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100%grassfed beef from far away or local grassfed/ grain finished???

Answered on July 17, 2013
Created June 28, 2013 at 3:30 AM

Ok, good chance my question didn't make sense. I have access to 100% grassfed beef, from localities unknown ( I have seen some from New Zealand) I know it's best to keep it grassfed all the way, but I have a source also, very close to town which feeds grass, but then finishes with grain. Now, the usual paleo statement is " eat local grassfed and local produce" if you were to pick, would you go local beef that is grassfed for most it's life or go with 100% grassfed from who knows what farm from across the nation,sometimes the across the world? Sorry this is all over the place, have a baby sitting in my lap throwing me off lol

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 28, 2013
at 02:41 PM

personally I go with local. I posted a link to an article here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/200691/have-grass-fed-profits-led-to-less-nutrious-meat#axzz2XWPCX05Y | that speaks to some of the ethical decisions made at large-scale grass-fed farms

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2 Answers

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56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on July 17, 2013
at 04:54 PM

Some considerations

1) over six months, the entire fat of an animal is replaced. Therefore if you buy in October-November, and you know the animal has been grass fed on pasture during the growing season, you have by all standards a paleo animal, even though it might have eaten grains the winter before. Same goes for Vit. A,D content of the meat.

2) if the "finishing" is one month, it is probably still marginally acceptable. However, the best strategy is: know your farmer, buy in Fall for maximal nutrition (and get a big freezer).

Here in the Midwest, it is hard to, for example, take goats through the winter without some grains. And cows and goats are both inside 3-4 months, that can not be good for the nutrient content of the meat, even if somehow they get only hay. There are other considerations: this year has been very rainy, great pastures, but it also means a lot of hay has spoiled, it is possible that if you buy fresh-slaughtered animals in late winter, they will have been fed grains perforce. All of this you can avoid by regularly buying at the end of the growing season. One last point: I usually buy in the Michigan thumb, which is a lot rainier than surrounding areas, and so far (since 2006) they have always had good grass. This year I am buying in Ohio, some 400 miles to the South, they had almost no grass last year (very dry), great this year. Be aware of your farmer's climate.

0
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on July 03, 2013
at 02:33 PM

Going with CD on this one. Local trumps 100% grassfed, though it would help to figure out to what degree the local farm is feeding their cows grains. If they're supplementing with grain during winter months to keep the cows healthy or just to help them fatten up in the last few months, you should be fine. If they're feeding them nothing but grains for 9 months to a year, maybe look for another supplier. Honestly, most local small-scale farmers will pasture their cows just because they don't have anything resembling a feed lot, which means the cows will get a decent mix of foliage and grains in their diet just from hanging out in grass all day. A good litmus test is how healthy the cows are: if the farmer doesn't need to dose them extensively with antibiotics to keep them alive, they're probably eating a relatively healthy diet.

Mark's Daily Apple just had a post a couple days ago about beef terms as well; you could contact the guy who wrote it to see if he had any suggestions for questions to ask your local farmer: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-you-should-know-about-beef-production-claims/#axzz2XtjCkGhu

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