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In today's society, organic food is a giant new thing in which food is produced without any chemicals. In other words, the product must be 100 percent natural. A major food source of the American people is meat, and the way that it is produced today is a major issue. In feedlots, where cattle are fed grain to grow before being slaughtered, the conditions are terrible and horrifying. Cattle are confined to a limited amount of space and not allowed to roam freely. Also in these cattle growing yards, the risk of disease is much higher in these animals than out on the open range grazing on the grass. Beef critics say that there are no cattle breeds that posses the amounts of marbling present to make a good steak. It is a true statement to say that these critics are very indeed wrong. Also, Many people also do not know that that the meat from cattle that are fed grain, is high in fat content and has too much marbling. Grass-fed beef is much leaner than grain-fed beef, has less fats, and is produced all naturally. Therefore, grass-fed beef is much healthier and safer to eat than grain-fed beef. In cattle feedlots, the conditions are very bad. Most of the time, the feeder calves are standing in mud that is two feet deep. In these moist conditions, bacteria thrive. The cattle can suffer from foot problems, like foot rot. foot rot is a disease of the hoof which the skin between the toes of the hooves rots away and decomposes. If left untreated, the foot will swell and will rot off. This is extremely painful for the animal(Hasheider 34). In these feed yards, the feed is dumped into concrete feed bunks three times a day, and that is all the cattle get to eat. They are not offered grass or any type of forage, the forage, also known as hay, is calculated on how much is needed per feeding and is blended in with the feed( Makousky 1). Minerals and other growth products are also mixed in the feed ration(Riely 1). This allows the cattle to be able to get the minerals and salts they need each day. Upon arrival to feedlots, cattle are worked and given shots of minerals and antibiotics. one crucial thing the new cattle receive is a growth implant. These implants are put in the ear, right under the skin. These implants allow the cattle to grow rapidly and gain weight very fast. It helps the feeder cattle convert the grain into fat faster(McCoy 65). It is not natural and it is definitely not healthy for humans to consume. One major difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef is the presentation of the meat. Being leaner, Grass-fed beef is darker in color. It is darker in color because of the lack of fatty marbling scattered throughout the meat(studio). This marbling makes the meat much more flavorful and tender, but it is not very healthy. This unhealthy fat is present in grain-fed cattle that have been over fed and over fattened. The cattle struggle to get around and are out of shape(Hasheider 25). There is no muscling in feeder animals, it is almost all fat. A huge debate in the argument over grass-fed versus grain-fed beef is that there are no breeds of cattle that will present the amount of marbling that is desired by the American people(Egendorf 98). This is not the case. Beef cattle today are so much different than they were twenty-five years ago. They are even different than ten years ago. Modern Black Angus genetics today are outstanding. They are very easy keeping cattle, meaning that they require less food and nutrients to put on weight(Hasheider 34). Simmental cattle are the same way, they offer everything that Black Angus do, but in a more extreme muscled, more moderate package. Way back when, Angus and Simmental cattle were bred to be very long and elegant and extremely tall at the shoulder. Today, these cattle are very moderate in size. Over the years, ranchers have culled out cattle that are tall and long, and have been focusing on getting the angus cattle to be fairly short in height, but maintain that long skeleton to producing huge quantities of meat. These Angus genetics are so popular, that fifteen years ago, they began massive embryo transfer programs and cloning operations to keep these amazing genetics going. What embryo transfer allows ranchers to do is simply ground-breaking. It allows ranchers to flush their best cow, or a cow of their liking, with exceptional EPD's( expected progeny differences), and flush eggs out of the uterus of this great cow. The eggs are then fertilized to the bull of the ranchers choice. Once these eggs are fertilized, they are called embryos. The embryos are then implanted into recipient cows, and the cows carry the tiny embryo for nine months, until the baby is born. These recipient mother cows have absolutely no genetic tie to the young calf. They are only surrogate mothers, and they raise the calf until weaning time. Embryo transfer allows ranchers to produce multiple outstanding calves, out of a single outstanding cow, in a single year(Hasheider 36). Cloning beef cattle is very different from embryo transfer. Cloning cattle is much more complex and takes more time, but you get exact results. Cloning cattle, produces a genetic replica of the cow being cloned. Say a rancher has a cow with the best genetics in the US and she is getting old. The rancher can send DNA samples to a scientific company and have a replica embryo of that cow. This embryo is then implanted into a recipient cow. This is by far nowhere close to cheap. To clone a cow, it will cost a person about $20,000. That sounds very expensive, but once people think about, the rancher is getting that same old cow that has produced outstanding livestock for ten years, and possibly made the rancher over $80,000 as a newborn baby! And that cow will make him even more money now that the rancher knows exactly how that cow has performed(Hasheider 37). Another issue in the grass-fed versus grain-fed argument is the fact that grass feeding cattle is more expensive than graining them. This is by far not true, grass feeding is much cheaper, plus more beneficial. Grass feeding programs are indeed smart. All ranchers have in the cattle is the cost of buying the cows, and their own time managing the animals in the pastures. They do not spend money on growth implants or other growth hormones. There is no finances invested in feed to grain the cattle. The cattle are only fed hay in the winter when the weather is very cold. This is hay is produced on the farm, on the rancher's own personal time(Reily 1). He does not have to buy hay from other farmers. This keeps his costs very low and he can use this saved money to buy more cattle, or to purchase more land to rotate his current livestock on(Makousky 1). That is how grass-fed programs make money, by rotating the livestock. This means that the rancher has open pastures, and he rotates the cattle once the grass has been eaten down. The cattle are moved to ungrazed fields, where the grass is tall and plentiful. Then once that grass has been eaten down, the rancher will move them back to their previous location, where the grass has grown up and is plentiful again! This system is very cost effective compared to the processes that go on in a feed yard. In cattle growing yards, there are many people employed to take care of the hundreds upon thousands of cattle that are being fed. The payroll of those employees is a fairly large fixed cost. Feedlots also have the expense of feeding the cattle three times per day, and have money tied up in all of the injections for the cattle upon arrival to the yard(Hasheider 63). A large opposing viewpoint of why cattle feed yards is the consumption of feed. In feedlots, the operators calculate how much feed per head is needed, per day. With these calculations, they can manage the cattle much easier. They know exactly how much feed each cow is eating, and how many times per day. Operators carefully analyze the amounts of proteins and fibers in the feed ration. By doing this, feed analysts can add corn, to make the cattle put on more fat, or add cotton seed hulls to slow the growth process down. Feed anylaysts can also weigh the animals and calculate the amount of pounds gained per day while the cattle are being fed in the feed lot. This will give the owners and customers and idea of how productive and well the feedlot is in feeding out the cattle for slaughter. In feed yards, there is no grass present, so the cattle are forced to eat this feed ration, in the controlled proportions. With these controlled proportions, the analysts can fluctuate the animals diet in any way that they want. Certain breeds of cattle require more feed, others require less. Some breeds require more protein, some require more fibers. As for grass-fed beef programs, producers cannot control the amount of grass a cow eats, since it is readily available. They can eat unlimited amounts of it, and become over conditioned. Another bad thing from having a grass only diet is the fact that the cattle are more susceptible to contracting worms. Cattle will pick-up the worms from eating the grass, and without vaccination, will become very, very ill(Hasheider 82). The argument between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef escalates more and more each year. As people realize how much healthier grass-fed beef is, they will buy and consume it more than just regular, grain-fed, steak. Grass-fed beef is lower in fat content, is cheaper than grain-fed beef, and is 100 percent organic. In Oklahoma, there are several health food stores that sell grass-fed beef. In These stores, there is also whole organic foods, just like grass-fed beef, there are absolutely no chemicals or other medicines used in these programs(Studio). Sure, there are great steaks out there at fancy high-end restaurants that serve twenty-one day aged Kobe beef that is not produced in the United States, but nothing will compare to the all natural, 100 percent organic, flavorful taste of a grass-fed steak.
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Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed Beef
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Grass-fed Vs. Grain-fed Beef

Words: 1741    Pages: 6    Paragraphs: 8    Sentences: 105    Read Time: 06:19
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              In today's society, organic food is a giant new thing in which food is produced without any chemicals. In other words, the product must be 100 percent natural. A major food source of the American people is meat, and the way that it is produced today is a major issue. In feedlots, where cattle are fed grain to grow before being slaughtered, the conditions are terrible and horrifying. Cattle are confined to a limited amount of space and not allowed to roam freely. Also in these cattle growing yards, the risk of disease is much higher in these animals than out on the open range grazing on the grass. Beef critics say that there are no cattle breeds that posses the amounts of marbling present to make a good steak. It is a true statement to say that these critics are very indeed wrong. Also, Many people also do not know that that the meat from cattle that are fed grain, is high in fat content and has too much marbling. Grass-fed beef is much leaner than grain-fed beef, has less fats, and is produced all naturally. Therefore, grass-fed beef is much healthier and safer to eat than grain-fed beef.
              In cattle feedlots, the conditions are very bad. Most of the time, the feeder calves are standing in mud that is two feet deep. In these moist conditions, bacteria thrive. The cattle can suffer from foot problems, like foot rot. foot rot is a disease of the hoof which the skin between the toes of the hooves rots away and decomposes. If left untreated, the foot will swell and will rot off. This is extremely painful for the animal(Hasheider 34). In these feed yards, the feed is dumped into concrete feed bunks three times a day, and that is all the cattle get to eat. They are not offered grass or any type of forage, the forage, also known as hay, is calculated on how much is needed per feeding and is blended in with the feed( Makousky 1). Minerals and other growth products are also mixed in the feed ration(Riely 1). This allows the cattle to be able to get the minerals and salts they need each day. Upon arrival to feedlots, cattle are worked and given shots of minerals and antibiotics. one crucial thing the new cattle receive is a growth implant. These implants are put in the ear, right under the skin. These implants allow the cattle to grow rapidly and gain weight very fast. It helps the feeder cattle convert the grain into fat faster(McCoy 65). It is not natural and it is definitely not healthy for humans to consume.
             
              One major difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef is the presentation of the meat. Being leaner, Grass-fed beef is darker in color. It is darker in color because of the lack of fatty marbling scattered throughout the meat(studio). This marbling makes the meat much more flavorful and tender, but it is not very healthy. This unhealthy fat is present in grain-fed cattle that have been over fed and over fattened. The cattle struggle to get around and are out of shape(Hasheider 25). There is no muscling in feeder animals, it is almost all fat.
             
              A huge debate in the argument over grass-fed versus grain-fed beef is that there are no breeds of cattle that will present the amount of marbling that is desired by the American people(Egendorf 98). This is not the case. Beef cattle today are so much different than they were twenty-five years ago. They are even different than ten years ago. Modern Black Angus genetics today are outstanding. They are very easy keeping cattle, meaning that they require less food and nutrients to put on weight(Hasheider 34). Simmental cattle are the same way, they offer everything that Black Angus do, but in a more extreme muscled, more moderate package. Way back when, Angus and Simmental cattle were bred to be very long and elegant and extremely tall at the shoulder. Today, these cattle are very moderate in size. Over the years, ranchers have culled out cattle that are tall and long, and have been focusing on getting the angus cattle to be fairly short in height, but maintain that long skeleton to producing huge quantities of meat. These Angus genetics are so popular, that fifteen years ago, they began massive embryo transfer programs and cloning operations to keep these amazing genetics going. What embryo transfer allows ranchers to do is simply ground-breaking. It allows ranchers to flush their best cow, or a cow of their liking, with exceptional EPD's( expected progeny differences), and flush eggs out of the uterus of this great cow. The eggs are then fertilized to the bull of the ranchers choice. Once these eggs are fertilized, they are called embryos. The embryos are then implanted into recipient cows, and the cows carry the tiny embryo for nine months, until the baby is born. These recipient mother cows have absolutely no genetic tie to the young calf. They are only surrogate mothers, and they raise the calf until weaning time. Embryo transfer allows ranchers to produce multiple outstanding calves, out of a single outstanding cow, in a single year(Hasheider 36).
             
              Cloning beef cattle is very different from embryo transfer. Cloning cattle is much more complex and takes more time, but you get exact results. Cloning cattle, produces a genetic replica of the cow being cloned. Say a rancher has a cow with the best genetics in the US and she is getting old. The rancher can send DNA samples to a scientific company and have a replica embryo of that cow. This embryo is then implanted into a recipient cow. This is by far nowhere close to cheap. To clone a cow, it will cost a person about $20,000. That sounds very expensive, but once people think about, the rancher is getting that same old cow that has produced outstanding livestock for ten years, and possibly made the rancher over $80,000 as a newborn baby! And that cow will make him even more money now that the rancher knows exactly how that cow has performed(Hasheider 37).
             
              Another issue in the grass-fed versus grain-fed argument is the fact that grass feeding cattle is more expensive than graining them. This is by far not true, grass feeding is much cheaper, plus more beneficial. Grass feeding programs are indeed smart. All ranchers have in the cattle is the cost of buying the cows, and their own time managing the animals in the pastures. They do not spend money on growth implants or other growth hormones. There is no finances invested in feed to grain the cattle. The cattle are only fed hay in the winter when the weather is very cold. This is hay is produced on the farm, on the rancher's own personal time(Reily 1). He does not have to buy hay from other farmers. This keeps his costs very low and he can use this saved money to buy more cattle, or to purchase more land to rotate his current livestock on(Makousky 1). That is how grass-fed programs make money, by rotating the livestock. This means that the rancher has open pastures, and he rotates the cattle once the grass has been eaten down. The cattle are moved to ungrazed fields, where the grass is tall and plentiful. Then once that grass has been eaten down, the rancher will move them back to their previous location, where the grass has grown up and is plentiful again! This system is very cost effective compared to the processes that go on in a feed yard. In cattle growing yards, there are many people employed to take care of the hundreds upon thousands of cattle that are being fed. The payroll of those employees is a fairly large fixed cost. Feedlots also have the expense of feeding the cattle three times per day, and have money tied up in all of the injections for the cattle upon arrival to the yard(Hasheider 63).
             
              A large opposing viewpoint of why cattle feed yards is the consumption of feed. In feedlots, the operators calculate how much feed per head is needed, per day. With these calculations, they can manage the cattle much easier. They know exactly how much feed each cow is eating, and how many times per day. Operators carefully analyze the amounts of proteins and fibers in the feed ration. By doing this, feed analysts can add corn, to make the cattle put on more fat, or add cotton seed hulls to slow the growth process down. Feed anylaysts can also weigh the animals and calculate the amount of pounds gained per day while the cattle are being fed in the feed lot. This will give the owners and customers and idea of how productive and well the feedlot is in feeding out the cattle for slaughter. In feed yards, there is no grass present, so the cattle are forced to eat this feed ration, in the controlled proportions. With these controlled proportions, the analysts can fluctuate the animals diet in any way that they want. Certain breeds of cattle require more feed, others require less. Some breeds require more protein, some require more fibers. As for grass-fed beef programs, producers cannot control the amount of grass a cow eats, since it is readily available. They can eat unlimited amounts of it, and become over conditioned. Another bad thing from having a grass only diet is the fact that the cattle are more susceptible to contracting worms. Cattle will pick-up the worms from eating the grass, and without vaccination, will become very, very ill(Hasheider 82).
             
              The argument between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef escalates more and more each year. As people realize how much healthier grass-fed beef is, they will buy and consume it more than just regular, grain-fed, steak. Grass-fed beef is lower in fat content, is cheaper than grain-fed beef, and is 100 percent organic. In Oklahoma, there are several health food stores that sell grass-fed beef. In These stores, there is also whole organic foods, just like grass-fed beef, there are absolutely no chemicals or other medicines used in these programs(Studio). Sure, there are great steaks out there at fancy high-end restaurants that serve twenty-one day aged Kobe beef that is not produced in the United States, but nothing will compare to the all natural, 100 percent organic, flavorful taste of a grass-fed steak.
Cow Essay 
-1
Egendorf, Laura K. Food: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2006. Print.
Hasheider, Philip. How to Raise Cattle: Everything You Need to Know. St. Paul: Voyageur, 2007. Print.
Makousky, David Tangley, Laura Loeb, Penny Holstein, William J. Thorton, Jeannye, "Hay feed might stop infections from meat." U.S. News & World Report 125.11(1998): middlesearchplus. EBSCO.web.27.Oct.2011
McCoy, J. J. How Safe Is Our Food Supply? New York: F. Watts, 1990. Print.
Riely, Andrew. " The Grass-Fed Cattle-Ranching Niche in Texas." Geographical Review 101.2(2011):261.MAS Ultra-School Edition.EBSCO.web.27.Oct.2011
Studio, The Blog. "The Differences Between Grass-Fed Beef and Grain-Fed Beef." Mark's Daily Apple. Web. 15 Nov. 2011.
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