Image: Marc Cesario, Meeting Place Pastures in Cornwall, VT
Almost all of the beef available in supermarkets across the country comes from sick cows that pose a significant risk to human health. The Cornucopia Institute, a national food and farm policy research group, has just released a video educating consumers on where their burger meat comes from. The informative, short video, Sick Cows/Sick People-The Grassfed Antidote, shows just how unhealthy typical beef production is and what consumers can do to find excellent meat for their Labor Day barbeques.
“Most beef cattle in the U.S. are morbidly obese and likely suffer from diabetes and fatty livers,” said Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia’s senior farm policy analyst. “Very few would survive to old age if not sent to slaughter.”
Like people, a cow’s diet and environment strongly influences its health. The conventional U.S. beef production system depends on a network of farmers and ranchers who raise cattle on grain, with access to pasture, for the initial portion of their lives. But the final “finishing” months of a beef animal’s life is invariably spent wading through manure and mud on massive, crowded, grass-free feedlots, where thousands of other animals are fattened on GMO corn-based feed.
“These animals have evolved to eat grass and other fresh plants. High production grain-based rations, along with routinely administered drugs to promote growth and stave off the inevitable illness from their unnatural diet and living conditions, makes factory-produced animals sick,” added Cornucopia’s Kastel, who narrates the video. “Sadly, this conventional beef is what many will be grilling up on Labor Day weekend.”
But Americans don’t have to eat meat from sick animals. There is a more humane, healthy alternative: 100% grass-fed organic beef, available at your local co-op, specialty retailer, or farmers market.