Some Facts About Cows
Well, cattle are ruminants, which means they have multi-compartment digestion. They were designed to eat low-protein, high-fiber forage. Grain is high-protein, low-fiber (compared to grasses), and it is very hard on a cow’s system to digest. A grain-based diet will break down the cilia in a cow’s intestines (making it impossible to fully digest grass ever again), and raise her digestive pH level so that many strains of E. Coli, including O157:H7, can thrive.
Grass, on the other hand, is what cattle and other ruminants were designed to eat. Grass and cattle work symbiotically under rotational grazing: forages are stimulated, the soil is fertilized, and the cattle are fed, all without the use of chemicals, fertilizers, or equipment (except for hay equipment, of course). This reduces labor, overhead, and petroleum; i.e., it’s good business and it’s good for the environment. It’s humane, because it allows a cow to be a cow. A cow is happiest when she isn’t forced to eat like a hog, or a human, or a garbage disposal. Feeding byproducts to cattle is how BSE (see articles on) became the problem it is. Feeding cattle grain is how E. Coli became the problem it is. And, lastly, a cow that eats fertile, managed grass tastes much better than even choice grain-fed beef. It’s not always as tender, but it has a rich, hearty flavor that leaves you satisfied.
The EcoFriendly Approach
I admit we’ve digressed from our standards into ideology here, but you already knew that our beef is completely free of antibiotics and hormones, and now you know why: because cows that get to be cows grow strong and fat, and they don’t get sick! They don’t need drugs. All our animals are raised to these standards. That’s sustainable agriculture.