From Global AgInvesting:
Cows are ruminants, superbly adapted to convert grass into meat or milk. Research is proving that the health concerns long associated with eating beef result not from eating beef, but rather from eating corn-fed beef.
During World War II farmers were producing more corn than the American population was consuming and so, started feeding the surplus corn to cattle. They soon found that cows eating corn fattened up much quicker than cows eating grass. Seventy-five years ago it took a cow four to five years to reach a slaughter weight of 1,200 pounds. Today it takes 13-15 months, thanks to corn, antibiotics, growth hormones and protein supplements.
But corn consumption in cattle causes many problems, because quite simply, cattle were never meant to consume corn. Cattle on pasture have Ph neutral (Ph of 7) stomachs. A corn diet dangerously raises the acid level in the cow’s stomach creating health conditions such as acidosis, necessitating medications and antibiotics which create prime conditions for the existence of E. Coli.
The very dangerous strain of E. Coli 0157:H7 was isolated in the 1980’s and arose because cattle were being fed grain and not their natural diet of grass. When we hear of the all-too-common re-calls of beef because of E. Coli contamination it is because of the animal’s diet.
Feeding cattle on corn fundamentally changes the meat they produce, greatly increasing levels of unhealthy Omega-6 fatty acids and decreasing levels of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. This change greatly impacts the healthiness of meat for human consumption. Scientists estimate that our Paleolithic ancestors consumed meat with an Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid ratio of close to 1:1, and not more than 1:5.
When cattle are grass fed or raised on pasture, the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is exactly where it should be for a healthy animal and therefore a healthy human eating that animal. Since cattle cannot properly process grains, when they are corn fed, the ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 is completely opposite of what is natural. Corn-fed cattle have 15%-50% less Omega-3 fatty acids in their meat than grass fed cattle creating meat that is much less healthy of us to consume.
In modern beef production a calf will be on pasture for the first few months of its life and then moved into a feedlot and fed corn to fatten it up quickly. We can see in the following chart how quickly the animal loses the Omega-3s in its system after its diet is changed. Read More…