The farmer uses his pitchfork to move hay, straw or other materials from one place to another. Much like the pitchfork our blog is designed to throw ideas, stories, advice, and our experience from us to you. I hope that you find this blog educational, entertaining, and practical as you spend a day or so on our farm.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Grass-fed beef vs. Grain-fed
Here on our farm we raise our beef on a salad bar of grass and other forages. Some people ask us why we insist on raising our beef on a forage diet instead of corn. Since we live in the corn belt, and corn and soybeans are readily available right out our back door, shouldn't we feed them grain. The answer in NO! We believe and research shows that God created cows to be ruminants. This means that they are not carnivores nor were their digestive systems created to consume large amounts of grain. The cows digestive system was designed to extract nutrients from the grasses and hay by utilizing the multiple compartments of their stomachs. This multi-step process accomplishes not only the extraction of important nutrients, but also leads to an increase in saliva production which naturally buffers the animals digestive system. This buffer works against excessive acid and facilitates a harmonious level of beneficial microbes necessary for proper digestion. Grain-fed cows are generally fed a diet high not only in concentrated feed stuff like grain, but given GMO grains that are found to trigger inflammatory response in both animals and humans. In short, grain is not the natural feedstuffs for cattle. God created their digestive systems to function at their best when they are fed a forage based diet. Also another difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef is the way in which the animals are raised. Being natural foragers, how much sense does it make to raise these animals on concrete lots, competing for feed in an environment that promotes disease, land pollution and the dissolution of the family farm that cannot compete with the corporate "big agri-business". In future postings I will go into the health benefits of grass-fed beef. I will explain why beef animals raised on a forage based system are healthier to eat than grain-fed beef.
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Honoring the cow's "cowness" as Joel Saladin would say. Chewing things is good for human's digestion, too. Chewing gum helps indigestion for the same reasons, it produces saliva.ReplyDelete