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Old 01-08-2010, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Omaha
50 posts, read 35,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Where is she agreeing with me? She doesn't like corn-fed beef.

The fact is, she raises cattle - and you don't. I grew up on a farm, and farmed after college. My family still farms.

You, on the other hand, mostly likely wouldn't know the front end of a steer from the back end.

Spend a lot of time around the back end of a steer?
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,385 posts, read 37,689,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Where is she agreeing with me? She doesn't like corn-fed beef
Yep, I strongly prefer grass-fed, as anyone who'd actually read the thread would know!

It's just that there's fact, and then there's propaganda, and knowing the difference, and being able to back up what you say with facts, is really important.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:55 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,100,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MATTDAMON View Post
Spend a lot of time around the back end of a steer?
Projection much?
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:13 PM
 
2,449 posts, read 4,801,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Right.

And some people think that "corn fed beef" means 12,000 cattle - standing belly deep in wet manure - crammed onto 1 acre, and being force-fed corn, antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones.

But it doesn't.


I really do appreciate your perspective and views, because you do know what you're talking about.
I'm very interested in getting you POV because I, like many others, get my exposure from books and the news. And as noted, authors and journalists are just that. They like to portray things in terms of good and evil, because it makes for an interesting story.
But I think there is a legitimate the problem. People move to organics because it could mean this, even if it doesn't always.
The question is: how as a consumer can we obtain environmentally responsible food? I personally have no problem with, say, a farmer giving cattle medicine after a vet has diagnosed it to be a remedy. But the media is flush with images and stories of farm animals routinely given antiobiotics "just-in-case", and often due to poor living conditions.

Also, the argument for growth hormones being analogs of biologically produced substances doesn't really mean they are harmless for consumers. Many drugs are analogs and at times nearly identical to molecules produced in our bodies. But intake of them can have extreme effects on our body.
In addition, it may be that cattle have always been eating grains, but have they been eating them to this extent. And it is false that too much corn is bad for their digestion? Is this a completely made up concern? And about the stats regarding that pasture-fed beef is healthier? Is that also made up or exaggerated? (Please no anecdotes. People can also find anecdotes about smokers or someone in a dangerous occupation, etc... that have lived healthily forever. But that doesn't really give strong evidence for anything.)
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,100,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebeard View Post
I'm very interested in getting you POV because I, like many others, get my exposure from books and the news. And as noted, authors and journalists are just that. They like to portray things in terms of good and evil, because it makes for an interesting story.
But I think there is a legitimate the problem. People move to organics because it could mean this, even if it doesn't always.
The question is: how as a consumer can we obtain environmentally responsible food? I personally have no problem with, say, a farmer giving cattle medicine after a vet has diagnosed it to be a remedy. But the media is flush with images and stories of farm animals routinely given antiobiotics "just-in-case", and often due to poor living conditions.

Also, the argument for growth hormones being analogs of biologically produced substances doesn't really mean they are harmless for consumers. Many drugs are analogs and at times nearly identical to molecules produced in our bodies. But intake of them can have extreme effects on our body.
In addition, it may be that cattle have always been eating grains, but have they been eating them to this extent. And it is false that too much corn is bad for their digestion? Is this a completely made up concern? And about the stats regarding that pasture-fed beef is healthier? Is that also made up or exaggerated? (Please no anecdotes. People can also find anecdotes about smokers or someone in a dangerous occupation, etc... that have lived healthily forever. But that doesn't really give strong evidence for anything.)
You make some really good points, and ask some excellent questions!

First of all, regarding the media... What a bunch of attention-whoring turds! As has been earlier noted, the MEDIA made Mad Cow Disease into a global pandemic - when in truth, only 150 people worldwide died from Mad Cow Disease. But the media hype was unbelievable. Then they were onto the Bird Flu. Now it's the Swine Flu. When will people start ignoring the mainstream-media, with their hyperbole and crazy news?!?!

Second, about cattle & antibiotics... It is not financially viable to just pour antibiotics into cattle for no real good reason. And while I obviously cannot speak for all cattle farmers everywhere, I can pretty much assure you that the overwhelming majority are not unnecessarily pumping cattle full of antibiotics, just in case. It makes no sense to do so.

Regarding dairy cattle & antibiotics (I grew up on a dairy farm many years ago). Creameries test all milk that comes into their plant. They are meticulous about this, for obvious reasons. They will know immediately if there are traces of bacteria and/or antibiotics in the milk coming from any farmer. If they detect bacteria or antibiotics, they'll reject the entire truck-load of milk, and dump it down the drain. There are safeguards in place. They're not perfect, but they're pretty darned good.

Third, about corn-fed beef... There are a lot of pasture-fed cattle that are also corn-fed. In fact, the majority are. The common misnomer is that corn-fed cattle are fed only corn - and that simply isn't true. Every cattle grower (who feeds corn) will feed his cattle a balanced ration of both roughage and corn. In fact, the roughage portion will typically be at least 2/3rds of the total feed. To feed cattle only corn is, again, not financially viable. So, in reality, corn becomes more of a dietary supplement - not the entire diet.


Finally, "environmentally responsible food" is probably not what most people think it is. Organic is not necessarily environmentally responsible. In fact, organic farming often is extremely harmful to the environment.
- One thing I think everybody should do is, if there is any way possible, have a garden! Even if you have a tiny back yard, it is absolutely amazing how much good produce you can raise, if you'll work at it. Even if you're in an apartment, with just a patio, you can raise pole beans, tomatoes, etc. So why not?
- I'd love to see every family have a few chickens in their back yard. Not roosters, because they fight and crow all the time. But if every family had 2-3 hens, the hens could eat bugs, eat a little supplemented grain, and keep the family supplied with good, fresh, truly organic eggs.
- Like-minded neighbors ought to form small "co-ops", where they get together with a farmer, buy a whole market-steer, have it butchered, and split the meat between 2-4 families. That way you all know where the meat is coming from, etc. You'll have to dole out $350-$400 all at once, but it would result in a freezer full of top-quality meat.

Honestly though, I think the reason more people don't do the 3 things I just mentioned is because we're either too busy or too lazy. And who do we have to blame for that?
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:09 PM
 
2,449 posts, read 4,801,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
, the MEDIA made Mad Cow Disease into a global pandemic
I was never really worried about that. Or even E. Coli. Or a million other "big scary things that are going to kill us" that covers the news headlines (the current one is terrorism again, but that changes weekly) I guess when it comes to health I was more concerned about statements like those previously mentioned regarding the changed physiology of the animal from a more corn-heavy diet... such as the fat type make-up etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Second, about cattle & antibiotics...
The points you make are interesting. And are contrary to what is shown in the media as well. They claim it is financially advantageous because of the aforementioned packed in feedlots where the livestock's immune system are constantly challenged with horrible living conditions.
If this is not so prevalent, then where do they get all this footage and written material from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Every cattle grower (who feeds corn) will feed his cattle a balanced ration of both roughage and corn.
But the question is: is the ration too corn-heavy so that it is hard on the digestion. Perhaps some corn was fed to cows in the past, but are they consistently higher rations (eg 1/3 of the diet) that the digestive tract might not be accustommed to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
In fact, organic farming often is extremely harmful to the environment.
When?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
One thing I think everybody should do is, if there is any way possible, have a garden... a few chickens in their back yard... form small "co-ops"
I agree with this, and exactly what truly "green" people should agree with. The reasons people don't do this is partially laziness... but also because its seen as "beneath" them as well. In my current city, its against city ordinance to have livestock. I currently don't have any plants in my little apartment because I'm lazy, but also because my current living arrangement is for an unknown amount of time. And there is certainly no place for chickens. But my next place I live will hopefully be different.

But when it comes down to it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
who do we have to blame for that?
Each and every one of us.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:12 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,100,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebeard View Post
I was never really worried about that. Or even E. Coli. Or a million other "big scary things that are going to kill us" that covers the news headlines (the current one is terrorism again, but that changes weekly) I guess when it comes to health I was more concerned about statements like those previously mentioned regarding the changed physiology of the animal from a more corn-heavy diet... such as the fat type make-up etc...

The points you make are interesting. And are contrary to what is shown in the media as well. They claim it is financially advantageous because of the aforementioned packed in feedlots where the livestock's immune system are constantly challenged with horrible living conditions.
If this is not so prevalent, then where do they get all this footage and written material from?

But the question is: is the ration too corn-heavy so that it is hard on the digestion. Perhaps some corn was fed to cows in the past, but are they consistently higher rations (eg 1/3 of the diet) that the digestive tract might not be accustommed to?

When?

I agree with this, and exactly what truly "green" people should agree with. The reasons people don't do this is partially laziness... but also because its seen as "beneath" them as well. In my current city, its against city ordinance to have livestock. I currently don't have any plants in my little apartment because I'm lazy, but also because my current living arrangement is for an unknown amount of time. And there is certainly no place for chickens. But my next place I live will hopefully be different.

But when it comes down to it:

Each and every one of us.
Actually, one of our sons got E.Coli poisoning when he was in elementary school. He was hospitalized for several days, and we are very fortunate that it didn't kill him. We were never able to figure out where it came from. Ugly stuff.


Cattle rations: There are almost countless variables here - everything from the temperature, to what you're doing with your cattle (fattening, or getting ready for breeding, gestation, etc.). It also makes quite a bit of difference what kind of roughage they're getting - whether it be alfalfa hay, or silage, or corn stalks. Here's a link that has several tables. They're kind of confusing, but they do give an idea of what these rations may be. G2066 Rations for Growing and Finishing Beef Cattle | University of Missouri Extension

What's actually quite common - regarding corn-fed beef - is for the cattle grower to "spike" the rations with high corn and protein content. But typically this is done for a very short period of time, right before the cattle are shipped off to market.


Organic farming: This is a system of farming where you're not allowed to use artificial pesticides or herbicides. A non-organic farmer (such as my dad) will probably plant "RoundUp Ready" corn. For weed control, he'll simply spray the field once, without disturbing the soil. On the other hand, organic farmers have to cultivate their crops multiple times through the growing season - which repeatedly disturbs and dries the soil. And that can lead to a LOT of erosion. It is also a system of farming that consumes a LOT more fuel, per acre, to produce the crops.

There's always a trade-off. That's what I mean by saying that Organic Farming is really not "green".


The truth is, my family doesn't eat very much meat. Very little, as a matter of fact. The cost is a major factor. But also, we simply choose to eat a lot of pastas, vegetables, rice and breads. It's what we're used to, and I think it's probably a healthier choice.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,385 posts, read 37,689,162 times
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What's healthier, I've observed, depends a great deal on the person in question doing the eating. For example, my best friend for some 35 years (rest her soul) and I were both diagnosed with hypoglycaemia way back in the Dark Ages before much of anybody had heard of it. She was a vegetarian; I ate at that time an almost exclusively meat diet. We both did well on our respective diets, and not well at all when we tried the diet of the other - we also had very different genetic heritages, which probably went a long way towards explaining that. She died in her early 50's of ovarian cancer, but her family had a strong history of cancer - every member of it died of a different form of cancer, including a two-year-old niece of a very rare form. (Come to think of it, the only other strictly vegetarian woman that I've known for decades died of cancer, too.)

The problem occurs when someone, anyone, vegetarian or omnivore, thinks that what's the best diet for them MUST be the best diet for everyone else on the planet. It's just not so. It's also part of that insecurity that says that unless the rest of the world makes the same choices and believes the same way you do, or you can somehow make them do so, what you believe is in danger.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:00 AM
 
2,449 posts, read 4,801,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
What's healthier, I've observed, depends a great deal on the person in question doing the eating.
This is very true. People are always looking for universal truths ("I can't eat dairy, therefor dairy is baaaaaaad)
Everyone's body is different. What people really need to do is just pay attention to what makes each of them feel better and healthier as individuals. Not to mention what tastes good!
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:01 AM
 
2,449 posts, read 4,801,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Actually, one of our sons got E.Coli poisoning when he was in elementary school.
I'm sorry. I don't mean to minimize a family illness.
Thanks for the answers!
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