As I learn to re-shop for products that are not SOYBEAN/COTTONSEED/CANOLA or VEGETABLE BASED, I find my world closing in. What do we eat? We can’t eat fish or large game fish anyway like Yellowtail or Tuna, and well after our oil spill most likely NOTHING from the ocean. And Chicken, while they say they don’t inject hormones what are they feeding the chickens is what you need to worry about and most places do not serve or even care what the chicken’s are fed. And Beef, while I”m not a vegetarian by choice because I love to eat meat I feel the Vegan walls closing in. So as I was shopping at my favorite local market in San Juan Capistrano ( FARM TO MARKET) who of course sells lots of AQUAMANTRA! I see the beef behind the counter, called Natural Grain Fed Beef. Now if I was an average consumer, I would assume Natural and Grain fed both meant good for me. I asked if they had grass fed and was looked at like I had a third eyeball. I asked the meat guy, do you know what kind of GRAIN, he said no – he had a brochure once but can’t remember. So I looked online. Everything looks good, until I get to the Grain-Fed portion and read that they feed their cattle corn, that a nutritionist says is good for them. ( see my blog here about GMOS) CORN which is most like MONSANTO CORN. So I called the Harris Beef company and I was told they couldn’t get enough natural corn for all of their cattle, so they are forced to buy MONSANTO CORN. hmmmmmm. What about GRASS? Its free isn’t it? Why wouldn’t they just feed them grass? Well, its not my business to run a meat plant, but I wish they would be honest so people could make a decision. If their marketing materials actually said – Grain fed with GMO CORN… then, maybe the people could purchase with authenticity.
TRANSPARENCY – is the future. Too bad Harris Beef Company is not doing that. I expect it from other big beef manufacturers, but not someone who is touting natural. If anyone knows a brand that is grass fed beef please let me know!
Here’s a great article about GRASS FED BEEF!
Here’s an exert – Author and small-scale cattleman Michael Pollan wrote recently in the New York Times about what happens to cows when they are taken off of pastures and put into feedlots and fed grain:
“Perhaps the most serious thing that can go wrong with a ruminant on corn is feedlot bloat. The rumen is always producing copious amounts of gas, which is normally expelled by belching during rumination. But when the diet contains too much starch and too little roughage, rumination all but stops, and a layer of foamy slime that can trap gas forms in the rumen. The rumen inflates like a balloon, pressing against the animal’s lungs. Unless action is promptly taken to relieve the pressure (usually by forcing a hose down the animal’s esophagus), the cow suffocates.
A corn diet can also give a cow acidosis. Unlike that in our own highly acidic stomachs, the normal pH of a rumen is neutral. Corn makes it unnaturally acidic, however, causing a kind of bovine heartburn, which in some cases can kill the animal but usually just makes it sick. Acidotic animals go off their feed, pant and salivate excessively, paw at their bellies and eat dirt. The condition can lead to diarrhea, ulcers, bloat, liver disease and a general weakening of the immune system that leaves the animal vulnerable to everything from pneumonia to feedlot polio.”
All this is not only unnatural and dangerous for the cows. It also has profound consequences for us. Feedlot beef as we know it today would be impossible if it weren’t for the routine and continual feeding of antibiotics to these animals. This leads directly and inexorably to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These are the new “superbugs” that are increasingly rendering our “miracle drugs” ineffective.
This is what Harris says about their beef:
Harris Ranch Premium Natural Angus Beef
Consumers are increasingly demanding natural products with added assurances. Premium Natural Angus Beef fulfills the demands of even the most discerning consumer. From the superior Angus genetics Harris Ranch demands, to the strict feeding and management practices we have in place, Premium Natural Angus Beef is peace of mind at the dinner table. No added hormones or antibiotics, 100% vegetarian diet, consistent tenderness, unmatched flavor, and guaranteed safe and natural.
Premium Natural Beef is all-natural, certified USDA Choice and Select Angus Beef. ( CHECK)
No added hormones, ever. ( CHECK)
No antibiotics fed or administered, ever. ( CHECK)
Source and age verified by Harris Ranch. ( CHECK)
All-vegetarian diet: formulated and approved by our animal nutritionist. No animal byproducts ever fed by Harris Ranch. ( CHECK) VEGETARIAN – sounds good.
Added assurances: Cattle feeds tested for pesticide residues and beef tested for antibiotic residues through our Residue Control Program, which goes beyond USDA guidelines.
Cattle are source-and age-verified: The Harris Feeding Company is the single source of cattle we process for our Premium Natural Angus program. We work with ranchers through our Partnership for Quality Program who can provide cattle with superior genetics so we can produce superior beef. ( CHECK)
California fresh: Our beef is produced right here in California, guaranteeing a fresh, wholesome product. ( CHECK -awesome, local)
Grain-fed: To produce the highest quality, best tasting beef, we transport Midwest-produced corn by the trainload to our feedlot where it is scientifically formulated into a balanced, nutritious ration. Cattle are typically fed at our facility for 120 days. (WARNING WARNING!!!!)
Satisfaction for discerning consumers: Harris Ranch recognizes the growing demand by progressive consumers. Premium Natural Angus Beef answers this demand. ( CHECK)
Humane handling: Cattle are humanely handled during all aspects of production. ( CHECK)
Respected reputation: Harris Ranch Beef Company is family owned and operated, and has been a leader in the beef industry for over 40 years. ( CHECK) Very nice.