Simple Fact: Eating Grass Fed Beef is Better for your Health and the Environment than Eating Feedlot Beef
Cows were born to eat grass.You cannot find anything more natural. By eating grass-fed beef, it’s not just your health that improves, the ecosystem’s health improves.
Management Intensive Grazing (MIG), also known as “grass farming,” “rotational pasture management,” and “prescribed grazing” is an environmentally and economically viable system of forage-based animal production.
Vermont’s landscape and topography are well suited to pasture production. North Hollow Farm’s livestock are rotated from pasture to pasture and self-harvest most of their own feed. Our staff closely monitors the health of both the animals and the pasture plants to ensure that optimal feed conditions are met.
In March 2002, Michael Pollan did the general public a great service when he published his article, “Power Steer” in the New York Times Magazine. Here are some of the main points Mr. Pollan emphasizes:
- Before World War II, virtually all cattle ate nothing but grass. After WWII, the US agribusiness, aided by federal subsidies, produced a huge surplus of corn, which, through the encouragement of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found its way into animal feed.
- The feedlot’s ecosystem revolves around corn. Growing the vast quantities of corn used to feed livestock in this country takes vast quantities of chemical fertilizer, which in turn takes vast quantities of oil — 1.2 gallons for every bushel. So the modern feedlot is really a city floating on a sea of oil.
- Grain-fed or feedlot beef have extensively higher chance of carrying the E. coli bacterium. Escherichia coli 0157 is a relatively new strain of a common intestinal bacterium (it was first isolated in the 1980’s) that is common in feedlot cattle, more than half of whom carry it in their guts. Ingesting as few as 10 of these organisms can cause a fatal infection.
- Grain-fed or feedlot beef contains significantly higher levels of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that promote heart disease.
- In the same way that cows were not ‘made’ to eat grain, it is highly likely that humans are not well-adapted to eating grain-fed animals.
The following links provide important information on the benefits of grass-fed beef for people and our environment: