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Is This Grass Fed or Not?

So if anyone is familiar with Trader Joe’s, I’m a bit confused as to whether or not their beef is grass fed or not.

It has the:
Never treated with antibiotics
No hormones

And then it says: Free-Range**

** (Never confined to a feed lot)

Now if the cattle were never confined to a feed lot, does one assume their diet was grass? Or is that irrelevant as the feedlot is what causes the fatty-acid imbalances regardless.

If it’s grass fed, those are some solid prices and I’ll be very much pleased.

can’t say for sure but i really doubt it. doesn’t mean it’s bad beef though…

there really aren’t regulations for “grass fed” so you can call anything “grass fed” ,since pretty much all cows eat grass, even though they may be finished on grain or whatever for the last few weeks.

your best bet for grass fed is to buy something that says “100% grass fed”. even then it’s only a bet and you should do some research (visit) the farm if possible.

[quote]baseballer2150 wrote:
So if anyone is familiar with Trader Joe’s, I’m a bit confused as to whether or not their beef is grass fed or not.

It has the:
Never treated with antibiotics
No hormones

And then it says: Free-Range**

** (Never confined to a feed lot)

Now if the cattle were never confined to a feed lot, does one assume their diet was grass? Or is that irrelevant as the feedlot is what causes the fatty-acid imbalances regardless.

If it’s grass fed, those are some solid prices and I’ll be very much pleased. [/quote]

I highly doubt it is. Free Range means nothing other than they were not fed in a confined space. They can feed them anything they want on the free range.

Technically - if there is a fence keeping an animal in, it is not free range. but the term has been bastardized to mean that the animals are not kept in highly confined space.

I know the exact steaks you are talking about, as I bought a bunch of them from Trader Joe’s myself. There’s nothing on those labels that say ‘grass fed’, so like everyone else has said so far, I doubt they are.

However, they do taste good, so enjoy them.

Trader Joes sells New Zealand grass fed beef, says it right on the package. Why not just buy this? Shit, the flank steak is 5.99/lb, can’t beat that for grass fed beef. And its definitely grass fed, you can tell the difference in the meat.

[quote]Dubbz wrote:
Trader Joes sells New Zealand grass fed beef, says it right on the package. Why not just buy this? Shit, the flank steak is 5.99/lb, can’t beat that for grass fed beef. And its definitely grass fed, you can tell the difference in the meat.[/quote]

Is this a newer item? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it at either of the Trader Joe’s local to me. Then again, my local stores have a hard time keeping items in stock. Is it with the frozen foods or in the refrigerated meats section? I’ll have to check when I do my shopping this weekend.

[quote]Dubbz wrote:
Trader Joes sells New Zealand grass fed beef, says it right on the package. Why not just buy this? Shit, the flank steak is 5.99/lb, can’t beat that for grass fed beef. And its definitely grass fed, you can tell the difference in the meat.[/quote]

I hadn’t seen this either, but that sounds solid. I’ll have to look around more closely next time. Hopefully i have just failed to see it thus far.

Free range:Means “the animal has access to open spaces for most of the day”, thats the minimum standard.
No antibiotics: If the cattle is being fed on corn for too long (ruminants can’t digest it properly and this causes liver damage etc usually in 150-200 days).
No hormones - generally a good sign.

For grass fed beef, it must say:
Grass-finished - all cattle is initially grass fed and then stuffed with the corn and animal fat for 3 months to fatten it up. Grass-finished means it ate grass from start to finish.
Big sign of Grass fed beef is that it’s a lot tougher than regular because of the decreased fat content.

Bottom Line: If you eat more a lot (majority %)worry about grass-fed, and diversify into Bison or ostrich or salmon etc. Alternately, go to www.eatwild.com and look up a farm near you to get grass-fed/organic meat cheap.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
Dubbz wrote:
Trader Joes sells New Zealand grass fed beef, says it right on the package. Why not just buy this? Shit, the flank steak is 5.99/lb, can’t beat that for grass fed beef. And its definitely grass fed, you can tell the difference in the meat.

Is this a newer item? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it at either of the Trader Joe’s local to me. Then again, my local stores have a hard time keeping items in stock. Is it with the frozen foods or in the refrigerated meats section? I’ll have to check when I do my shopping this weekend.[/quote]

No…but I moved a few months ago and I don’t remember seeing it in Michigan, however now that I’m in Connecticut they have it every time I go. Might be a location thing? And its in the refrigerated section with all the other meats. I bought 6 lbs last weekend and have been eating it everyday for lunch, awesome. You can’t even get regular flank steak for 5.99/lb anywhere, I can’t believe I’m paying that for grass fed.

And I’m not sure I agree with the guy above me, grass finished could just mean that it ate shit all of its life up until its last day of life, when it ate some grass. You can tell the difference in the taste, color and smell.

[quote]Evil1 wrote:
No antibiotics: If the cattle is being fed on corn for too long (ruminants can’t digest it properly and this causes liver damage etc usually in 150-200 days). [/quote]

Do you have proof of this? The liver is taxed because of the excess fat the animals are carrying. If ruminants can’t digest grain properly, why are they usually 2.5 times more efficient in gaining weight on grain than they are on grass?

[quote]For grass fed beef, it must say:
Grass-finished - all cattle is initially grass fed and then stuffed with the corn and animal fat for 3 months to fatten it up. Grass-finished means it ate grass from start to finish.
Big sign of Grass fed beef is that it’s a lot tougher than regular because of the decreased fat content.[/quote]

Unless the USDA just came out with some new guidelines - there is absolutely nothing a label “must say”. This is the problem with the niche grass-fed beef industry: There are no rules by which the consumer can feel reasonably safe that they are indeed getting what they are paying for.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
No antibiotics: If the cattle is being fed on corn for too long (ruminants can’t digest it properly and this causes liver damage etc usually in 150-200 days).

Do you have proof of this? The liver is taxed because of the excess fat the animals are carrying. If ruminants can’t digest grain properly, why are they usually 2.5 times more efficient in gaining weight on grain than they are on grass?

For grass fed beef, it must say:
Grass-finished - all cattle is initially grass fed and then stuffed with the corn and animal fat for 3 months to fatten it up. Grass-finished means it ate grass from start to finish.
Big sign of Grass fed beef is that it’s a lot tougher than regular because of the decreased fat content.

Unless the USDA just came out with some new guidelines - there is absolutely nothing a label “must say”. This is the problem with the niche grass-fed beef industry: There are no rules by which the consumer can feel reasonably safe that they are indeed getting what they are paying for.

[/quote]

As a lifter you probably know this but i’ll point it out… excess of simple carbs makes you fat (the corn is ground into flakes for easier digestion raising its GI like rolled oats vs steel cut)
My understanding of this is based on my reading of “The Omnivores Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, who did take the pains to go to a farm and talk to the owners at a Kansas cattle farm.

It’s not that the cattle cannot digest the grains, it more of the issue of that a ruminants digestive pouch is pH neutral rather than acidic like ours, and a large quantity of grains makes for an imbalance causing toxicity.

with respect to the grass-fed beef issue, i was just pointing out that companies with truly grass-finished meat tend to highlight the fact (marketing whores…lol) because the term grass-fed as you pointed out has very lax standards.

[quote]Evil1 wrote:
rainjack wrote:
Evil1 wrote:
No antibiotics: If the cattle is being fed on corn for too long (ruminants can’t digest it properly and this causes liver damage etc usually in 150-200 days).

Do you have proof of this? The liver is taxed because of the excess fat the animals are carrying. If ruminants can’t digest grain properly, why are they usually 2.5 times more efficient in gaining weight on grain than they are on grass?

For grass fed beef, it must say:
Grass-finished - all cattle is initially grass fed and then stuffed with the corn and animal fat for 3 months to fatten it up. Grass-finished means it ate grass from start to finish.
Big sign of Grass fed beef is that it’s a lot tougher than regular because of the decreased fat content.

Unless the USDA just came out with some new guidelines - there is absolutely nothing a label “must say”. This is the problem with the niche grass-fed beef industry: There are no rules by which the consumer can feel reasonably safe that they are indeed getting what they are paying for.

As a lifter you probably know this but i’ll point it out… excess of simple carbs makes you fat (the corn is ground into flakes for easier digestion raising its GI like rolled oats vs steel cut)
My understanding of this is based on my reading of “The Omnivores Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, who did take the pains to go to a farm and talk to the owners at a Kansas cattle farm.

It’s not that the cattle cannot digest the grains, it more of the issue of that a ruminants digestive pouch is pH neutral rather than acidic like ours, and a large quantity of grains makes for an imbalance causing toxicity.

with respect to the grass-fed beef issue, i was just pointing out that companies with truly grass-finished meat tend to highlight the fact (marketing whores…lol) because the term grass-fed as you pointed out has very lax standards. [/quote]

You don’t want to get into this with RJ. He is a former cowboy, has a degree in this stuff and works as a consultant/bean counter to cattle ranchers. He knows the ins and outs of the industry.

It’s my experience that the only way to know you’re really getting free range or grass fed meat is to buy it direct from farmers whose reputation is the only thing keeping them in business. I gave up on buying most meat at the chains and just get it at the farmers market. On the upside, I found out that Virginia free range pork tastes better than anything the Germans or Italians can raise.

[quote]supabeast wrote:
It’s my experience that the only way to know you’re really getting free range or grass fed meat is to buy it direct from farmers whose reputation is the only thing keeping them in business. I gave up on buying most meat at the chains and just get it at the farmers market. On the upside, I found out that Virginia free range pork tastes better than anything the Germans or Italians can raise.[/quote]

it’s pretty weird to me how people just don’t give a shit about knowing where their food comes from… why aren’t foods labeled with exact place of origin ? why can’t you buy a cut of beef @ stop & shop and know exactly where it came from ? is it impossible to do or what ? you’d think this would be the norm with all this untraceable salmonella rolling around.

The 100% grass fed beef niche is such that they will brag about it on the label. If they don’t mention it, the beef definitely isn’t 100% grass fed.

And if they do mention it, you still don’t know for sure.

You know when you eat it.