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#3279471 - 07/01/13 06:48 AM Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed
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Mud Dauber
16 Point


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Interesting read.

http://www.globalaginvesting.com/news/blogdetail?contentid=1479
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#3279531 - 07/01/13 08:31 AM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: Poser]
Deck78
6 Point


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well written summary right there.
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#3279817 - 07/01/13 02:03 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: Deck78]
redblood
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 Originally Posted By: Deck78
well written summary right there.



well written yes, but it is a manipulation of stats. as soon as i am free, i will rebutt
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#3280003 - 07/01/13 06:00 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: redblood]
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Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12541
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: redblood
 Originally Posted By: Deck78
well written summary right there.



well written yes, but it is a manipulation of stats. as soon as i am free, i will rebutt


Interested to read that, too. I just saw this one, written from a medical perspective, which tends to re enforce the above, though lacks the actual stats.

http://www.privatemds.com/blog/lifestyle...icken-benefits/
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#3280095 - 07/01/13 07:57 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: Poser]
Deck78
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Registered: 10/07/10
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Always a naysayer in the bunch! Let's hear it redblood
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#3280141 - 07/01/13 08:45 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: Poser]
redblood
16 Point


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ok, sorry for the delay. read it today sitting in purgatory aka DMV. couldnt type that much on my phone. it is without doubt a very well written piece with data to back it up. However, i am not convinced that he is using his findings in comparatively fair manner. There is without doubt a difference in taste and texture between grass fed and grain fed beef. That is a personal preference argument that no one can declare a winner, save the person holding the fork. Rather My complaint with the authors argument relates to his implication that the consumption of grass fed beef is more likely to cause certain conditions that lead can lead to premature death. In his excerpt:

"Now we can review and connect the dots. In the early decades of the 20thcentury the diet of cattle was dramatically changed to corn and grains from grass, changing the levels of Omega-3s and Omega-6s, and drastically reducing the amount of CLA in beef. This paved the way for an epidemic explosion in rates of cancer, weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease."

To start the true benefit of CLA has yet to be substantianted.Research has shown some health benefit. Yet he did something that the FDA hasnt been able to do, and is to proclaim it solidly as being anti: cancer, heart disease and diabetic. And while grass fed is no doubt lower in cholesterol (slightly) and lower in fat, noone can substantiate the link of those properties and the conditions aforementioned. In fact there is absolutely no link between a high fat diet in people of Proper Body weight and type 2 diabetes or cancer, at least that i could find.

The most compelling thing he posted was the percentage of death attributed to the listed conditions in 1900 as compared to 2005, as if the nature of finished beef (grass fed vs corn fed) was the only variable that changed in the century + 5 yrs that seperated those two evaluation points. While i trust his data, he must truely underestimate the intelligence of his readers. Yes, much fewer people died of heart disease, cancer and ccomplications from diabetes in 1900, no doubt. However, the main reason for that was the fact they did not live long enough for these diseases to set in. I did some research and found out in 1900, the average lifespan was 47 years of age. So in essence, in the yr 1900 a person could live their entire AVERAGE life span, before reaching the age in which most cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease typically onset, much less end in fatality. Therefore if we flip the coin using his methodology one come surmise that when grass fed beef was the norm in the marketplace , people lived a scant 47 years on average and now that grain fed beef predominates, people are thriving to the ripe old age of 76 (avg).

I understand his motivation and direction in the article, but he lacks any hard core evidence that grass fed beef provides any health benefits other than being slightly higher in a couple complex amino acids and slightly lower in adipose/fat content.

I am all about freedom and feel everybody has the right to choose the food they want to eat. But articles like this can be awfully misleading to a layman, who looks at the graphs and tables and his paper mache research, and stroll away from the magazine rack with the idea that corn is the root of all evil.
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#3280167 - 07/01/13 09:21 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: redblood]
WMAn
8 Point


Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 1193
Loc: Williamson County

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Redblood,

I like your rebuttal. Even though I believe that grass-fed beef is better for you than grain-fed, I agree that some of the direct connections that the article tries to make cannot be made.

To your point about life expectancy, what would the life expectancy of a person who made it to age five be in 1900? I wonder how much of our current life expectancy can be attributed to our improved ability to deliver healthy babies and keep them disease free those first few years. Any ideas?

I ask because when I talk to my grandparents about their grandparents they don't remember people dying in their fifties or sixties back then. They remember people living to be about the same age as they do now, but a lot of them had children die at a very young age back then (60-80 years ago).
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#3280189 - 07/01/13 09:45 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: WMAn]
redblood
16 Point


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i am always amazed when i go to an old cemetary and look at the grave markers. some lived to 90, but seems a ton died before the age of 20. i dont think the manner of how beef is finished vastly affected lifespan then or now. infant mortality and infectious disease fatalities are what really affected the numbers.
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#3280364 - 07/02/13 07:42 AM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: redblood]
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Mud Dauber
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Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12541
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Redblood, I agree with you about the death statistics. The same thing occurred to me when I was reading the piece the first time -too many variables to consider in a 100 years of data.

Here's a question, or series of questions for you:

I've read a fair amount about feedlots and finishing cattle on corn. I do not claim to be an expert, far from it, but my understanding is that, presently, cattle spend 6 months after they are weaned in the pasture grazing. Effectively doing what their bodies were designed to do. After 6 months, they are moved to a intermediary pen where they are reconditioned to handle grains. Since the cows are not equipped to digest corn, they tend to become sick. This is addressed by giving them antibiotics. Correct?

As cattle chew their cud, they ferment the grass they eat, however, eating a steady diet of corn halts this fermentation process. Some percentage (not sure exactly what percentage, but I understand that this is a serious problem on feedlots) of cattle start to get "bloat" as a result of the a layer forming over the rumen and the gas starting to build up inside the cow. Untreated, this can lead to certain death from sheer pressure on the organs. It is addressed by giving the animal antibiotics. Other cattle experience a serious buildup of stomach acid as a result of a corn diet, perhaps the same way a person would if you ate nothing by pizza for an extended period of time. Over time, the amount of acidity build up and causes serious liver problem from bacteria spilling into the bloodstream. The philosophy is that a fat animal is of more value than a damaged liver, so you just go with it and give the cattle more drugs.

So, you have the cattle on a diet that they can not survive very long on (is there a study on the amount of time that cattle can survive on this diet?), but that is disregarded because these cattle are slaughtered at ~14 months. Correct?

So, my question is, are we in fact slaughtering and eating "sick" animals and, if so, what are the health implications of such practices for humans, many of whom are eating a beef diet that comes exclusively from this source of corn fed cattle?

Some people express concerns over the sheer amount of antibiotics it takes to keep these cows "healthy" during the corn finishing phase. How much antibiotics we talking? And, are there any implications of potential health concerns for humans eating a steady diet/exclusive beef diet, of meat from a animals given steady antibiotics for an extended period of time? What about the drug resistant bacterias that form in high antibiotic scenarios? Over time, will these antibiotics not lose their effectiveness since we are using them so much? Are we not in fact over using antibiotics in feedlots? Have we created a scenario that relies too heavily upon technology (drugs and GMO corn) to replace a nature's process? Is there a tipping point with this practice? (I'm asking here, not arguing).

Toxins are usually found in higher quantities in poultry, beef or fish that are farmed under specific conditions. Injecting poultry, cows or farmed fish with antibiotics has been shown to lead to drug-resistant bacteria, causing a higher chance of food-borne illnesses for the consumer. Farmed salmon, for example, also has the highest levels of toxic man-made chemicals, especially when comparing farmed Atlantic salmon to wild Pacific salmon.

http://www.privatemds.com/blog/lifestyle...icken-benefits/

The other question with regards to feedlots is, is there a serious problem, or serious potential problem with the sheer concentration of manure these cattle live in? They go to the slaughter house after living in and and sleeping on concentrated manure. The slaughter houses have a high tech system of removing the hides in a way that keeps the manure off the meat, but don't they have to go through a complex system of treating the meat to be 100% that the meat hasn't been exposed to bacteria?

The final question is (and, again, I am asking, not arguing), is all of this worth it? We talk about it being "cheap", but is it really "cheaper" to truck these cows around to feed lots, grow, harvest and truck in tons of (GMO) corn, treat the animals for feedlot related sickness, and then treat the meat for potential feedlot exposure to bacteria? Is that entire process actually "cheaper" than raising a grass fed cow and, is it worth the extra effort of severely meddling with nature from a aesthetic standpoint? Is it in fact a "better" process that produces "better" results? (define "better" how you see fit for the scenario).

Oh, and one more: Hypothetically speaking, if we had never gone down this road of feedlots (if all cows were 100% pasture), how would the cattle industry be different today?
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3281146 - 07/02/13 11:38 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: Poser]
redblood
16 Point


Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 14453
Loc: Lewisburg

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
Redblood, I agree with you about the death statistics. The same thing occurred to me when I was reading the piece the first time -too many variables to consider in a 100 years of data.

Here's a question, or series of questions for you:

I've read a fair amount about feedlots and finishing cattle on corn. I do not claim to be an expert, far from it, but my understanding is that, presently, cattle spend 6 months after they are weaned in the pasture grazing. Effectively doing what their bodies were designed to do. After 6 months, they are moved to a intermediary pen where they are reconditioned to handle grains. Since the cows are not equipped to digest corn, they tend to become sick. This is addressed by giving them antibiotics. Correct?

As cattle chew their cud, they ferment the grass they eat, however, eating a steady diet of corn halts this fermentation process. Some percentage (not sure exactly what percentage, but I understand that this is a serious problem on feedlots) of cattle start to get "bloat" as a result of the a layer forming over the rumen and the gas starting to build up inside the cow. Untreated, this can lead to certain death from sheer pressure on the organs. It is addressed by giving the animal antibiotics. Other cattle experience a serious buildup of stomach acid as a result of a corn diet, perhaps the same way a person would if you ate nothing by pizza for an extended period of time. Over time, the amount of acidity build up and causes serious liver problem from bacteria spilling into the bloodstream. The philosophy is that a fat animal is of more value than a damaged liver, so you just go with it and give the cattle more drugs.

So, you have the cattle on a diet that they can not survive very long on (is there a study on the amount of time that cattle can survive on this diet?), but that is disregarded because these cattle are slaughtered at ~14 months. Correct?

So, my question is, are we in fact slaughtering and eating "sick" animals and, if so, what are the health implications of such practices for humans, many of whom are eating a beef diet that comes exclusively from this source of corn fed cattle?

Some people express concerns over the sheer amount of antibiotics it takes to keep these cows "healthy" during the corn finishing phase. How much antibiotics we talking? And, are there any implications of potential health concerns for humans eating a steady diet/exclusive beef diet, of meat from a animals given steady antibiotics for an extended period of time? What about the drug resistant bacterias that form in high antibiotic scenarios? Over time, will these antibiotics not lose their effectiveness since we are using them so much? Are we not in fact over using antibiotics in feedlots? Have we created a scenario that relies too heavily upon technology (drugs and GMO corn) to replace a nature's process? Is there a tipping point with this practice? (I'm asking here, not arguing).

Toxins are usually found in higher quantities in poultry, beef or fish that are farmed under specific conditions. Injecting poultry, cows or farmed fish with antibiotics has been shown to lead to drug-resistant bacteria, causing a higher chance of food-borne illnesses for the consumer. Farmed salmon, for example, also has the highest levels of toxic man-made chemicals, especially when comparing farmed Atlantic salmon to wild Pacific salmon.

http://www.privatemds.com/blog/lifestyle...icken-benefits/

The other question with regards to feedlots is, is there a serious problem, or serious potential problem with the sheer concentration of manure these cattle live in? They go to the slaughter house after living in and and sleeping on concentrated manure. The slaughter houses have a high tech system of removing the hides in a way that keeps the manure off the meat, but don't they have to go through a complex system of treating the meat to be 100% that the meat hasn't been exposed to bacteria?

The final question is (and, again, I am asking, not arguing), is all of this worth it? We talk about it being "cheap", but is it really "cheaper" to truck these cows around to feed lots, grow, harvest and truck in tons of (GMO) corn, treat the animals for feedlot related sickness, and then treat the meat for potential feedlot exposure to bacteria? Is that entire process actually "cheaper" than raising a grass fed cow and, is it worth the extra effort of severely meddling with nature from a aesthetic standpoint? Is it in fact a "better" process that produces "better" results? (define "better" how you see fit for the scenario).

Oh, and one more: Hypothetically speaking, if we had never gone down this road of feedlots (if all cows were 100% pasture), how would the cattle industry be different today?






i am not an expert on all this stuff, but i teach it and have raised cattle and try to keep my finger on the pulse where the industry is going. To my knowledge, there isnt a huge problem taking cattle off grass and putting them on grain. While cattle were designed to convert rouphages to protein, they adapt well to processing grain. There is a "preconditioniong process" where grain is step up before going to straight free choice. Antibiotics are typically giving more during the shipping process to combat "shipping fever" and parainfluenza and prevent secondary infection from weakened immune systems stemming from the weaning/environment change.
Bloat is more common in the cattle fed on grain, but can affect cattle on grass as well. we have had several cows bloat on fescue pastures. There is an additive to feed used now that almost makes bloat a non issue. it aint cheap.
The effect of on the liver of feedlot cattle is similar to what producers of ducks have done with foie grass. The truth of the matter is since most feedlot cattle will be slaughtered at 12-14 months, there is not a need to worry about a liver that may fail by age 4. Kind of what happens with Tyson chicken. as long as they grow fast to 50 days, nothing else really matters.

Manure management will always be an issue in large scale operations. The producers do their best, but when you put 300 head on 12 acress, it is tight/ no doubt. that is why parasite and bacteria killing drugs are a must.

Like it or not, it would be very difficult to sustain our level of production with pasture finished beef. It requires more time (to reach slaughter weights) takes more labor per head (since more land/fencing is required) and requires much more of our most valuable resource-LAND. Beef is one our biggest export commodities and we cant afford to have less pounds to send overseas. The grass fed trend is definitely catching on, somewhat because people are wanting a more "natural" product but more so because it allows small timers to cut their grain costs.
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#3284539 - 07/07/13 10:02 AM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: redblood]
fishboy1
16 Point


Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10524
Loc: Warren Co

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My experience is limited but here is my input on the taste of beef.

Store bought (industry grain fed beef) typically has a blander sweeter taste than grass fed/grain finished beef. The texture is mushier and the fat content is higher. Probably from the higher fat content. You have no idea what sort of supplemental chemicals and drugs were given to the cattle.

Once I had grass fed beef that was finished for 60 days on a combination of pasture and grain/alfalfa supplemental feed (no hormones) it was game over. The flavor was richer, the meat was firmer (but not tough) and you can control the amount of fat/marbling by the amount of time you feed.

There are no added chemicals and there are a LOT of chemicals available to the commercial feed lots. From antibiotics to pro-biotics (to help with bloat problems), to hormones to increase weight faster, to salts and "anti-diuretic" drugs to increase water weight. The consumer has no real idea what is in their beef at the grocery store.

As to the health benefits... I suspect that over time studies will show that the added chemicals and drugs are the big issue. Without them, factory grain fed beef becomes impractical and a risky investment.
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#3284827 - 07/07/13 03:49 PM Re: Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed [Re: fishboy1]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 7774
Loc: Grundy county

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I have nothing to add but would like to say, Very good thread guys!
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