2

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Alfafa-fed beef?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 15, 2011 at 3:52 AM

I came across a Craigslist listing of a small farmer advertising his cattle for sale. He needs to get rid of them soon. I called and he said they are fed exclusively alfalfa.

It's a tiny operation so I'm presuming it's antibiotic, hormone-free . I'm a starving college student and am looking to purchase a quarter of a cow soon. Considering I'm on a budget and it seems like it'll be very affordable, do you think this could be worth it?

I've been buying mostly grain-fed beef, and am curious what you others think of the pros and cons of purchasing a legume-fed (alfalfa are legumes, correct?) cow from a small farm, and whether someone like me should consider such a particular option. I've looked around for local, pasture-raised farms, but its still out of my price range when considering purchasing in bulk, such as a quarter.

Should one assume backyard farms are generally antibiotic, hormone-free?

Check these links out. http://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/ag/other/fs9323.pdf http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSA-4000.pdf

473ccf0938761e73a3017356291c6eda

(55)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:40 PM

Andy: Grass-fed vs. grain-fed. Fatty acid ratios. Google them sometime.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:56 PM

Yes, very serious. Show me any actual evidence other than a cult like anti grain following saying so that shows otherwise?? There is none. yes, grains are bad for us...but let's not get as bad as the PETA people who try to convert carnivorous pets to vegan... Meat is meat... beef is beef... eat it. yes, grain fed has more fat. Grass fed has less... but it's all good for you. Besides, I'm not afraid of a little fat.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:59 PM

are you serious?

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on June 15, 2011
at 04:15 AM

If you buy grass fed beef, "grass" by the USDA's definition can include alfafa

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5 Answers

best answer

1
254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:46 PM

Henry,

Looks like you lucked in to a pretty good situation. As someone who grew up in the rural Midwest, alfalfa should be completely fine as a primary food source for the cattle, although I would also wonder if they've also fed the cattle prairie hay (which is still fine).

One thing to remember while we're all trying to stay "as Paleo as possible" is everything is a shade of grey, with some choices simply being better than others. So, as a "starving college student" dedicated to a largely Paleo lifestyle, you might have to make some considerations based on cost. Had you been given the choice of cheap beef with a cow that had been raised on hay/grass in the summer and corn in the winter, I would still say "go for it". While it may not be ideal, it's better than non-Paleo alternatives, dig?

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on June 15, 2011
at 11:29 AM

It is fine, buy it.

Alfalfa is a fodder or forage crop. This means that the cattle eat it either as hay or eat the plant growing in the field. Alfalfa is in the legume family, similar to peas, however it is the green parts of the plant that are eaten by the cows rather than the seeds.

When it comes to cows "grass" really includes any digestable plant matter other than the seeds of the plant. A lot of grass-fed or pastured cows in the US will be fed some alfalfa, particularly over the winter as hay when grass is in short supply.

Small backyard farms tend to be free of regular use of injected hormones and antibiotic because they cannot afford to buy them. Of course antibiotics will be used if a cow becomes sick.

3
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on June 15, 2011
at 04:50 AM

I wouldn't assume, ask. The alfalfa they're fed is more of a grass than a bean if that helps. I'd choose alfalfa fed over grain fed ANY DAY.

2
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on June 15, 2011
at 01:21 PM

It's beef. It's protein and fat. No matter what it ate (and yes alfalfa is more of a grass), it's still beef... If the price is right, get it.

Seriously, there is no evidence that grain fed beef is bad other than the higher fat content, which is fine with me. It's not like we are actually eating the grains ourselves. It's assumptions...and erroneous ones at that which say grain fed is bad. They are cows...not people. We are going to kill them and eat them... it really doesn't matter if they have clogged arteries or not. It doesn't matter if they had BGL issues... It doesn't matter if they had insulin spikes...of course they did, that's what put the extra meat on them.

It's meat, eat it. It's the grains, legumes, and other starches that WE eat that can harm us.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on June 15, 2011
at 08:56 PM

Yes, very serious. Show me any actual evidence other than a cult like anti grain following saying so that shows otherwise?? There is none. yes, grains are bad for us...but let's not get as bad as the PETA people who try to convert carnivorous pets to vegan... Meat is meat... beef is beef... eat it. yes, grain fed has more fat. Grass fed has less... but it's all good for you. Besides, I'm not afraid of a little fat.

473ccf0938761e73a3017356291c6eda

(55)

on June 15, 2011
at 09:40 PM

Andy: Grass-fed vs. grain-fed. Fatty acid ratios. Google them sometime.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:59 PM

are you serious?

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:16 PM

I would see if you can go and visit the farm and see the operation and the cows - maybe pick the farmers brain a little bit. Then you'll really know your source! Who knows what other goodies he'll have at his farm too!

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