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Grass Fed Beef in Chicago?

Grass Fed Beef in Chicago?
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  • Post #91 - January 7th, 2011, 9:56 am
    Post #91 - January 7th, 2011, 9:56 am Post #91 - January 7th, 2011, 9:56 am
    LAZ wrote:
    dansch wrote:grass-fed but grain-finished beef

    That describes the vast majority of American beef. So-called "corn-fed" cattle is only fed grain during the final weeks of its life. It all starts out on grass. "Grass-fed" is used to describe cattle that doesn't spend time being fattened on a feed lot.


    note: by "final weeks" leah means "final 3-4 months of their 15 month life"

    there's actually a new study now that shows you can get the same marbled effect finishing on corn gives you by starting young cows on corn right after they're weaned. so wean 'em, put them on corn for 4-5 months and then switch them to a low-starch/low-corn diet for another 7-8 months. ends up using a lot less corn, and the cattle are also ready for slaughter 3-4 months earlier. i'm not endorsing it, just saying that the "corn before slaughter" method might be on the way out.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #92 - January 7th, 2011, 4:30 pm
    Post #92 - January 7th, 2011, 4:30 pm Post #92 - January 7th, 2011, 4:30 pm
    Grain finishing for the last 3-5 months fattens the animal faster and with a thicker fatcap, and so allows an earlier slaughter (hits target weight sooner), but eliminates most of the benefits of grass feeding, e.g., omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, conjugated linoleic acids levels, and vitamin E all go in the wrong direction on grain. There are also health and enviro issues with feedlot finishing (waste run-off and required antibiotics in the feed).
  • Post #93 - January 16th, 2011, 8:12 am
    Post #93 - January 16th, 2011, 8:12 am Post #93 - January 16th, 2011, 8:12 am
    When I eat beef, I want to enjoy the taste experience that I'm after. I do enjoy grass fed beef from time to time. But I also enjoy a nice choice, prime or American Kobe (I know). One time I was thinking that I have had all these types of beef before, and know the differences between them. But I had never put those differences side by side on a plate. So the wife, kids and I cooked up a few New York strip steaks. We used a grass fed, choice, dry aged and a prime...and then cut them up and ate them side by side. They were cooked on a gas grill (minimal flavor in the fuel choice) to the same temperature and seasoned only with a little bit of salt. As suspected, they were all quite good for different reasons. But it was certainly fun to cook/eat them side by side by side by side.

    dan
  • Post #94 - January 19th, 2011, 10:15 pm
    Post #94 - January 19th, 2011, 10:15 pm Post #94 - January 19th, 2011, 10:15 pm
    I've gotten a bunch of stuff from a farmer outside Galena named Tom Arnold (http://www.arnoldsfarm.com/af/index.htm)

    I found him at a winter farmer's market last year. I've ordered (and eaten) beef (both grain and grass fed), pork, chicken, and most recently a lamb. It was raised and butchered for us and another family. The quality has always been excellent. Prices are very reasonable. He delivers to the Chicago area four times a year. The meat is frozen as soon as it is butchered, but I think you could probably make a deal to go pick it up if you'd prefer it unfrozen.

    He also delivers local cheeses, and bacon, and sausage made from his stock.
  • Post #95 - March 17th, 2011, 4:19 pm
    Post #95 - March 17th, 2011, 4:19 pm Post #95 - March 17th, 2011, 4:19 pm
    Has anyone ordered from Whole Earth Meats before? I'm wondering what you thought of the quality of meat.

    I'm about to pull the trigger on purchasing a beef share and some pastured chickens.

    I also found the following article http://halalmeat.info/?p=148#more-148
  • Post #96 - March 18th, 2011, 7:00 pm
    Post #96 - March 18th, 2011, 7:00 pm Post #96 - March 18th, 2011, 7:00 pm
    iahawk89 wrote:I've gotten a bunch of stuff from a farmer outside Galena named Tom Arnold (http://www.arnoldsfarm.com/af/index.htm)

    I found him at a winter farmer's market last year. I've ordered (and eaten) beef (both grain and grass fed), pork, chicken, and most recently a lamb. It was raised and butchered for us and another family. The quality has always been excellent. Prices are very reasonable. He delivers to the Chicago area four times a year. The meat is frozen as soon as it is butchered, but I think you could probably make a deal to go pick it up if you'd prefer it unfrozen.

    He also delivers local cheeses, and bacon, and sausage made from his stock.


    We ordered a quarter of grass-fed beef from him last summer. We're almost finished with it. We are quite happy with the product. Very tasty and reasonably priced. We may order another quarter this summer.

    We happened to be in the area when our quarter was ready, so we picked it up at the butcher in Elisabeth ourselves. Saved about 40 dollars in delivery costs
  • Post #97 - May 9th, 2014, 11:35 am
    Post #97 - May 9th, 2014, 11:35 am Post #97 - May 9th, 2014, 11:35 am
    Bill Kurtis' Tallgrass Beef Company has introduced a 100-percent grass-fed and grass-finished frank.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... -tallgrass
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #98 - May 10th, 2014, 3:58 pm
    Post #98 - May 10th, 2014, 3:58 pm Post #98 - May 10th, 2014, 3:58 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    Bill Kurtis' Tallgrass Beef Company has introduced a 100-percent grass-fed and grass-finished frank.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/ ... -tallgrass


    ...and the point?
  • Post #99 - May 13th, 2014, 9:31 am
    Post #99 - May 13th, 2014, 9:31 am Post #99 - May 13th, 2014, 9:31 am
    We have tried the Tallgrass beef purchased at Fresh Farms.
    But we decided to purchase a beef locally. One SE Wisconsin brand claimed grass fed but in my discussions with the farmers and suppliers here in Kenosha/Racine counties, you can't raise 100% grass fed in the Wisconsin.
    We decided on an Angus beef raised just a few miles down the road from us.
    A little over 1200#'s on the hoof and processed at Hansen's meat in Racine county.
    The maximum time the USDA Inspector would allow the carcass to hang was about 24 days.
    Next time I am going to ask the Inspector, if we can remove the primals and age dry age further.
    I did not have the trim ground but kept it in bags so we can grind ourselves and assured that we only got trim from the animal we purchased.
    I would judge the quality of the meat as middle of the road USDA Choice but the flavor is clearly superior to any factory beef we have been purchasing and has lost the sanguine taste I associate with factory beef. The farmer raises his own corn for feed and the animals are in grass lots clearly visible when I ride by on my bike or drive by.
    The farmer makes no claims for grass fed beef and asked me after we had eaten some if it needed more time on corn in our opinion. Initially we thought so but on reflection, we didn't needed anymore fat calories and the beef is fine the way it is.
    I have another animal on order for late fall.
    I think the grass fed moniker is a bit overdone and am much more comfortable with a local supplier, I can talk with face to face, animals I can see raised in an operation I am free to inspect and a Packing facility I can determine how to process for my needs.-Dick
  • Post #100 - May 13th, 2014, 2:22 pm
    Post #100 - May 13th, 2014, 2:22 pm Post #100 - May 13th, 2014, 2:22 pm
    budrichard wrote:I think the grass fed moniker is a bit overdone and am much more comfortable with a local supplier, I can talk with face to face, animals I can see raised in an operation I am free to inspect and a Packing facility I can determine how to process for my needs.-Dick


    I agree. My experience is that there is almost no enforcement of grass-fed standards. As far as I know, no one has even been prosecuted for selling grain-fed meat as grass-fed, though it's almost a good thing since the standards are way too strict in my opinion. Leave your neighbor in charge of feeding your cows for a week while you are on vacation and he gives them a bucket of grain. Oops, technically you can never sell that cow as grass-fed. My dad does has done some 100% grass-fed cattle in mid Wisconsin, but I'm not sure it's worth it. Sure, cows that are finished on a shitty low-quality corn diet aren't so healthy, but thinking that some grain here and there to supplement grass is bad someone is like saying all humans who don't eat a "paleo diet" and eat a tortilla now and then are unhealthy.
  • Post #101 - May 13th, 2014, 4:33 pm
    Post #101 - May 13th, 2014, 4:33 pm Post #101 - May 13th, 2014, 4:33 pm
    Hi,

    A few years ago, Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance had a symposium on beef. There was an opportunity to conduct a taste test between grass fed and finished beef vs grass fed and corn finished beef. The same cut and preparation was offered to both. In a rough hand vote, corn finished beef was preferred over grass fed.

    I had never tasted them side-by-side before, and I liked the corn finished better, too. However, each served without the opportunity to directly compare, I am sure I would eaten both happily.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #102 - May 13th, 2014, 11:16 pm
    Post #102 - May 13th, 2014, 11:16 pm Post #102 - May 13th, 2014, 11:16 pm
    I have forced myself to read all the way through this topic. I've had to get up and walk away a couple of times, because of the things I've read, and some of the misinformation that's been posted.

    Here's what I've taken away in no particular order:

    1.) People are so far removed from the food they are eating, they really don't understand the basics of what get's it from conception to the freezer.

    2.) Farmers are so far removed from the people eating the food, they can't communicate the process they use to feed them (the people), because it's like a foriegn language is being spoken between the two...... ie: cow, steer, heifer, bull, calf.

    3.) David Hammond, although he has pissed me off in a couple of threads I can't pin-point, has made more sense than anyone else in the 4 pages I just read. You Sir, are becoming my favorite Farmers Advocate, You seem to speak from experience/knowledge and not emotion and hearsay.

    4.) I would bet if I took a handful of corn, a handful of hay, and a handful of pasture grass down Michigan Avenue, most of the people couldn't tell me what I was showing them, but I would guess they would have an opinion about what the hamburger they ate ate McDonalds should have been fed before it was turned into a Quarter Pounder.

    5.) Antibiotics and Chemical Fertilizer is/are so misunderstood, it's going to lead to higher food prices and shortages, in the very near future.

    I'm going to quit. It's threads like this that led me to sign up on LTH, and the reason I hang around down on Gardening, Farming and Foraging. I hope if one person learns/understands something from one of my rambling posts, my job here is done.

    I hope the people looking for grass fed beef can find it, and they are happy with what they put on their forks. I hope the farmers raising the grass fed beef make enough money to continue to fill the market with what is demanded, and I hope everyone takes a little time to educate themselves about where food comes from, and quits following the herd, throwing around catch phrases like they know what they are talking about.

    I hope this rant doesn't turn into a firestorm for me, I'm just posting this to get it off my chest.......

    Any questions will be happily answered, unless you want to drag this into the mud......

    Tim
  • Post #103 - May 14th, 2014, 7:13 am
    Post #103 - May 14th, 2014, 7:13 am Post #103 - May 14th, 2014, 7:13 am
    After my long rant last night, ^^ pointing up ^^, I opened the Beef Magazine that came in the mail yesterday (yes, there is a magazine called Beef). I came across this article, but I had already typed enough, and didn't want to edit my post.

    Grass vs Grain

    This article is about healthfulness of ground beef, so it doesn't get into texture or anything like that with cut meat, but it's a pretty good article.

    This months magazine is actually full of articles that might be of interest. Go to the bar at the top of the page and click Digital Editions. May 2014 with the hamburger on the cover is the one I'm talking about. There is a good article in there about sustainability too.

    Go through the whole magazine, you'll get a feel for the beef indusrty from the producers side.

    Tim
  • Post #104 - May 14th, 2014, 10:36 am
    Post #104 - May 14th, 2014, 10:36 am Post #104 - May 14th, 2014, 10:36 am
    I think two dichotomies that get mixed up are grass fed v. corn fed, and industrial v. family farm. The evils that I have read about arise from the industrial farm operations where animals are kept in confined spaces, pumped full of antibiotics and fed exclusively corn for a good percentage of their life. Family farmers (such are Heartland Meats, who sell at a lot of local markets) that graze their animals and then then feed them some corn to finish raise none of these issues; yet that is not "grass fed beef." The problem is that, in the market place, it is difficult to know much about the purveyor of the meat you are buying, and if it is "grass fed," that is a strong indication it does not come from the industrial type of operation.

    Freezer Pig: Hope this doesn't cause you to walk away from the computer yet again!
  • Post #105 - May 14th, 2014, 2:05 pm
    Post #105 - May 14th, 2014, 2:05 pm Post #105 - May 14th, 2014, 2:05 pm
    Freezer Pig - glad you're here and haven't run away! Do note that a lot of the posts on this thread are over 3 years old. We are learning, or trying to, or just trying ;)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #106 - May 14th, 2014, 10:49 pm
    Post #106 - May 14th, 2014, 10:49 pm Post #106 - May 14th, 2014, 10:49 pm
    Jonah wrote:...... Freezer Pig: Hope this doesn't cause you to walk away from the computer yet again!.....


    Not a chance Jonah, in fact I agree 100% with your analysis, although I disagree with your discription of being kept in evil confined spaces and pumped full of antibiotics. I'll let that slide though, since you summed up the first part so well.

    leek wrote:.....Do note that a lot of the posts on this thread are over 3 years old. We are learning, or trying to, or just trying......


    I know, I think that's why I kept coming back. I think the one that fired me up the most, and I'm not going back to see who did it, was the post about cattle being forced to eat corn and then force fed antibiotics because the corn was bad for them.

    I'm sure there are people who read this and believed it. The fact is, cattle will do quite well on a properly balanced ration that is mostly corn. There are also vitamins & minerals added, along with another protein source to provide the animals with the proper diet they need to grow and thrive. The feed is also ground to the proper size, to aid in digestion. The poster made it sound like they were forced to eat nothing but raw shelled corn.

    As far as antibiotics go, understanding the beef industry would help. Here is a very basic overview, it doesn't fit every situation, but it's a blanket.

    Most of the cattle heading to feedlots, came off the grasslands out west or the southwest. Cows and calves are grazed until the calves are weaned and shipped to the feedlots. The reason cattle are on that land is because there usually isn't enough moisture in those regions to grow cash crops like corn and beans, or the land is too rugged to farm. There is enough grass to keep cows/calves going, but it would take a long time (and a lot of land) for a growing calf, just grazing, to reach market weight.

    Calves are weaned & loaded in a trailer, headed for the feedlots, usually closer to where the corn is grown. This is the most stressful time in the animals life, and any little germ they come accross is going to take hold. This is why antibiotics are fed. It isn't because the corn is bad for them. It's just easier to prevent an outbreak of something, than trying to get it under control after a bug has taken off.

    I will bet, if you ask any of your grass fed producers, (who aren't organic) who ship calves in, they will tell you the calves get a shot of antibiotic when they come off the trailer, just because of the stress of moving them.

    I won't say antibiotics aren't fed in livestock rations, but there are withdrawl times. This is an amount of time that the animal has to go, since the last intake of the drug until slaughter. The stronger the drug, the more withdrawl time. The USDA randomly checks for drug residue, and I don't think any producer would want to be found with carcasses that have it.

    I'm not going to say every animal that goes to slaughter has no antibiotic residue in it's tissue, but I will say a vast majority of it is clean.

    I'll bet the use of antibacterial soaps and doctors giving people antibiotics for viruses, have caused more problems than drugs in livestock feed, but there is no way to prove any of it, so it's just another opinion. And there aren't enough livestock producers left to have any volume to their voice, so they will take the blame.

    I just typed more than since I was in college. This is supposed to be a thread about grass fed beef and I just took it clear off track. I apologize, but I won't delete it because I have too much time invested.

    I hope this all makes sense, it does to me...... :?

    Tim
  • Post #107 - May 14th, 2014, 10:56 pm
    Post #107 - May 14th, 2014, 10:56 pm Post #107 - May 14th, 2014, 10:56 pm
    I think that, as usual, you've provided us with great information, clearly communicated and from actual experience. I'm sure I'm not alone in appreciating your continued contributions here.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #108 - May 29th, 2014, 9:37 am
    Post #108 - May 29th, 2014, 9:37 am Post #108 - May 29th, 2014, 9:37 am
    Thanks for the interesting links to the info about grass-fed v. grain fed beef. Very informative!
    Thanks also for the tip about Arnold's Farm! We have learned that Arnold's Farm will be at the Glenview Farmers Market this summer on Saturdays. We contacted them via email and will be able to pick up a “sampler” 25-pound package of grass-fed beef and a 30-pound sampler package of pork from them on Saturday June 21. I sent a partial payment check by way of deposit and will pay the remainder in cash when we pick up the goodies.

    This will give us around a month to clean out the big freezer before the pickup!

    There is detailed information on the family’s website about various packages of meat including half a cow, half a pig or smaller portions, individual cuts of meat etc. Here below is the info about the farmers markets locations and dates from the email reply Tom Arnold sent us:

    Thanks for your interest in our farm and meats. We have the beef and pork packages on hand as well as chicken. Lamb and turkey are available by reservation for fall delivery. I’ve attached current product lists and copied a list of Farmers Markets we are participating in this summer. You will note we are at the Glenview Farmers Market starting June 21st. However, our first Market will start this Sunday, May 25th, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of northwestern Chicago. I’ve copied that announcement below. We can bring an order there for you to pick up if this is of interest.
    Respectfully,
    Tom Arnold

    http://www.arnoldsfarm.com

    Summer Farmers Market Schedule:
    Belmont Cragin 5450 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago (new market): Sundays 10am – 2pm. May 25 – Oct. 26.
    Elk Grove 901 Wellington Ave. behind Municipal Building: Saturdays 7:30 am – 1pm. June 7 – Oct. 18.
    Galena Territory Property Owners Club: Every other Sunday 7:30am – 1pm. Starting May 25.
    Glenview Wagner Farm, 510 Wagner Rd.: Saturdays 8:00am – Noon. June 21 – Oct. 11.
    Joliet Jr. College Greenhouse parking lot, 1215 Houbolt Rd.: Thursdays 2:00 – 6:00pm. May 29 – Sept. 11
    Mundelein Village Hall, 300 Plaza Circle (new location): Fridays 3:00 – 7:00pm. June 6 – Oct. 10
    Orland Park Civic Center parking lot, 14600 S Ravinia Ave. (new market for us): Fridays 7:30 am – 1:00 pm

    Belmont Cragin Farmers Market this Sunday, May 25th, 10:00 am – 2 pm, 5450 W. Belmont Ave.

    Arnold’s Farm is excited to announce our participation in this brand new northwestern Chicago Farmers Market. There are 20 – 25 vendors anticipated. Check out https://www.facebook.com/belmontcraginfarmersmarket or http://www.belmontcraginmarket.com for more information.

    Attached are current product lists. Take advantage of specials in bold type by placing an email pre-order before 6:00 pm Friday, May 23rd. Specials will not be offered day of Market, and all prices will increase to cover additional costs associated with the event. We will have a limited supply of grass-fed beef for May 25th but plan to be better stocked beginning June 1st. All other items are in good supply. We look forward to seeing you Sunday!!
    Last edited by Joy on May 29th, 2014, 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #109 - May 29th, 2014, 12:01 pm
    Post #109 - May 29th, 2014, 12:01 pm Post #109 - May 29th, 2014, 12:01 pm
    I am excited to see that Arnold's Farm will be at the Mundelein Farmers' Market this summer. Thanks for the information and links.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #110 - May 29th, 2014, 12:11 pm
    Post #110 - May 29th, 2014, 12:11 pm Post #110 - May 29th, 2014, 12:11 pm
    Hi- The Glenview market runs on Saturdays and not Sundays.
  • Post #111 - May 29th, 2014, 2:33 pm
    Post #111 - May 29th, 2014, 2:33 pm Post #111 - May 29th, 2014, 2:33 pm
    Good catch NFriday! I edited the post to correct.
  • Post #112 - May 29th, 2014, 4:10 pm
    Post #112 - May 29th, 2014, 4:10 pm Post #112 - May 29th, 2014, 4:10 pm
    Freezer Pig wrote:After my long rant last night, ^^ pointing up ^^, I opened the Beef Magazine that came in the mail yesterday (yes, there is a magazine called Beef). I came across this article, but I had already typed enough, and didn't want to edit my post.

    Grass vs Grain

    This article is about healthfulness of ground beef, so it doesn't get into texture or anything like that with cut meat, but it's a pretty good article.

    This months magazine is actually full of articles that might be of interest. Go to the bar at the top of the page and click Digital Editions. May 2014 with the hamburger on the cover is the one I'm talking about. There is a good article in there about sustainability too.

    Go through the whole magazine, you'll get a feel for the beef indusrty from the producers side.

    Tim


    I find it hilarious how many grass-fed places use lower quality grassfed beef and then top it off with bacon and mayo and all kinds of stuff like that. Oops, there goes your extremely tiny difference in omega-3 to omega-6 ratio that some studies (not the one in this article) show with grass-fed.

    The differences in animal welfare between conventional and specialty producers are smallest with beef, especially compared to other animal products like chicken.

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