Industrial beef alternative

February 28, 2008

Freaked out over the recent record-shattering meat/food recall but can’t bring yourself to give up beef? Check out your local resources for grass-fed. Grass fed cattle have fewer cases of Ecoli than their corn-fed, industrial-farmed relatives.

Why? Cows didn’t evolve to eat corn, but because it’s cheap, it’s become the food of choice for industrial cattle farms. Corn-based diets, however, lead to cows with unnaturally acidic colons, in which E. coli thrives. Grass-fed cattle don’t have that problem because they eat the food nature intended (grass), resulting in healthy acid levels. Even corn-fed cattle that are switched to a grass-only diet five days before slaughter have levels of E. coli 1,000 times lower than those on a corn-only diet, according to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

For more information on corn and it’s effect on cattle and our food supply, read Michael Pollan’s, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Source: National Geographic’s Green Guide, food safety quiz . Take it and see how much you know about food safety basics.

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