We are leaving the world of coffee and venturing into the world of cows. As we sell Well Coffee Roasters (the coffee roasting company I’ve been operating for the last 4 years) to prepare for our new venture in grass-fed beef, I thought I’d involve you all in that process with some definitions and the low down on the benefits of grass-fed beef. To start off, see HERE as to what inspired us in this new venture. Lord willing, we will say sayonara to city life here in Dallas early next year and hello to ranch life in Mount Vernon, TX where we will be raising 100% grass-fed cattle (among other things). For those of you who are thinking “what the what is grass-fed beef and why are you people crazy enough to devote your lives to it”, here are some brief definitions:
CATTLE :: Large ruminants domesticated for meat and/or dairy production and classified as herbivores.
RUMINANT :: A ruminant is a mammal that digests plant-based food with a special digestive system of a four-compartment stomach designed to break down the fibers of grass/forage.
HERBIVORE :: Animal that lives on grass and/or other forage.
GRASS-FED BEEF :: Beef from cattle that have eaten ONLY grass or forage throughout their lives.
CONVENTIONAL BEEF :: Beef from cattle that are raised in feedlots for some portion of their life and fed a corn and grain diet. These cattle are generally given vaccines, antibiotics when they’re sick, and growth hormones to quicken their time until harvest.
From the definitions above, one can not only pick up on my sarcasm but also see that cows were designed to live on grass. Up until 50 years ago that is all that they ate because it is what they love, what they thrive on. But with the industrialization of our food supply chain, cows began to be fed grain/corn because it is a cheaper and quicker way to fatten them for slaughter. The reason that cows put on weight more quickly with a grain/corn diet is because their bodies were not made to break it down. Thus, it turns to fat instead of fuel in their bodies. Unfortunately, a steady diet of grain/corn has even more devastating effects than just weight gain.
When fed a high grain diet, the micro-organisms that break down the food in the ruminant’s digestive system shift to those favoring a more acidic environment. As the bio-chemistry of the digestive system transforms, so do the affected tissues (meat). (Source: http://www.grass-fed-beef-101.com/definition_of_grass_fed_beef.html)
As any medical doctor will tell you, an acidic environment opens the door for a host of all sorts of bad bacteria and disease. But instead of correcting the problem at the source (the cows’ diet), commercial beef (feedlot) operations are using antibiotics to aid in keeping the cows alive long enough for them to make it to slaughter. 70% of all antibiotics produced in this country are being administered to livestock. We have sick animals and in turn, we have sick people.
These are just a few of the reasons that we are passionate about raising grass-fed beef.
Mooore to come. Stay tuned. 😉