New Lower Standards for Grass-Fed Beef Will Destroy the Label:
New Lower Standards for Grass-Fed Beef Will Destroy the Meaning By definition, grass-fed cattle graze in pastures, while conventional cattle are locked into feedlots and fed corn and other grains.
But the U.S. Agriculture Department has proposed a new standard for grass-fed meat that doesn’t required animals to be pastured rather than crammed into feedlots, and that has a broad definition of grass which includes such materials as leftovers from harvested crops.
Critics have argued that the proposal will let conventional ranchers claim their beef is grass-fed.
Grass-fed beef is a leaner meat, and is free of the antibiotics typically used in feedlots. There is a high demand for grass-fed beef, and the number of farms raising grass fed cattle has increased from about 40 to about 1,000 in only seven years.
The is the second time that the Agriculture Department has proposed standards that have elicited protests. The Department has received over 17,000 written comments regarding the proposal.
SFGate.com September 3, 2006
Dr. Mercola’s Comment:
Grass-fed beef is a much healthier choice than the grain-fed cattle who are raised largely in factory farms. If you aren’t familiar with the problems surrounding factory farming, I would encourage you to review the excellent article that Michael Pollan wrote in the NY Times on How Your Beef is Really Raised.
Most cattle are given large amounts of grain, antibiotics, and hormones to maximize their weight in the last few months of their life. This is done with complete disregard for the health consequences to those that will eat the meat.