Grass vs. Grass Pellets
Even cows that mainly eat grass aren’t doing it the way you think. Most of us live within spitting distance of some wide open field where cows are seen lazing the day away flicking flies with their tales and foraging for grass, hay, and whatever tasty plant life is within tongue’s reach. But these aren’t the kind of cows that are harvested for their beef. Those cows are getting grass all right, but it’s not the type growing in the pasture, but rather grass pellets that are fed into troughs inside of a barn.
First and foremost, grass pellets are not grass. They are a highly concentrated man-made product. Here’s a list of ingredients from the “Beef Maintenance Pellets” sold by Riverina.
Barley, wheat, maize, sorghum, bran and pollard, vegetable protein meals, hulls, molasses, vegetable oil, limestone, buffer, dicalcium phosphate, salt, ammonium sulphate, organic zinc, flavouring, Rumensin®, mould inhibitor, Riverina ruminant vitamin & mineral premix.
Who knew “grass” was so complicated? What you’re seeing above is the evidence of cattle producers trying to ‘play God’ and manipulate how each cow is grown to maximize profitability at the cost of the cow’s health and potentially the actual quality of the meat. If you’re contemplating buying “grass-fed” beef for personal or commercial use, do some research and find out where it’s coming from. If you can’t connect the product to an actual farm or farmer, it’s a good bet what you’re buying came from a feedlot.
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