Beef Is What’s For Dinner

You all know how I like to switch it up from time to time. So why should today be any different? I try to keep us on our toes around here. Notice I include myself in that statement since I never know what will motivate me to write my next post. ☺

Lately we’ve talked about the perils of GMO foods, the demise of Sting’s Broadway adventure and the rowdy antics of a certain clan named McFarland. And there’s no need to expound more on that topic.

So what’s my beef today?

Well…Beef actually.

A while back I wrote a post called, “Have It Your Way—It’s a Whopper.” It was a disturbing report on the use of Horsemeat as a substitute for Cow’s. It turned out to be a very interesting subject about our meat supply, not only here in the U.S., but in Europe, and Great Britain.

Although this isn’t our focus today, many of you had asked me to write a post about how Cattle are raised, what they are fed and the correlation with our food chain and how it affects our health.

According to the National Cattlemen’s Association, Beef is roughly a 55 Billion dollar industry. Last year, the total U.S. beef consumption alone was 25.5 billion pounds. So as you can see, our meat has become an industry.

Before factory farming, cattle were raised on family farms across the country and the process was rather simple. Calves were born in the spring, spent their first months suckling milk from their mother and grazed on sweet grass until they were weaned and turned out onto pastures.

Some cattle were given a moderate amount of grain to enhance that marbling fatty flavor until they grew to maturity and reached the market at two to three years of age. This meat was free of antibiotics, added hormones, feed additives, flavor enhancers, age-delaying gases and salt-water solutions. Mad cow disease and the deadliest strain of E. Coli didn’t exist. People were able to dine on rare steaks with little fear.

Today’s Beef grows to market weight in just one to two years, with cows that may never spend much time in an open grassy pasture. But this process reduces the nutritional value of the meat, stresses the animal out and increases the risk of bacterial infection, never mind the fact that it pollutes the environment and exposes us to a host of unwanted chemicals that include hormones and antibiotics.

Sounds wonderful right?

So what’s the answer?

Eat Grass Fed Beef.

Yet, let me take this even further.

Eat Organic Grass Fed Beef!

Why do I say Organic Grass Fed Beef?

Because cattle may now be forced to indulge in genetically modified grass.

It seems Scotts ‘Miracle-Gro, who created genetically modified RoundUp-Ready Kentucky Bluegrass, has announced that it will conduct field trials at the homes of Scotts’ employees. And they can do this without any government oversight because there are no laws that prohibit or limit the planting of GMO grass.

What this means is cattle will now graze upon GMO Kentucky Bluegrass and people will ingest the RoundUp chemicals sprayed on the cow’s favorite meal. What this means is more exposure to Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide, a chemical that not only has a scientific connection to breast cancer, but also to chronic kidney disease.

And that my friends is why I wrote this post. I felt it important to pass on this information. True, it’s virtually impossible to keep up with everything that goes on with our food chain these days. We can drive ourselves absolutely nuts. But if you want to bite into a juicy burger or steak, make it Organic Grass Fed Beef.

Because Beef is what’s for dinner. Or maybe not. That’s a choice you’ll have to make.

If you have time you may want to pop over to the PBS series “Take Part” for more information on this subject.

And if you want further information about healthy eating, please join me over at Lynn Kelley’s blog as she shares another “Heath and Wellness Wednesday post!”

So what do you think? How does this make you feel about how our food is handled? Because most of us live busy lives and the affordability of ground beef, did you find this information helpful? Do you enjoy a good, juicy steak? What healthy favorite foods make it to your family table?

Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!

17 thoughts on “Beef Is What’s For Dinner

  1. Denise D. Young

    Karen, this is something I worry about all the time. I was a vegetarian for many years and finally starting eating meat again a couple years ago, and I’m always concerned about where it comes from, how the animals are raised, the impact on the environment and on human health, etc. Hubby and I still try to eat a lot of vegetarian meals and keep our meat consumption low. I like your suggestion about eating only organic grass-fed beef. We have a decent farmers market here, so I should be able to find something local. Great post!
    Denise D. Young recently posted..Sunday ROW80 check-in: Decluttering MadnessMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Thank you Denise. You are not alone. I think that most of us worry about what we put into our bodies. And it’s certainly a challenge these days especially when we have science fooling around with genetics. Interesting. I too was a vegetarian for several years until my doctor suggested I introduce meat protein into my diet. I like your idea of supporting local farmers. I’m sure you will be more successful in finding exactly what will meet your needs. 🙂

  2. Kristy K. James

    It’s just disgusting they way our food has been ruined by Monsanto (and other corporations like them) and the government. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything safe to eat these days.

    I bought some local beef. Not sure it’s organic, but they say “pastured,” and no hormones or chemicals. And none of us liked it. It was both bland and had a funky flavor. Guess I have to look elsewhere, but I’d love to switch entirely to organic/non-GMO.
    Kristy K. James recently posted..Strange InjuriesMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Kristy! Yes, it is disgusting. And I’m sorry you were disappointed with the taste of pastured raised beef. I have found that it is the type of grass that the cow is fed that dictates the flavor. We’ve been eating beef that’s been fed corn to add marbleization and flavor all our life. So the change to strictly grassfed is going to throw our tastebuds off until we get used to it. I wish you the best and support your fine efforts towards feeding your family organic/non-GMO! You go girl! ((Hugs)) 🙂

  3. Patricia

    I have to respectfully add my two cents to the contrary on this one. No cattle rancher I know could afford to populate his pastures with that much grass additive. Raising cattle is not easy or cheap and most ranchers are not millionaires, despite what people think or how they’re portrayed in romance novels. How do I know? I know from first hand experience. To raise cattle you need LOTS of land. If you substitute grain for pasture land, you’ll go broke. Yes, some cattle (beef) will be fed growth hormones, but those are expensive too. Most cattle are raised the old fashioned way, on ranches where they roam and eat real grass. It’s simply not possible to make a buck any other way. Those “additives” are pricey. You’ll spend all your “profits” and your children’s college funds on grain, growth hormones and modified grass seed.

    I do agree that some ranchers “cheat,” but for the most part, cattle will not grow without room to move around. If you keep a baby in a crib, at some point it’s going to outgrow that crib. Cows are the same way. If you keep too many of them in one pen, they won’t grow. Sure, they might be crowded into pens for a few days after they are sold by the ranchers, before they are moved to slaughter houses, but those are different people. Those are not the folks raising the animals.

    And, as a side note, a lot of plants are being genetically altered and effectively “poisoned” these days as well, so avoiding meat as a means to avoid sickness and disease is not necessarily the best option.

    I think a lot of e-coli and bacteria associated with “bad meat” comes from the processing plants or slaughter houses and not the from the farm.

    Anyway, all things in moderation I say. Read labels if you’re sensitive to certain things, but don’t lump all cattle ranchers into the same category as the buyers of the cattle. One or two “bad” ranchers does make them all horrible.

    Now, let’s talk about chickens.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted..Really?My Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Patricia, thank you for your input on this subject. A subject that you seem personally invested in and rightly so. In trying to keep this post within a reasonable word count, I did not get into the specifics about feed and that misrepresentation is entirely my fault for which I will make a correction now. The purpose of this post was to warn people about GMO pasteurization. What I failed to mention is the danger of using GMO corn/grain that is used for feed to add flavor and marbleization to get that nice, juicy, succulent taste in our steaks and other processed meat products.

      It’s because of this finishing process that’s been a part of the beef industry for decades now, (mostly because cattle were shipped to yards in Chicago and other areas needing to be fed until they were slaughtered and the the most affordable and attainable feed was corn/grain), that people today seek strictly grassfed period, without the corn finishing process. Why? Because most of the corn/grain used today comes from GMO seed. Yet, not only do those of us that are concerned about our meat being tainted with GMO corn/grain, now we feel the need to be concerned with the use of GMO seeded pastures, which is what the cattle may graze on. It’s a vicious cycle, and a personal choice that people have to make in regards to what they choose to put on their table.

      But in no way was there any intention to put blame on the individual cattle rancher. And nowhere in my post was there mention of avoiding meat. As was stated above, it is the “factory farms” that are rushing the cattle to market who are to blame. It is the reason behind the abuse of antibiotics, added hormones, feed additives, etc. And isn’t that the problem across the board? We see it in the dairy industry and big agricultural farms today. We’ve been given this mantra, “we need to feed the world.” Well, guess what? It has been proven, time and time again, for many years now, that organic farming yields more food than those farms that are produced with the use of GMO seed.

      So is it the fault of the individual rancher? It sure doesn’t look that way. The important thing that I wanted people to take away from this is to be aware of the way our food is produced. Look at the label. Find out where and how our beef, or even chickens as you mention ( 🙂 ) are raised, what they’re fed, what process do they go through before they reach our market. Because in the long run, it does affect our health.

      Thank you again Patricia for your most passionate comment! One that is always welcome here. ((Hugs!))

  4. yvettecarol

    My homeopath was just saying to me the other day that we have to eat organic now, but I had never thought of that extending to meat as well. Interesting article, well done, Karen!

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Yvette! That is so interesting, isn’t it? Your homeopath would know. Twenty years ago mine told me to stay away from wheat because they were doing something chemically to it. So that’s when I started looking into organic. And now the meat. We have to be on our toes girl and help one another to stay informed. Let me know if you discover anything else we should know about our foods. That information is always welcome! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  5. Lynn Kelley

    Thank you, Karen, for this post. I had no idea about the GMO grass. What the heck? Okay, we’ll look for only organic grass fed beef from now on. I buy products that say “organic” and have the USDA seal. I also buy foods labeled non-GMO. Jennette is right about growing our own food to be sure we’re getting real organic foods, but she brings up a good point about the grass and garden getting contaminated from cross pollination.

    We definitely need to pass laws so any GMO foods will be labeled. When I think about the GMO apples that were just approved, it makes me furious. These apples can be sliced and the slices won’t turn brown. I’m not buying them. And apples are one of the dirtiest fruits according to the Dirty Dozen list. I’ll buy organic or maybe some of the Clean Fifteen produce.

    Thanks for guest posting on my blog today, Karen!
    Lynn Kelley recently posted..The Skinny on KaleMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Lynn! Yes, do buy Organic grass fed from now on. I hate to say it but the USDA is run by the government who works with the FDA who’s run by an ex Monsanto executive. That leads me to ask, is it really safe to trust the USDA? I’m not sure about that. Jennette does make a good point. The only way we can be sure of what we’re eating is by growing our own food. We are hoping to grow an above ground garden in our new place, wherever that is. lol. But I do hope that your new digs will have the space needed for one. You can grow all sorts of stuff. And you are so welcome. Thanks for having me Lynn! It was fun! ((Hugs)) 🙂

      1. Lynn Kelley

        Karen, I was wondering about the USDA certification. We never know for sure, do we? Nope. Seems there’s way more than a little wiggle room when it comes to labeling our food. No doubt about how the general public has been duped. Well, in the U.S. Other countries have banned GMOs or required GMO labeling.

        I read not too long ago that a lot of the grass fed beef in the stores is being imported from Australia. It seems the concentrated animal feeding operations now monopolize the been industry. Have you heard about that? Did I read that right?
        Lynn Kelley recently posted..The Skinny on KaleMy Profile

        1. Karen Post author

          You are right Lynn. And that’s the problem. It’s not the individual cattle farmer per se. It’s the big conglomerate cattle producers that are to blame for “concentrated animal feeding.” And they monopolize the Beef market in the U.S. And yes, there is a lot of Grass fed beef that is imported from Australia. You will also find “Estancia Beef” at Sprouts and other markets. They produce wonderful Grass Fed Beef from Argentina. So I hope you will enjoy your next steak my friend! And thanks for comment and question. 🙂

  6. Jennette Marie Powell

    I’m a lot more concerned about the herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics than GMO foods. But you’re right, it’s almost impossible to get away from all of the above! Even “Organic” has wiggle room, though it certainly reduces this stuff. The only way to be sure, it seems, is to grow your own food–and even then, your grass and garden may get pollinated from GMO stuff nearby! One lean, healthy alternative to beef that I like is venison (my husband hunts), but even the deer graze in cornfields that have been treated with herbicides and may be GMO.
    Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..The Liebster Award!My Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Jennette! Yes girl, I agree. The government does allow a little wiggle room under the organic label. Although herbicides are genetically part of the GMO seed. And it is those herbicides that cause problems with our hormones and other diseases. It’s a vicious cycle. So grow your own is a great idea. Deer eat corn? Wow, that’s news to me. I just hope for your sake it isn’t GMO corn. Cause venison is delicious! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂


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