1

votes

Grassfed fail? Legume finished?

Answered on August 14, 2015
Created March 17, 2012 at 4:31 AM

I found a local farm where I thought I could buy local, natural, grassfed beef. However, on their website, they say:

"Providence Cattle Company offers Grassfed beef for those that are looking for a healthy, earth friendly alternative to commercial store bought beef. Our beef is all locally raised and harvested and is free of antibiotics and hormone supplements.

Realizing the amount of pasture land required to raise grassfed beef properly, we reached out to some of our rancher friends throughout Central Florida to assist.

Working with the ranchers, we monitor the herds and grasses to ensure that the steers gain weight naturally, and are finished on high protein legumes for just the right amount of time. These flowery grasses provide the natural Omega 3 fat that depict the health benefits of grassfed beef. It also provides the fat required for marbling that will assist in keeping the meat moist when cooking."

So it sounds like they feed the cows grass, but then finish them on "legumes". Does this negate the benefit of the cows being grassfed and not a good place to be getting my beef? That's the feeling I'm getting...

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 08, 2012
at 03:23 AM

+1 for including pretty pictures!

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on March 18, 2012
at 02:10 AM

and if I had read the next freakin 5 answers everyone got to that point.... sorry

8e1876a74536739ecf7bef97d5d97b76

(747)

on March 18, 2012
at 02:09 AM

Legumes can also be clover and alfalfa.... both your more than likely to find in every cow's diet

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 17, 2012
at 11:05 PM

I'm pretty sure by legumes, they mean some sort of cut forage, such as alfalfa or clover hay.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 17, 2012
at 11:04 PM

What is wrong with lucerne aka alfalfa, pray-tell?

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on March 17, 2012
at 10:26 PM

@ Ed - in my case, yes, legumes means soy for sure. I've confirmed it. And I've been growing hairy vetch as a a cover crop for years - great stuff.

Dea5f440698f5488b975ada2f61daa0d

(393)

on March 17, 2012
at 02:20 PM

I hope you report exactly what they finish with, as I would also be interested in grass-fed beef in Central FL.

36ba71ea8bc4f736f4113433fde572bd

(347)

on March 17, 2012
at 01:13 PM

Uhh CAFO is exactly grass raised - grain finished. And does nobody around here garden? All this thinking "legumes means soy! Eew!" you're killing me. We plant hairy vetch as a winter cover crop -- it's a legume -- as a natural fertilizer since it fixes nitrogen, and then cut it down to make a fresh mulch when it's time to plant tomatoes. Finishing on vetch or alfalfa or the like is far from feeding soybean meal. I would like to see an answer from someone who has actual data about cattle nutrient profile post-legumes.

B2410a8542f3501755a715098a6011f7

on March 17, 2012
at 06:45 AM

Seriously though- they talk so much about the Omega-3 benefits but then the final feed is legumes? So close!

91fe5b7e10068df9f147ee84320e38f7

(614)

on March 17, 2012
at 04:59 AM

I feel you...legumes = soy, in my whereabouts. Considered necessary. I get it where I'm from, but in C. Fla? WTF? Call their asses up and ask what feed the moos are finished on. That said, grassfed and only grain-finished is still a far cry from CAFO meat.

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8 Answers

7
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on March 17, 2012
at 10:11 AM

Legumes can mean a variety of things and refers to the plant as well as the beans. It would be best to contact them and ask them yourself.

Alfalfa is a forage crop that is widely grow for cattle feed due to the leaves and stems containing a higher protein and fiber content than grass. It is usually cut while green and fed fresh or made into hay or silage.

If they say their meat is grass-fed then it is much more likely that they are feeding their cattle with this...

grassfed-fail?-legume-finished?

...rather than this

grassfed-fail?-legume-finished?

Feeding cattle green leafy crops like alfalfa is really not any different than feeding them grass in the context of your health.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 08, 2012
at 03:23 AM

+1 for including pretty pictures!

5
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on March 17, 2012
at 11:14 AM

Pasture often contains alfalfa or clover, which are both legumes. There are also numerous native prairie species that are legumes, so it's not like the presence of legumes in ruminant habitat is alien and unnatural.

4
4d46bc5680d862a7442c94293aaa5eed

on June 07, 2012
at 07:50 PM

Just came across your comments. I don't understand why you did not just call us directly. Legumes are flowery grasses that are used to finish real grassfed beef. The cattle are grazed on it before it seeds. The grasses are high in protein so that the cattle will marble. If they don't get the protein they will not marble and the meat will be tough. Obviously finishing cattle on legumes versus grain means thaat we keep them for 28 months versus 12 months for grain fed. This past year the steers have been finished on hermothia, rye and rape. They are rotated through pastures to ensure they consume the grass before it seeds. If you still have questions, call us. We would be delighted to speak with you about the process.

1
35412fa4716863d799e089830ea48ba6

on March 17, 2012
at 08:53 AM

Just make sure its not legumes such as lucerne or similar. If so Its good to go.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 17, 2012
at 11:04 PM

What is wrong with lucerne aka alfalfa, pray-tell?

0
7a10b2a62c8b1732bdc3c33aa127ad01

on August 14, 2015
at 01:05 PM

Green Corn is considered a Legume, which includes the ears and kernels.   Corn is considered a "Grain" once the kernels begin to dry and "Dimple".      Many farmers will cut their corn while it's green, just before it starts to dry out, and they make silage out of it.   In the north it is considered "Fodder", which is still considered a grass food source that has been chopped or manipulated for easier handling and digestion. 

So, all in all, some farmers still feed their cattle corn in the form of "fodder" and can still tell the public that it's "Grass Fed".      

Is "Grass Fed" truly beneficial when the term can be so vague?   Buy from a local farmer or butcher shop that can tell you where their meat comes from.    I'd rather buy grain finished beef from a local farm or butcher shop, than someone's misleading use of the term "Grass Fed" from who knows where.

Just be sure to ask questions when you buy your meats.

 

0
0cfac03b3aa3691e5aa68ee1f499f232

on March 14, 2015
at 03:15 PM

Legumes can be grasses. Alfalfa GRASS. Clover GRASS. Trefoil GRASS. Lespedeza GRASS. Crownvetch GRASS. What you are trying to avoid are grains. Corn, millet, barley and soy. A few strokes of a keyboard would have put your concerns to rest. ??You want animals that ARE grass fed and finished NOT grass fed and grain finished.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on March 17, 2012
at 11:36 AM

I would call and ask, but this does sound like a fail to me. This sounds like "grass-fed / grain-finished", but the company is trying to be cute and not use the word "grain" because they know that people like us are trying to avoid grain fed meat.

I think 100% grass fed meat is fairly unusual (most steer are given some kind of grain at some point such as over the winter), and there are no labeling standards or FDA guidelines or anything. So I think you have to call and ask and hope they are being honest with you.

Before I bought my half of a grass-fed steer from a farm recently, I talked to the guy on the phone for about 45 min to understand what I was getting.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 17, 2012
at 11:05 PM

I'm pretty sure by legumes, they mean some sort of cut forage, such as alfalfa or clover hay.

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