Posted 21 February 2008 - 03:21 PM
And this thread if officially off topic. Sorry
Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:03 PM
I'm in undergrad right now for Pre-Veterinary Studies, and we have animal units on campus where we're required to have a certain number of hours on the farm with each species. It's pretty fun, driving to school and getting to see cows, sheep, goats, horses, and pigs as I'm making my way to the parking lot.
Anyhoo, I hate to play the devil's advocate here, but sometimes the meat from "healthier, better treated" animals is not always so. I've learned from my teachers (who are all DVM's) that the free-range-certified animals are simply given a larger pasture to graze in, as opposed to a smaller dirt lot. This doesn't mean that they aren't still shipped off to a slaugherhouse and killed there in the same manner as the rest of the meat, just that they had more space to move around in and were able to graze freely instead of being fed only out of a trough. From what I've been told, most smaller farms (which, an "organic" operation would most likely be small, there are hardly any large-scale commercial operations of that kind) rarely slaughter and package their own meat on site, simply because they do not normally have the equipment, and/or it's not cost-effective for their operation.
Also, animals who haven't been treated with antibiotics or hormones haven't been vaccinated or treated for any signs of illness. So, if an animal in the "healthy certified" herd is showing signs of illness, it can only either be treated and moved to a "non-certified" herd, or culled, and from what I've been told, they're more likely to just cull the animal, since usually the whole farm is supposed to be "organic".
I personally just feel more comfortable knowing that the meat I'm eating/milk I'm drinking came from a vaccinated cow where the whole herd was vaccinated, instead of from an "organic" farm where my cow just wasn't showing any signs of illness (even though the hefer next to her might have been sick).
I hate to go on such a rant here, but we take a lot of time in my school to learn about proper meat and food production and all of the related USDA and FDA guidelines, and it makes me really mad that people get such a bad impression of the entire industry because these videos are taken showing badly run operations which are usually violating USDA regulations, when places like that only represent the smallest possible percentage of the industry.
They just let one bad apple ruin it for the rest of the bunch.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.
Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:13 PM
| Originally Posted by LC_Rachel |
I don't know if this is available where you are, but maybe you could contact a local rancher to see if they sell their beef. Typically it's a lot healthier than the meat you get in the stores. Plus I'm sure they make sure their cows are treated properly because their lively hood depends on it.
On our campus we have a beef unit with it's own slaughter and packing unit. Anyone can come and purchase the meat produced here from our farm store. You can even pick the cow you would like from the pasture and come to see the facility yourself! We have several regulars from the surrounding community who do this all the time, and it's monitored regularly by our own USDA rep. and industry professionals, as well as our instructors, who are usually doing research in the meat production industry.
Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:16 PM
Of course, most beef is safe. It's like anything else- you have to be an informed consumer. I saw a really gross expose on how vegetables are improperly handled. Same thing- know where you are getting your food from and look into the practices involved in farming/shipping the products.
Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:15 PM
I try to buy my meat from whole foods and try to get grass fed beef. I read somewhere that the reasons cows get so sick and need all the vaccines and antibiotics is because they are being fed a corn diet and corn is not a food that cows are designed to eat and they have a hard time digesting it. Now I don't claim to be any sort of expert, I only know from the little I have researched. It just makes me feel better to buy "organic" meat and support smaller farms and not buy from the big mega food companies.
Is it wrong that all this talk about beef makes me want a cheeseburger?
Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:31 PM
The book is a push for veganism, however, I have my limitations. I do restrict my dairy intake, but it's hard to eliminate altogether. The book has quite the marketing ploy, but really does have a good message of being healthy - eating and living healthy.
There are so many books about the beef industry. However, just reading the little bit that I did sold me on the practice of not eating beef. It actually made me cry - the things that happen to some of the animals is just absolutely horrific. Truly was an eye opener, as well as educational.
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