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Old 08-26-2008, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Durham
1,032 posts, read 3,488,848 times
Reputation: 1282

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I LOVE steak. I mean, really - last meal? A hunk of dry aged tenderloin cooked very, very rare and a nice cabernet and I could die happy.

But I've learned a lot recently about American beef production - and the more I know, the less appetizing my favorite meal has become.

There's the sustainablity aspect. Corn monoculture and all the required fertilizer, the oil needed, the ocean dead zones caused by runnoff.

The growth hormones, the antibiotics that are required, the open lagoons of waste, the animals shoulder to shoulder - I know it's not Auschwitz and I'm not making any moral equivalency, but I can't help but feeling certain similarities when I read about conditions at the CAFO feed lots.

Cows don't eat corn in nature. They have a 4 chambered stomach and a rumen for a reason - they're grass eaters. Feeding them corn is cheap and leads to the USDA holy grail of marbling, but it makes the cows sick.

Then there's the slaughterhouse conditions...ugh. Trust me, you don't want to know. You think that video of the 'downer' cow being forced into line was really just a fluke? You think this summer's recall of 5.3 MILLION pounds of ground beef due to e.coli contamination while under the watchful eye of the USDA was unusual? Only in scope.

So I sent the Angus Barn an e-mail. I'm asking if they'd consider adding local, grass fed beef to the menu, along side their regular selections.

I think it's win/win. Helps local farmers and the local economy. Good profits for them, as I'd certainly be willing to pay a premium for the product. Better for the earth, better for the cows, and all the health benefits of grass fed beef for me - I just don't see the down side, other than making people ask tough questions about the corn fed stuff they've always ate before.

I haven't heard back - just wanted a reality check - is this a pie in the sky idea?
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Durham
1,032 posts, read 3,488,848 times
Reputation: 1282
Please excuse me; it's very early in the morning and in a moment of stunning stupidity I did not realize that the Food forum was not a subset of the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill forum where I spend 90% of my time here. Duhhh.

99.9 percent of you aren't going to know what the Angus Barn is.....Durrr.

My fault, I'm sorry.

The Angus Barn is a Raleigh-Durham institution. A steak house of great fame and size. It's head chef, Walter J. Royal competed (and defeated Kat Cora) on Iron Chef America. Outstanding service, lovely food.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:22 PM
 
9,601 posts, read 23,070,143 times
Reputation: 5160
Grass fed beef is arguably a lot healthier than grain fed, much higher in Omega 3 fatty acids. It also tastes better to me. Too bad it's so danged expensive.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Durham
1,032 posts, read 3,488,848 times
Reputation: 1282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
Grass fed beef is arguably a lot healthier than grain fed, much higher in Omega 3 fatty acids. It also tastes better to me. Too bad it's so danged expensive.
It's all a matter of priorities though. If there are no more .99 cent double cheeseburgers because there's fewer CAFO's in operation; quite frankly that's more than OK by me.

My new guidelines for dinner follow the advice presented in "In Defense of Food"; 'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants'. To that end I'm trying to do vegetarian dinners at least 2 nights a week. Makes you appreciate the steak all that much more.

Besides, some of the grass fed cuts aren't too expensive; they just require more creative cooking.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:43 PM
 
9,601 posts, read 23,070,143 times
Reputation: 5160
I've also been eating some grass fed buffalo, also healthy and good, and not raised in the same " agribusiness" way that cows are.
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