattle are given antibiotics (but in both cases your meat will not have traces.)

Honestly, I don’t understand the consumer push for no antibiotics. Antibiotics provide necessary care to a sick animal. It’s one thing to advocate against overuse of antibiotics, and totally another to advocate against ALL use of antibiotics. You cannot be a friend of the animals and yet deny them a drug that could lessen their pain or save their lives.

Miller explained:

I don’t personally know anyone that uses antibiotics in beef cattle unless it is absolutely necessary. They’re very expensive, using more than necessary makes no financial sense. Also, if antibiotics are used, the animal must go through a “withdrawal period” before it can legally go to market meaning ALL meat is antibiotic free.

And now that we’re done with antibiotics let’s examine the environmental impact.

5. What grass-fed beef advocates fail to mention: Grain-fed cattle may be better for the environment.

First, let’s start with the good news. Beef production is getting more environmentally friendly in the last decades. “Modern beef production requires considerably fewer resources than the equivalent system in 1977, with 69.9% of animals, 81.4% of feedstuffs, 87.9% of the water, and only 67.0% of the land required to produce 1 billion kg of beef” reports Dr. Capper in her 2011 study that tracks the environmental impact of beef production in the US from 1977 to 2007.

Grain-fed cattle gain weight faster, which makes cattle operations more productive, using less resources and lessening their carbon footprint. In a 2012 study by Dr. Judith Capper that compared the carbon footprint between “conventional” (finished in feedlots with growth-enhancing technology), natural (finished in feedlots with no growth-enhancing technology), and grass-fed (forage-fed, no growth-enhancing technology), conventional “won”, with “natural” coming second, and grass-fed finishing last.

Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe explained: “Since they also go to market quicker, this helps the environment with less methane gas and a lower carbon footprint.”

Dr. Capper in her study gave us the numbers: Animals within the conventional system had an average slaughter weight of 569 kg and took a total of 444 d to raise from birth to slaughter; compared to 519 kg slaughter weight per animal after a similar time period (464 d) in the natural system; and 486 kg after 679 d in the grass-fed system.

Grass-fed cattle need a whopping 52% longer to get to a weight that’s still lower than their non-grass fed peers.

6. The taste verdict is leaning in favor of grain-fed beef, but at the end of the day, taste is subjective.

You could argue that flavor is subjective. And you’d be right. However, I ought to tell you that studies say that most consumers don’t prefer the taste of grass-fed beef, with organic non-grass-fed and conventional getting more than double the “likes” than organic and grass-fed (Bjorklundet al., 2014.)

Daley et al. wrote in their review:  “Trained taste panels, i.e., persons specifically trained to evaluate sensory characteristics in beef, found grass-fed beef less palatable than grain-fed beef in flavor and tenderness.”

Of course, taste has both to do with the foods that you’re used to eating and the specific diet of the animal. Not all grass-fed, or non grass-fed, beef is equal. This one is up to you to decide.

7. The most shining of the grass-fed beef benefits: It’s a lucrative marketing label.

Just like “garden-fresh tomatoes” sound better than “tomatoes,” we have to admit that “grass-fed beef” sounds better than just “beef.” This is actually a commonly-used restaurant menu trick: use savory adjectives and the food sounds more delicious (even though it is the exact same food!) Yum!

In a Cornell review study “Slim by design: Menu strategies for promoting high-margin, healthy foods” researcher Brian Wansink, PhD cites a study where he shows descriptive words increase sales:

They changed the names of restaurant menu items to make them more descriptive; the seafood filet became Succulent Italian Seafood Filet and red beans and rice became Cajun Red Beans and Rice. Sales of these items went up by 28% and they were rated as tastier, even though the recipe was identical. Diners were also willing to pay an average of 12% more money for a menu item with a descriptive name.

And the marketing label pays off, especially when paired with the another magic word: “organic.” In their 2014 study “Growth, carcass characteristics, and profitability of organic versus conventional dairy beef steers” the authors concluded that the grass fed organic steers had 43% greater profit than the conventional ones “due to organic beef price premiums and lower feed costs.”

So I get that. I get marketing and I get the power of labels.

Grass-fed beef is more expensive at the supermarket conveying quality (it’s actually more expensive because it takes 52% longer (see above) to grow up to a certain weight.) Grass-fed invokes an image of a happy cow roaming in the green fields. We’ve grown up with that image. And we erroneously assume that only grass-fed beef gets to play outside.

Grass-fed or grain-fed beef is a dilemma that you should not have.

After reviewing the data the one benefit that I see as having merit is the environmental benefit of grain-fed beef. This is a big reason to choose grain-fed beef. But from a health perspective, seriously, whether you choose grass-fed or grain-fed beef will hardly make any difference. Instead, this dilemma may incur more problems than benefits:

  • First, the dilemma itself is a cause of anxiety. It gets blown out of proportion and it appears as if it has merit and real health consequences. At the time of debating this in your head, you don’t realize you’re debating minutiae.
  • Second, you may feel like choosing one of the two as a healthier option will make you healthier, and experience the feeling of “paying your dues” by making better choices. But this choice won’t make any difference to your health, and it may distract you from the things that would actually make a difference – like exercise. So you may keep not exercising, while feeling peaceful because you chose grass-fed beef.

(Want to exercise more? Try Flat Belly Firm Butt, our 16-minute home workout for busy professionals, or Exercise Bliss, our habit-making course for people who tend to regularly start and then stop exercise after a few months.)

There is a lot of misinformation going around on the internet; don’t let it distract you from the things that really matter. When I first presented the grass-fed beef benefits claims to Miller, she got agitated: “This is nothing more than fear mongering and a play on emotion, not facts, to sell their products. Ooh stuff like this pisses me off. Happy, healthy animals produce the best products and I think you’ll find that every producer has the same goal, despite what marketing tactics and labels want you to ‘feel.'”

Instead of debating minutiae about grain-fed or grass-fed beef benefits in the comments, let’s instead talk about the times we thought a trivial health subject was important, got busy with it, and ended up neglecting a more important issue.

Examples: you were often reading about the foods with more antioxidants, but did not schedule your annual lab exam appointment (my dad is guilty of this.) You were buying “organic” but did not do your annual flu vaccine (that’s me!) You get the idea.

It’s ok, no judgement. This exercise actually requires quite a bit of self-awareness, so congrats in advance for even thinking about it!

 

UPDATE: After the publishing of this article Samuel Klein, MD, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, replied back to me about eating meat with lower or higher fat content:

“Any diet should be viewed in its entirety. If your diet is targeting a certain amount of fat per day, eating meat with a lot of fat is no problem as long as you compensate at other meals.

If keeping calories down is a target, eating meat with less fat will have less calories per portion size but can easily be overcome by consuming a larger portion.

Eating less fat and more carbs might lower LDL-cholesterol but will also increase triglyceride and decrease HDL-cholesterol. A patients physician can help guide if any restrictions in dietary fat are needed.”

 

References

Brian Wansink et al., Slim by design: Menu strategies for promoting high-margin, healthy foods, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 42, September 2014, Pages 137–143.

E. A. Bjorklund et al., Fatty acid profiles, meat quality, and sensory attributes of organic versus conventional dairy beef steers, Journal of Dairy Science, 97 :1828–1834.

J. M. Leheska et al., Effects of conventional and grass-feeding systems on the nutrient composition of beef, Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 86 No. 12, p. 3575-3585, Published: December 5, 2014.

Cynthia A Daley et al., A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beefNutr J. 2010; 9: 10.

Capper JL, Is the Grass Always Greener? Comparing the Environmental Impact of Conventional, Natural and Grass-Fed Beef Production Systems, Animals (Basel). 2012 Apr 10;2(2):127-43.

Capper JL, The environmental impact of beef production in the United States: 1977 compared with 2007, J Anim Sci. 2011 Dec;89(12):4249-61.

E.A. Bjorklund et al., Growth, carcass characteristics, and profitability of organic versus conventional dairy beef steers, Journal of Dairy Science, March 2014 Volume 97, Issue 3, Pages 1817–1827.

25 Responses to 7 Reasons Grass-Fed Beef Benefits Are Overhyped.

  1. This is one of the best entrys I have see in a site, very well done, really clean and with all the references perfectly done, thank you for taking the time, I’m a new fan of this site.

  2. In New Zealand all our beef is grass fed. it spends its whole life outside. Farmers put them on the hill country and rough ground to clean it up Shed farming is being tried for milk production ,but only in a small way

    • New Zealand has no need for mass production, they have plenty of space, so their products are pretty good, like the New Zealamn lamb.

  3. I think there are two problems in this article:
    1. The anecdote about antibiotics is not convincing – there are a lot of data on the industrial use of antibiotic-feed additives to increase feed conversion ratio and weight gain. In 2011 there were 13.6 million kg of antibiotics sold for use on food-producing animals; therapeutic-only use cannot (and should not) account for that.
    2. “…corn is technically a type of grass” – using this to defend feeding carbohydrates to ruminants makes about as much as sense as using this to defend feeding cornstalks to humans.

    • 1. Your pulling numbers out of thin air then throwing an uneducated. “That can’t be true” at the end of it.

      2. Just because you know what ruminant means doesn’t make this point anything more than you grasping for something to complain about.

    • Can you share the source of that stat on 13.6 million kg of antibiotics sold? I think we need more context on that prior to making any judgment.

    • They never said, they don’t use it, they said if they use it they have to wait a time to actually get the meat, since it needs to be free of antibiotic, of course there ilegal stuff, in mexico sometimes they found Chembruterol on the meat and stuff , but is not the rule, is people who wants to exploit it in a illegal way and they get arrested for that.

  4. Another reason some prefer grass fed is because most corn in the USA is GMO. So that is what grain fed cattle are eating.

  5. Point 1. above has an error. Sockeyed Salmon is the omega-3 powerhouse, not King Salmon. Point 5 misses the point of environmental pollution associated with Confined Feeding Operations. The cow waste is concentrated in these operations causing pollution. This article does not address the fact that the grains contain Glyphosate, a known carcinogen, and a cause of Leaky Gut in humans which causes autoimmune diseases, not to mention the absence of the antibiotics and hormones given to grain fed cows because they get sick in these unnatural environments. I can personally attest that grass fed beef tastes much better than conventional grain fed beef. This article is biased for some reason. There are untruths in this article.

  6. I have zero interest in writing an equally long article in this comment box about how poorly this information was researched and presented, so I will just stongly caution anyone reading the article to ask more questions. Every point made was incompletely addressed. There is way more, for example, about feeding cows corn than “successfully” feeding it to them for decades. What does that mean anyway? Sucessful how? That they don’t turn around and throw it up? How do they make it so the cows can digest it? And I’m sorry, but “five genes”? We share 99% of our genes with chimps and baboons!

    • Totally agree, This article is nothing but loose statements and without ANY evidence! No links to studies that backs up these claims. We ALL know that cows have NEVER eaten corn in nature, so this seem a bit far fetched. Also, about the cows being free to go grazing, complete BS!

    • Jacob, once cows were domesticated they no longer lived in “nature”. The beginning of domestication of cattle began over 10,000 years ago. So, really, do you know what they ate back then? Do you really want to begin a discussion of whether cattle feed 10,000 years ago was better or worse than cattle feed today? Do you have ANY idea of the history of modern cattle ranching and feed practices? Really- if all you idiots really had your way, we would all be starving today. I could go on and on about thing like the “green revolution” but it is clear that you just would not understand.

      You people reading my comments and making comments here. You really need to spend about 200 hours or more researching pertinent subjects before you prove your ignorance. If I really wanted to cross correlate ALL the information I have from multiple disciplines it would take volumes of books which no one would read. Think about it “fat kid slips on a banana peel” gets 5 million views, but “CRISPR technology radical new view on cancer therapy”- 1000 views. You see now why I make fun of you???

    • Sorry Boo-boo, no matter how many people agree with you doesn’t make you a smart person. Think about how many people get all their information from Fox News. And your buddy Jacob proves my point exactly “We ALL” refers only to the 90% of the people driven by “HERD MENTALITY”. I am not part of that 90% and, in fact, I am not even saying that grass fed is any better or any worse. I am only saying that you kind of people don’t have anything to back up YOUR claims except for popular opinion which, again, is driven by the likes of Fox news. I didn’t even have to read the entire article to get its point. It’s not that grass fed is better or worse. It’s just that the claims are “over hyped”. Do you understand that the cattle industry is not about your health? Hell, even the United States government is not concerned about the health of the individual. They are concerned about the health of the NATION, not the individual. Now I know this also goes against your herdly minded grain, but buddy you really got to wake up and smell the stench! The US government needs to be concerned about world commerce and “balance of power”. That’s why “eggs got a bad rap”. That’s why the major auto industries got a multi-billion (yes billion) bailout. You gotta ask yourself, “Why in this fat free universe people are dying of obesity related illness???” And why was smoking tolerated for so long in Japan? Truly intelligent people have not only a world view, but also a view that crossed time and cultural barriers. You need to look at life from, not only a nutritional view, but finance, politics, history, military, and religion. Oh, too much for you???- not for me. Not for the truly intelligent people in the world. So don’t come down the easy path of popular public opinion and pretend to be a person of intelligence. As a very intelligent person once said, “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration”. But you probably don’t even know what I am talking about now do you?

  7. “Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe explained: “Since they also go to
    market quicker, this helps the environment with less methane gas and a
    lower carbon footprint.”

    From the Capper study:

    “The potential for carbon sequestration by well-managed pastureland may
    be a mitigating factor for carbon emissions within the GFD system, yet
    it was not accounted for throughout the current study due to a lack of
    sustentative data.”

    You haven’t made a convincing case, and relied on time to market as the only driver of the carbon footprint.

  8. Stepping away from comparisons between taste, nutritional benefits etc. the reason there is even a need to identify beef as grass fed is because consumers are concerned about a very shady part of our food system.

    Cows are meant to be found on grass pastures but humans have used them as a way of converting the excess corn in the industrial farming system, to protein at an artificially low price (gov subsidies etc.). Simply put there’s something wrong when you:
    1) Give cows pharmaceuticals to make sure it can digest a food type that would otherwise kill it in the quantities we feed it.
    2) Feed the cows the remnants of other slaughtered animals (fat is fat, protein is protein right?)
    3) Fossil fuel is so pervasive across this modified food chain that we may as well just go down to the gas station and drink from the pump.

    FYI to the author, a Facebook page is not a citation. Stop being lazy and do some real reading on this.

    • Actually what they are talking about is growth hormones. They are injected into young cattle that helps speed up their weight gain. It has absolutely nothing to do with antibiotics, which are used strictly for the treatment of injuries or sickness. Growth hormones are expensive and in my experience they do not present a reliable payback, and therefore we refuse to use them.

      Douglas W. Palme
      Palme Acres Farms
      http://www.palmeacres.com

  9. What about the cattle fed skittles and bakery remnants? How does that add up? And outside packed into a dirt lot is not the same as on grass with plenty of space to actually make decisions and go someplace. Up to your hocks in mud is technically outside…

  10. Grain fed cattle get to go outside too? Yes, I’ve been past feed lots and seen them standing in their piles of feces. I’ll stick with my pastured, hormone free beef, thank you. How anyone can try to draw a comparison between truly pastured beef, and CAFO beef, is beyond me. This article reminds me of ‘documentaries’ like “What the Health.” Work that is produced to justify a pre-existing belief.

  11. Documentary to watch on Netflix: Food inc. I’ll save you some time, just fast forward to the 21 minute mark and watch the next 3 to 4 minutes. You decide if grain fed is healthy.

  12. The problem with this article is that it is directed towards the 10% intelligent people in the world. The problem is that 90% of the people reading the article are stupid. You see, I was reading similar articles long before the concept of grass fed beef was popular. Back in the 70’s and 80’s all the articles were about how to pick out a juicy, good tasting piece of beef, and the importance of “marbling” in the beef. They didn’t call it fat back then. Also all the beef was advertised as “USDA Choice” so people assumed that “Choice” was the best. I was amazed to find out later that “Prime” was the best cut. The other thing advertised at that time was “USDA Choice corn fed beef”. That’s right folks! Corn fed! No one had to tell you that corn fed was best! So now let’s time travel and drop off all these grass fed idiots into the 70’s and see them get their asses kicked by the “popular” agenda. So why was corn feed beef better then??? So here is a quote from Virginia Tech:

    “Feed represents the largest single production expense for cattle
    operations. There are many different feedstuffs that can be included in
    rations for cattle, and there is nothing special about particular
    ingredients.”

    In other words, for cattle ranchers, the ONLY concern is about the ratio of costs to energy content.

    So back in 2010 we get articles like (I quote):

    US corn prices surge – World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/10/corn-o13.html13 October 2010. Driven by frenzied trading on the Chicago Board of Trade, US corn prices rose by 8.5 percent on Friday, the largest one-day increase since 1973. Over a two-day period, corn increased by more than 15 percent before easing slightly to 12.7 percent, a two-year high. Wheat, soybeans and other basic …”

    In conclusion you can split hairs over whether grass fed or other beef is better, but the final conclusion is that POPULAR OPINION WILL ALWAYS WIN BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO THINK. This is known in psychology as “HERD MENTALITY”. Now, do you get the connection?

  13. I don’t know what was said about antibiotics or what people are saying about them. But lets think back- why did they start using antibiotics in the first place??? I can’t quote my source because it was from a book I got from the public library back in the 70’s. But the topic of the article back then was about all the problems that the antibiotics SOLVED. You guys are jumping through so many fucking hoops here to support popular opinion that you don’t take time to read your history! Well, basically beef prices at one time were out of the reach for the common person. Cows were extremely skinny (relatively speaking) and took a very long time to reach maturity (again relatively speaking). So the SOLUTION to the problem was to minimize grazing and just bring the food to the cows. Why? Well nobody wanted meat that tasted like venison. People wanted tender juicy meat that didn’t cost a days wages. People wanted to enjoy life. People back then worked hard with their hands and were not fat like people today (yes this is true). They could afford to have a little fat in their diets because they just worked it off. But when cattle were placed in feeding lots they started to get sick in large numbers (you see, I actually read about the history of cattle – I don’t just come with my lips flapping). Cattle always got sick, but being more isolated the sick animals could just be separated. But in compact spaces a single sick cow would spread disease to many other much more quickly. This problem was solved using antibiotics. This was heralded as a great advancement in science and I am sure made headlines in magazines and newspaper. You see, “intelligent” people back then recognized it as being a GOOD thing. Now, whether they were smart or stupid does not matter. All that matters was that they were considered intelligent because they went along with popular belief. Do you see? Throughout history and from country to country, from culture to culture the idea of what is right and what is wrong is driven mostly by popular opinion. Psychology says it is something about the desire to want to be loved and accepted. That’s why when someone challenges the popular opinion people aggressively attach them. It’s a psychological defense mechanism. It is perfectly normal, but you should be aware of it.

    So you see, I am not taking any sides here. If I can buy organic or grass fed beef for the same price or better than any other, and it tastes good, then I will buy it. But otherwise I will buy what tastes the best at the price I can afford. With the money I save I will buy some fresh vegetables. With the money I save I can afford to buy more fish (so as to further deplete the already strained ocean reserves – but that is another discussion). I maintain a healthy body weight. I drink plenty of water. I get plenty of exercise. I try my best to live a lifestyle which minimizes STRESS. I do hours of RESEARCH to try and sort out the varied articles driven by industry who only want to take my hard earned money and divert it to THEIR cause. I read an article once that said that if only auto bumpers could be made to be 5mm thicker, hundreds of lives could be saved yearly. I don’t know if the article was correct, but it lends to the concept that there is a much bigger picture out there than what your cows are eating. Now, I’ve spent too much time here. Time to go out and pick some fresh fruit from my orchard!

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