No antibiotics. Conventional farmers often feed beef cattle daily antibiotics, which slightly improves their growth rate. The World Health Organization has warned that feeding cattle (or other meat animals) antibiotics may pose a risk to human health, due to the increased risk of ingesting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Our cattle are never fed any antibiotics.
No growth hormones. Many farmers inject their cattle with growth hormones (like athletes using steroids) to increase their growth. A scientific review performed by the European Union's Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health found that meat raised using growth hormones poses several potential serious threats to human health. Our cattle are raised the natural way - without injecting growth hormones.
Chemical-free pasture. Our cattle graze on grass that is grown without herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Pesticides and other agricultural chemicals have negative effects on our environment and human health. (The EPA lists agricultural chemicals as the #1 water pollutant, and a USGS survey found that every single one of the 1,000+ streams they tested were polluted.) We're proud to grow our pasture the natural, chemical-free way.
Traditionally, all beef was grass-fed beef, but in the United States today what is commercially available is almost all feedlot beef. The reason? It’s faster, and so more profitable. Seventy-five years ago, steers were 4 or 5 years old at slaughter. Today, they are 14 or 16 months. You can’t take a beef calf from a birth weight of 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in a little more than a year on grass. It takes enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics and other drugs, including growth hormones.
Switching a cow from grass to grain is so disturbing to the animal’s digestive system that it can kill the animal if not done gradually and if the animal is not continually fed antibiotics. These animals are designed to forage, but we make them eat grain, primarily corn, in order to make them
as fat as possible as fast as possible.
All this is not only unnatural and dangerous for the cows. It also has profound consequences for us. Feedlot beef as we know it today would be impossible if it weren’t for the routine and continual feeding of antibiotics to these animals. This leads directly and inexorably to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These are the new “superbugs” that are increasingly rendering our “miracle drugs” ineffective.
As well, it is the commercial meat industry’s practice of keeping cattle in feedlots and feeding them grain that is responsible for the heightened prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria. When cattle are grainfed, their intestinal tracts become far more acidic, which favors the growth of pathogenic E. coli bacteria, which in turn kills people who eat undercooked hamburger.