Red meat and US raised meats are something I try to avoid unless they are labelled grass fed, lot free, hormone free from a reputable farm. This evening, I was looking forward to trying a new ground beef labelled hormone free, vegetarian fed beef. I wasn’t paying attention when I purchased the beef and fell for all the things I would typically warn against. The smaller package in the high end section of the meats was packaged in the same shape, size and similar labelling as a grass fed, lot free beef that I usually buy. I didn’t give it a second thought until I went to prepare it this evening and read the package again. Vegetarian Fed? Ugh.
Corn is a vegetable, and I certainly don’t want to eat beef that’s eaten corn. Cows were not meant to eat grains, and the bacteria in their gut can be set off balance. The cows are typically given antibiotics to keep them healthy. These antibiotics accumulate in their tissue and we eat these medicines in our steak tip. The package also claimed anti biotic free. To make label claims, farms submit their forms and may never be subjected to another inspection. I would guess that if a label says vegetarian fed, the beef is not grass fed. Marketing and buzz words provide a false sense of security.
Years ago when I was still in school, we were shown a film about the treatment of cattle that was horrifying to say the least. Now we can draw connections to adverse health conditions, yet somehow these industries are still thriving.
For a multitude of health reasons eat less meat and higher quality. Eating less meat may be better of you, and higher quality meats should be free of many of the unhealthy hormones, and not be corn fed, antibiotic fed. Spend the same money and buy less. Support local farms with reputable practices that allow cows to grow naturally over years by eating grass instead of growing faster with fortified grain feeds that alter the gut microbiome, don’t confine cows to feed lots, slaughter under stress