Is Grass Fed Beef Worth it?

Good article that popeye found and posted on COP:

New term you need to know: “by-product feedstuffs”

Fresh pasture and dried grasses are the natural diet of all ruminant animals. In factory farms, animals are switched to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. But corn and soy are not the only ingredients in their “balanced rations.” Many large-scale dairy farmers and feedlot operators save money by feeding the cows “by-product feedstuffs” as well. In general, this means waste products from the manufacture of human food. In particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food, bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy.Here are some of the “by-product feedstuffs” commonly used in dairy cattle diets.

  • Candy. Candy products are available through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from smaller plants… They are sometimes fed in their wrappers…. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops are high in sugar content.
  • Bakery Wastes. Stale bread and other pastry products from stores or bakeries can be fed to dairy cattle in limited amounts. These products are sometimes fed as received without drying or even removal of the wrappers.
  • Potato Waste is available in potato processing areas, and includes cull potatoes, French fries and potato chips. Cull fresh potatoes that are not frozen, rotten, or sprouted can be fed to cows either whole or chopped. Potato waste straight from a processing plant may contain varying amounts of inedible or rotten potatoes. French fries and chips contain fats or oils from frying operations.
  • Starch. Unheated starch is available from some candy manufacturers and sometimes may contain pieces of candy.
  • Pasta is available from pasta plants and some ingredient distributors as straight pasta or in blends with other ingredients, such as candy.

*This list is excerpted from “By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest,” published in 2008 by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


Compared with grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef was:

1. Lower in fat

2. Higher in beta-carotene

3. Higher in Vitamin E(alpha-tocopherol)

4. higher in B Vitamins, Thiamin and Riboflavin

5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium

6. Higher in total omega-3s

7. A healthier ratio omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids

8. Higher in ChA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter

9. Higher in vaccine acid (which can be transformed into CLA)

10. Lower in saturated fats linked with heart disease
Source: S.K. Duckett et al, Journal of Animal Science

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One thought on “Is Grass Fed Beef Worth it?

  1. Hi, Just discovered (and like) your blog. You had me til number 10, as saturated fat is turning out not to be the enemy the government has been telling us it is. The new paradigm is that it’s actually vital to eat it.

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