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UK butcher claims grass fed is nonsense

by (-5)
Updated October 20, 2014 at 4:13 AM
Created July 31, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Hey guys, just got back from my butcher. I usually go tesco but I thought I would give him a try.

I just bought 3lb of british frying steak for ??15.00

I might go back for about 10 hearts which is about 6 pounds and a 1lb block of stewing steak is ??4.00

Are these prices dear? He said half a pig would be about ??90.00, I told him I was thinking about buying from green pasture farms, half a pig there (i told him 250 pounds for half a pig by accident I think) is 135 pounds for the half and 250 pounds for a full pig.

He said grassfed is just a way to make more money and that on British farms pigs root around and get bugs and are nothing like the intensive farming that happens in places like the U.S.

I am not sure if he just wants new buisness or he has some points. Would like to hear some opinions. I am about to start crossfit football, I will be eating lots of red meat. I am unsure whether to just go to the butchers or order the pricier grassfed meat.

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17103 · August 01, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Which is why you'd want your provider to also say "Grass Finished"

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17103 · August 01, 2014 at 10:02 AM

+100000000 (I wish it were possible to upvote that much) :)

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8065 · July 31, 2014 at 11:35 PM

It was challenging at first. The meat is very lean and has to be gently handled to avoid toughness but now we've got it down.

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1137 · July 31, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I would insist that it does not even cost more if you are in the Midwest and are willing to eat the whole cow. Granted it takes a little learning on how to prepare it.

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83 · July 31, 2014 at 6:48 PM

It not true that all UK pigs can roam for bugs, some of the sausages in waitrose say 'outdoor bred' so you think they can forage, but on the back says 'outdoor bred, raised in barns with daylight'

I only have red meat once in a while as i prefer seafood but i buy organic when i feel like some meat, for offal you can get it all off the internet but they are usually frozen, at a butchers i bet it would be fresher, it's worth going round a few butchers, i went through a period of making loads of lard and it was nice getting it all fresh and finding different cuts at different butchers

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1137 · July 31, 2014 at 6:22 PM

excellent. more reason to buy from a verifiable source in the US. I will not change a supplier (the current one, since 2007) unless forced to. I have been in pig farms (in Italy and France), and unless the UK is very very different, those pigs have no chance to eat bugs or be in the sun. so the whole argument of the post seems fake to me.

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 6:05 PM

@glib

Straight from the FDA (page 6): http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/06p0394/0...

"Claim and Standard: Grass Fed .-Grass, green or range pasture, or forage shall be 80% or more of the primary energy source throughout the animal's life cycle."

If you claim your beef is "grass-fed" you only need to abide by the above requirement, no more no less. Now, if it said "no supplemental hormones" then that would be different. But grass fed by itself does not imply that.

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 6:02 PM

@glib By law, grass-fed beef can certainly have antibiotics, hormones and can be given feed treated with pesticides. I think you are confusing grass-fed with organic? Also, they don't have to be 100% grass-fed. Regulation allows grass-fed beef to given supplemental feed during winter and other times when pasture is lacking. So by law, your grass-fed beef could have: antibiotics, rBGH, exposure to pesticides, and be partially grain-fed (up top 20% grain).

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1137 · July 31, 2014 at 6:00 PM

we value intermittent fasting too.

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41432 · July 31, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Yar, and in blind taste tests, everybody loves corn-fed beef. Only crazy paleos value gamey, too lean meat.

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-5 · July 31, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I feel so ripped off, his loss, rather be 15 pound down and know he is untrustworthy than have been buying all my meat there for weeks. I might go round on monday when he has a full shop and tell him what I think about his prices.

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Damn! You definitely over-payed. That butcher is charging you double the price.

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1137 · July 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

completely disagree. grass fed beef, from a farmer you know, has no pesticides, no antibiotics, and no hormones. If has more O3, more carotenoids, more vit. B,D,E,K, more iron, and more MUFA. It is also relatively cheap, if you are willing to buy whole steers. $3.00/lb is not a price you can get at Kroger. And I would never eat raw liver from such sources.

Pigs are somewhat different. Much of their calories are still from corn, although vitamin and mineral intakes improve in the pasture (including vitamin D). Now if you go through big distribution there will be opportunities for scams.

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Well, I'm afraid I can't help you out much there my friend. I am not from the UK, so in terms of prices I don't know if that would be considered expensive or cheap. However, by US standards, £15.00 = $25.33, so about $8.44/lb, in the US that is kind of pricey for a top rump steak. I could get it easily for under $5 (£3) a pound over here....but then again maybe that's a really good price by UK standards, which is why I think I am unfit to judge.

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4 Answers

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8065 · July 31, 2014 at 6:19 PM

I can't speak to UK prices and AG practices, but I traveled US highway 5 between SF and LA one too many times to eat US CAFO meat again. As you pass through Kettleman City near Harris Ranch, the stench is overwhelming. On the east side of the highway, stretching for miles, are cattle packed into pens feeding at troughs while they stand deep in their own excrement. There is little room for them to move, there's nothing green in sight.

I don't want to be part of treating animals this way. And it illustrates why antibiotic use is so common in the industry, because there is plenty of opportunity for bacteria to multiply under those packed conditions.

So, yes, grassfed costs more, but it's the best way I can reconcile with myself eating meat.

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17103 · August 01, 2014 at 10:02 AM

+100000000 (I wish it were possible to upvote that much) :)

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173
8065 · July 31, 2014 at 11:35 PM

It was challenging at first. The meat is very lean and has to be gently handled to avoid toughness but now we've got it down.

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1137 · July 31, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I would insist that it does not even cost more if you are in the Midwest and are willing to eat the whole cow. Granted it takes a little learning on how to prepare it.

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-5 · July 31, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I think I paid way over the odds, fryi gn steak at tesco is £6.50 per kg, I paid 15 pounds for about 1.25kg.

To hell with this con artist butcher.

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Damn! You definitely over-payed. That butcher is charging you double the price.

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-5 · July 31, 2014 at 2:49 PM

@TheGastronomer

Thanks for the reply man.

How do you think the prices I quoted at the butchers are?

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Well, I'm afraid I can't help you out much there my friend. I am not from the UK, so in terms of prices I don't know if that would be considered expensive or cheap. However, by US standards, £15.00 = $25.33, so about $8.44/lb, in the US that is kind of pricey for a top rump steak. I could get it easily for under $5 (£3) a pound over here....but then again maybe that's a really good price by UK standards, which is why I think I am unfit to judge.

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459 · July 31, 2014 at 2:38 PM

He's actually quite right. Grass-fed is mostly hype. In reality ALL beef is grass fed. The only difference is that the regular supermarket beef spends the last few of months of its life being fattened up with grain (grass seeds, if you think about it). However, the majority of its life it was feeding on some farmer's pasture before being send to the feedlot. The difference with grass-fed beef is that instead of being sent to the feedlot, that step is skipped and it is sent straight to the slaughter instead. Difference? The end-result is that feedlot cattle is fattier with better marbling and softer texture meanwhile grass-fed-only beef is tastier with a significantly more meaty flavor but also leaner, tougher and with less marbling. However, the price fetched for grass-fed beef is ridiculous, often double the regular beef price, and clearly demonstrates that it is all about the marketing. They are literally charging you way more for the same thing.

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17103 · August 01, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Which is why you'd want your provider to also say "Grass Finished"

B82f2515ba5a800bed018c9536f9108d
1137 · July 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

completely disagree. grass fed beef, from a farmer you know, has no pesticides, no antibiotics, and no hormones. If has more O3, more carotenoids, more vit. B,D,E,K, more iron, and more MUFA. It is also relatively cheap, if you are willing to buy whole steers. $3.00/lb is not a price you can get at Kroger. And I would never eat raw liver from such sources.

Pigs are somewhat different. Much of their calories are still from corn, although vitamin and mineral intakes improve in the pasture (including vitamin D). Now if you go through big distribution there will be opportunities for scams.

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