Customers are concerned more on issues concerning their food nowadays. For the beef products, different advertisements are used for a similar or even a different product. The most common advertisements claim that the commodity is safer, others state that the product is much better for the environment and its surroundings, others stress that a product is of good health than the others, and the rest claims of the value. For one to make a conclusion that one beef product is better than the other, he or she has to come up with a proof that it is less toxic or it is nutritious than the others. The state of the economy, the media information, and the feedback from friends influence the customers choice of beef. In real sense, there is no proven evidence of any kind that the grass fed beef is advantageous over the grain fed beef in terms of human well-being, safety, and the impact on the surrounding. Both kinds of beef offer significant considerations in human diet nutrition of proteins, iron, and zinc in equal proportions. This paper compares grass fed beef and grain fed beef, how long it takes to feed grass beef, and its effects on the environment and how healthy grain and grain beef is.
The founder of a marketing company, Mary Lou Quinlan, talked to the attendants during the Food System Summit that was conducting a research. She said that, the influence of the beef customers choice of purchase is mostly from the stories on unsafe food from the media, pressures from a bad economy, labels that confuse and mislead people, as well as those who ask many questions on social media, such as Facebook. For a customer to sort all the named factors, he or she has to determine the actual value of the beef they really want (Cartel 23). The above attributes are to be found on the comparisons of the grass fed beef to grain fed beef. In real sense, there is no proven evidence of any kind that the grass fed beef is advantageous over the grain fed beef in terms of human well-being, safety, and the impact on the surrounding. Both kinds of beef offer significant considerations in human diet nutrition of proteins, iron, and zinc in equal proportions. Regarding the effect on the environment, studies carried out using growth chambers with an aim of evaluating the emissions of the greenhouse gas from the cattle with changing intensities of fodder and grain in the diet. The outcomes indicated an increase by 30% of the harvest age comparing the cattle fed from grass to those fed by grains. It is evident that there is more than 500% increase in the greenhouse gas emissions from every pound of the beef, which is produced from the grass fed cattle in comparison to the grain fed cattle (Pezza 14). There is an increased impact to the environment due to the release of the uncontrolled nitrogen and phosphate to the environment. Additionally, grass fed cattle use water by more than 30% compared to the grain fed cattle. There is also more than 30% increase in land use for the greens fed cattle compared to the grain fed cattle.
A model from Canadian workers gave reports accounting for loss of carbon from fossil fuels for production of corns and other considerations of both grain and green fed cattle production. The model shows that added efficiency of animal production and resource use from intensive grain feeding reduces the collective environmental impact in relation to the grass fed beef. There are two common arguments concerning the grass fed beef and the grain fed beef. One of the arguments states that the grass fed beef has a greater content of conjugated linoleic acid (this was proved by studies in a laboratory where it was shown to decrease growth of tumour in mice), and it has lower content of cholesterol. The content of cholesterol in grass fed beef has never been different from the grain fed beef; it rose up and started as a convenient rumour. Substances that have greater content of cholesterol than beef such as eggs, shellfish, and venison have slight fat, which shows that fat content is not determined by cholesterol content. There has been existence of several legal issues for false cholesterol content labelling, which has led many individuals into distress. The conjugated linoleic acid story on “potent anti-carcinogen might be among the tricks used on consumers because raw meat is the one used to give the variation of grass fed beef from grain fed beef. A portion of grass fed beef, which is raw, consistently contains almost the same quantity of conjugated linoleic acid in relation to a similar portion from the grain fed. This indicates that a typical grass fed steak has a similar conjugated linoleic acid as Certified Angus Beef that has been heavily fed with grains. Other studies have shown that when meat is cooked, a similar quantity of fat is lost; therefore, there is no difference in conjugated linoleic acid in either green or grain fed beef (Moody 24).
Cattles are raised in different environments and are slaughtered at different times after birth. The grass fed cattle take longer to be harvested than the grain fed beef because they take a bit longer to grow. A calf takes at least 8 weeks to be fed with other resources for a green-fed animal while for the grains fed animals it can be fed after two weeks from birth. A calf cannot be slaughtered a few days after its birth because it is not healthy for consumption. A natural life span for beef cattle ranges between twenty and twenty five years though the maturity age for its slaughter is approximately 18 months. Grain fed cattle takes fewer years than green fed beef to be slaughtered. A year after birth a grain fed cattle is enough to be taken to a slaughter house. In general, it takes eight months longer for a grass fed cattle to be slaughtered compared to the grain fed beef (Dunbar 17).
A number of studies have also indicated a close relationship between conjugated linoleic acid and cancer. A recent study used the mice to seek this connection where they were fed with different amounts of conjugated linoleic acid. Three quarters of the mice in the study getting large amounts of conjugated linoleic acid acquired cancer. Based on this study, it was realized that it would take a person to consume 176 pounds of grass fed beef daily so as be at the same level as the mice in the study of conjugated linoleic acid. Another important aspect of intakes of fats in human beings is the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6. The World Health Organization recommends intake of Omega 3 of 1.1 to 1.6 grams per day, which implies that, one requires taking 42 pounds of grass fed cooked beef each day to meet the daily necessity (Hartman 78). Therefore, it is not to true to speculate that, taking in grass fed beef will improve human health due to the presence of fatty acids in Omega 3. Studies concerning consumer science indicate that the safety of human beings food is very important and it is a significant characteristic in making decisions about buying food. Most of the grass fed beef adverts claim that there is no presence of E. coli infections in humans who take this beef. This is scaring and very dangerous because it gives the consumers a deceitful logic about the safety. Livestock in all kinds of background feedlots and grassland have been proven to contain infectious sort of E. coli in their intestinal strip, and special care in the processing firms should be taken in prevention of meat contamination (Cartel 145).
In conclusion, the grass fed beef has some differences with the grass and grain fed beef. This difference is experienced in factors such as the time it takes for the different beef, the health, and the impact on the environment. The grain fed beef is better in terms of health and the impact on the environment more than the grass fed beef. For one to make a conclusion that one beef product is better than the other, he or she has to come up with a proof that it is less toxic or it has more nutrients than the other. The state of the economy, the media information, and the feedback from friends influence the customers choice of beef. A community that is surrounded by false and misleading information will never be able to sustain and keep on engaging new consumers. In promotion of green fed products, there are a number of factors to consider while purchasing beef. Such crucial factors include the conditions that the animals have been brought up in, pasture environment, verification of sources, among others.
Cartel, Janzen. Raising of cattle. Harlow, England: Pearson Longhorn, 2010.
Dunbar, Steinberg. Healthy beef consumption. London: Oxford Maxwell Publishing, 2009.
Hartman, David. “Grass fed beef verses Grain fed beef.” Telling the story of grass fed beef (2016): 23-25.
Moody, Stuart. “Raising Cattle for Dairy and Beef.” Cattle Keeping (2014): 14-17.
Pezza, Kim. The North American counterpart of our Smallholding. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2014.