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Grass Feed Beef

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The Dilemma Surrounding Corn-Fed Vs. Grass-Fed Beef Anonymous
DeVry University

The Dilemma Surrounding Corn-Fed Vs. Grass-Fed Beef
There are many positive and negative opinions surrounding beef that range from the process of raising cattle to the final stage of consumption. An area of controversy revolves around the pros and cons of corn-fed verses grass-fed cattle. It appears grain-based (corn or soy) diets cause numerous health problems for cattle, creating unhealthy cattle and unhealthy meat. Two areas of concern are the nutrition and health aspects of grain-fed beef and the risk of E. coli. It is believed by many that pasture-based cattle contribute to healthy eating. Using our grasslands, which is a natural process, creates a foundation for raising grass-fed cattle (Clancy & Pollan, 2006).
An animal’s diet can profoundly influence the nutrient content of its products. In a comparison, beef from grain-fed cattle only contain 15 to 50 percent as much omega-3s and are higher in calories and fat content, specifically saturated fat. As herbivores, cows are intended to graze. Omega-3s are produced from eating grass or leaves of plants which contain 20 times more vitamin E than corn or soy (Pollan, 2006 and Robinson, n.d., Eatwild).
Cattle that are fed grain and confined to feedlots are prone to disease. They develop bloat, diarrhea, ulcers, liver disease, and weakened immune systems. According to a study (Greener Pastures: How Grass-fed Beef and Milk Contribute to Healthy Eating, 2006), an average amount of heart-healthy EPA/DHA in a serving of grass-fed steak is about 35 mg, while steak from non-pastured cattle had only 18 mg per serving. These days it seems like everything we eat can potentially contribute to causing cancer such as certain oils. Corn and safflower oil contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids (cancer-promoting fats). An article written by Jo Robinson reveals how omega-6s can accelerate the growth of cancer cells, making them more invasive. “For example, if you were to inject a colony of rats with human cancer cells and then put some of the rats on a corn oil diet, some on a butterfat diet, and some on a beef fat diet, the ones given the omega-6 rich corn oil would be afflicted with larger and more aggressive tumors.” Robinson’s articles highlight where the connection between animal and human nutrition is lost. After all, the saying, “you are what you eat” is relevant to everyone. (Robinson, n.d., Eatwild).
The majority of beef sold in the United States is grain-fed (Croom, 2011). The high demand for beef has encouraged farmers to gravitate towards feedlots and feeding cattle grains. Feeding cattle grains (corn or soy) significantly decreases the time it takes a cow to reach a mature weight of 1,200 pounds. Years ago it took grass-fed cattle 4 to 5 years to reach that weight. Cattle that have a grain-based diet are susceptible to pathogens, the growth of E. coli. Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, states that the lethal strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7 is believed to have evolved in the gut of feedlot cattle. The development of a more acidic environment in cows’ intestinal tracts created an acid-resistant strain of the pathogen, which is able to survive the acidic conditions of the human stomach and prove fatal (Pollan, 2006).
“E. coli O157:H7 can colonize in the intestines of animals, which could contaminate muscle meat at slaughter.” Once bacteria are in meat it can survive and multiply in refrigerator and freezer temperatures (Food Safety and Inspection Service, 2011). "Most bacteria are killed by the acid of stomach juice, but E. coli from grain-fed cattle are resistant to strong acids," explains James B. Russell, a USDA microbiologist and faculty member of the Cornell Section of Microbiology. "When people eat foods contaminated with acid-resistant E. coli -- including pathogenic strains like O157:H7 -- the chance of getting sick increases" (Segelken, 1998). Whenever grain-fed beef is consumed, remember that every year E. coli causes infections and deaths in the US.

As the last page of this document, include your References. Format each entry using alphabetical order of each author’s last name, or the first word of the title (excluding a, an, and the) if no author exists. Be sure to have each entry start flush left; then the second and each subsequent line must be hanging indented. See example below. Before you turn in the paper, go to Review above and click on “Spelling & Grammar.” Not every error will be flagged, and some that are flagged as errors are actually correct. So this spell checker is not foolproof. Also, check your word count at the bottom left corner of this page. If you have fewer than 750 words, it’s a red flag that not enough information exists. If you go above the suggested word count, that’s OK—as long as you’re concise, not repeating yourself, and including only relevant information. Then SAVE AS . . your last name.first.research.draft.1.doc. Put in the Dropbox as an attachment so that if done correctly, a paper icon appears next to the assignment. Be sure when it’s graded to read the comments so that you can improve for your next paper!

Croom, Stephanie. (2011). Why grass fed beef is a healthier choice than grain fed beef. Retrieved from
Food Safety and Inspection Service. (2011, May 24). Ground beef and food safety. Retrieved from
Pollan, Michael. Omnivore's dilemma: A natural history of four meals. Retrieved from
Robinson, J. Eatwild. Retrieved from
Segelken, Roger. (1998, September). Acid relief for o157:h7. Retrieved from

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B. In ‘N Out
C. McDonald’s
D. None of the above

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A. 30
B. 50
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D. 99

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A. 24
B. 48
C. 70
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A. tobacco
B. corn
C. soy
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A. True
B. False

8. Corporations control farmers because of the the farmers have.
A. debt
B. ethics
C. loyalty
D. All of the above

9. A typical chicken grower earns annually.
A. $18,000
B. $35,000
C. $65,000
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A. the politics of food.
B. the state of the corn farmers.
C. the source of his food.
D. how food is marketed.

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A. Breeders
B. Pesticides
C. Fertilizers
D. All of the above

12. A farm bill codifies the rules of the entire food economy.
A. True
B. False
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A. True
B. False 14. Cow’s are preferably fed corn over grain or grass because corn:
A. is cheap.
B. makes the cows fat.
C. Both of the above

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B. grain
C. grass
D. wheat

16. The number f Food & Drug Administration (FDA) safety......

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