Tender Grassfed Meat

Jump to content.



Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
Link to Tender Grassfed Meat at Amazon
By Stanley A. Fishman



I am an attorney and an author, not a doctor. This website is intended to provide information about grassfed meat, what it is, its benefits, and how to cook it. I will also describe my own experiences from time to time. The information on this website is being provided for educational purposes. Any statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I do receive some compensation each time a copy of my book is purchased. I receive a very small amount of compensation each time somebody purchases a book from Amazon through the links on this site, as I am a member of the Amazon affiliate program.

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat


Grassfed Beef Ending in Argentina—But Reborn in the U.S.

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Grass landscape
Creative Commons License photo credit: lrargerich\

The Pampas of Argentina were once the finest cattle-grazing country on Earth. The lush grasses grew so high that they could cover a rider on a horse. This noble green grass was full of nutrients from the rich soil. Nutrients that sustained vast herds of some of the most magnificent grassfed cattle the world has ever seen. Grassfed beef was the most popular food in Argentina, often eaten daily. Grassfed beef became Argentina’s largest export.

The Pampas are no longer green. Much of these once magnificent grasslands have been plowed under, and the land is brown with GMO soy. Soy is more profitable than cattle, and soy has become Argentina’s largest export. Nearly all Argentine cattle are destined for the feedlot, where they are fed GMO corn and GMO soy. Most of the remaining grassfed beef is exported to Europe.

One of the healthiest food traditions on Earth is dying with the Pampas, as it is now very difficult for Argentines to find the grassfed beef that was once their heritage.

The land of rich grasslands has become the land of soy, to the loss of all humanity.

Yet in the United States, a small but growing band of intrepid ranchers are bringing back the grasslands, using rotational grazing methods to restore the soil, and producing wonderful grassfed beef.

Death of a Dream

Ever since I was a small boy, I was fascinated by the Pampas, which were an extensive area of rich, lush grasslands, located mostly in Argentina but partly in Uruguay. These grasslands were the home of huge herds of cattle that thrived on the tall, lush grasses. A sea of rich, green grass. Grass so tall that a mounted rider could hide in it. Grass that grew lush on some of the richest soil Earth has ever known. Grass eaten by cattle that provided some of the finest beef the world has ever produced. I read of the colorful gauchos, the Argentine equivalent of the American cowboys, fearless men who raised cattle in the Pampas. As I grew older, I read about the magnificence of Argentine beef and barbecue, and decided that I would go there someday to enjoy it. As a cook and cookbook writer specializing in grassfed meat, I was inspired by the Argentine tradition of fine grassfed beef, and was impatient to go there and learn about cooking grassfed beef at the source.

Much of the Pampas is now plowed under and brown with GMO soy. Those grasslands are gone forever, the soil stained with pesticides.

It took nature thousands and thousands of years to create the grasslands. Herds of migrating animals would graze in an area, breaking up the soil with their hooves, trampling seeds deep into the soil, fertilizing the earth with their manure. Then, the herd would move on, leaving the soil alone, to recover and renew. The seeds grew into grass, set down roots that held water in the soil, water that helped the grass grow, and nourished the microorganisms that filled the earth with life and nutrients. When the herd returned, they were greeted with rich green grass that nourished them, increasing their numbers, as they broke up the earth with their hooves, eating the older growth, depositing their manure, and continuing the cycle before they moved on. The earth and the grasslands rested and grew even richer grass. This cycle, repeated time after time, built the good soil and the grasslands. The herds renewed the soil and the grass fed the herds. The Pampas were one of the finest examples of this process, and the grasslands grew even richer when large herds of cattle were introduced.

The herds nourished the earth, the grass fed the herds, and the herds fed the people.

This glorious, sustainable cycle is being destroyed in the Pampas, replaced with GMO soy and pesticides.

It took nature untold thousands of years to create the Pampas—it took humans only a few years to destroy them.

My dream is dead.

The End of Grassfed Meat in Argentina

I would never have believed it. Argentina, whose very cuisine was based on the finest grassfed beef, is now dominated by the feedlot. Writer after writer has reported that it is now almost impossible to find grassfed beef in Argentina, even at the finest restaurants. The land of the gaucho has become the land of the feedlot, and the grassfed tradition looks dead.

How did this tragedy happen?

One of the problems was the introduction of GMO soy to the Pampas. Much of the grasslands were plowed under and ruined for cattle. This reduced the meat supply.

Another problem was the worldwide demand for cattle. The profits from exporting beef grew and grew. Argentine ranchers increasingly preferred to export their beef because of the higher prices. For the first time, the price of beef in Argentina itself became so high that many people were having trouble affording it. This led to great political unrest, as Argentines were outraged by the high price of domestic beef. The President of Argentina responded to the outrage by reducing exports and imposing price controls. The government also subsidized grain feeding of cattle to keep the price down. This had two terrible consequences. Even more ranchers converted their land to GMO soy production, because they could make considerably more money raising soy than cattle. More and more ranchers switched to the feedlot, so they could take advantage of the subsidies. By the end of 2010, almost all the beef available in Argentina came from the feedlot.

Grassfed Meat Is Reborn in the United States

The use of feedlots and grain feeding was developed in the United States, which resulted in the horrible factory beef that dominates the market. Yet the grassfed movement is growing. An increasing number of innovative ranchers are learning to raise and finish cattle, bison, and lamb on grass, and to avoid the feedlot. Many of these pioneers have studied Holistic Resource Management, and are using rotational grazing practices to rebuild the richness of the soil and grass. Some of them are enjoying great success, and the quality of grassfed American beef is getting better every year. This grassfed meat is so much more nourishing and so much tastier than the factory meat, there is no comparison. Once you have eaten properly cooked grassfed meat, there is no going back.

I am blessed to be living in a time when I can support these noble ranchers and thrive by eating their wonderful meat. I no longer desire to go to Argentina. I can learn everything I need to know right here in the United States, thanks to these great ranchers.

I have had the joy and privilege of eating wonderful grassfed meat from U.S. Wellness Meats, Northstar Bison, Humboldt Natural Beef, Chaffin Family Orchards, Homestead Natural Foods, Alderspring Ranch, Anderson Ranches, Bison Ridge Meats, Foxfire Farms, and others.

My deepest thanks to each and every one of them.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday and Monday Mania blog carnivals.

Corn Shortage? Let Them Eat Grass

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Cows on a hillside eating green grass.

Grass—the ideal food for cattle

A meat shortage is coming. I hear this a lot from butchers and ranchers. The price of meat is already rising. The demand for meat is much greater than the supply, and the supply will not increase because of the rising price of corn. You would think that corn is necessary to raise livestock.

Corn is not a vital part of the diet of cattle, bison, or sheep. In fact, corn is an unnatural food for all of these species, which were designed to thrive on grass. My solution to the corn shortage is simple—let them eat grass.

The Price of Corn

The price of corn has been rising steadily in recent years. This has resulted in record corn crops, but the increased supply has not lowered prices. Why?

The answer is ethanol. The United States government supports the production of ethanol as an alternative fuel. Many other countries also favor the use of ethanol. While ethanol could theoretically be made from any plant matter, the U.S. has decided to support ethanol made from corn. Many farmers and large agricultural operations now grow corn solely for the purpose of making ethanol. These farmers invariably use massive amounts of artificial fertilizer, which requires substantial amounts of oil to produce and transport. The profitability of making ethanol has led to huge profits. It has also caused the cost of corn for animal feed to skyrocket. The use of corn for ethanol is blamed for a substantial increase in food prices all over the world.

The increase in the price of corn has made it much more expensive to raise animals in feedlots.

The Feedlot System Depends on Cheap Corn

Corn is an important component of the feed given to animals in feedlots, along with soy. The whole feedlot process is dependent on corn. The feedlot system was developed to make it much cheaper to raise and fatten meat animals. Cheap corn raised on artificial fertilizer was the basis of the whole system.

The feedlot system came about as a result of World War II. The war caused a huge demand for explosives, which created a number of large companies to fill the demand. These large and wealthy companies faced ruin when the war ended, because the demand for their product was greatly reduced. A plan was devised to use explosive products as artificial fertilizer. Farmers were sold on the idea that artificial fertilizer would enable them to grow huge amounts of corn. Of course, a market had to be found for all that corn. The feedlot system was the answer, as it was found that cattle could be fattened much faster if they were confined to a pen and fed huge amounts of corn. The U.S. government supported the new system with subsidies, and nearly all meat production in the U.S. was quickly switched to the feedlot system. Meat became cheaper and more abundant, and profits became higher.

But there was a hidden price—grass eating animals like cattle and sheep were not designed to be stuffed in a stall for six months, eating corn. They were designed to graze on grass and meadow plants. Large amounts of antibiotics were used to keep them somewhat healthy. The corn growers used massive amounts of pesticides and weed killers. These poisons, along with the artificial fertilizers, killed much of the life in the soil, depleting its mineral value.

Corn feeding in feedlots, later supplemented with soy and other unnatural feeds, greatly reduces the nutritional value of the meat. Eatwild.com has an excellent description of this process: Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Products. The taste and texture of the meat were also affected, as feedlot meat lacked flavor, was watery, and had a mushy texture.

The industry dealt with this problem by an intense marketing campaign designed to convince the public that corn feeding resulted in better meat. This campaign succeeded, and it became almost impossible to find beef that was not finished in a feedlot. Cooking techniques were invented to deal with the watery, flavorless meat. The very knowledge of how to cook grassfed meat was lost to most Americans, and most ranchers lost the knowledge of how to raise tender grassfed meat.

The traditional ways of raising grassfed meat used by humanity, developed and perfected over thousands of years, were almost completely abandoned in the rush for profit.

Now the very heart of the feedlot system—cheap feed—is being threatened by the high price of corn.

In the long run, this may be a blessing in disguise, as grassfed meat is a far superior food, and proper grassfed ranching restores the land, rather than depleting it.

The Grassfed Solution

Grassfed beef, grassfed bison, and grassfed lamb have the proper balance of nutrients that our bodies expect. Grassfed meat shrinks much less in cooking, has much more flavor, satisfies the appetite, and can be very tender if properly cooked.

Raising and finishing grassfed meat requires no corn. It requires grasslands and skill. Many ranchers have rediscovered how to raise terrific grassfed meat. There are huge amounts of unused grasslands in this country that can be used for grazing. In fact, proper rotational grazing actually restores and enriches the land. Innovative ranchers in this country have been successful in increasing the richness of their soil. See Grassfed Farmer Renews the Land.

Cooking grassfed meat also requires knowledge and skill. That is why I wrote Tender Grassfed Meat. Cooking tender and delicious grassfed meat is actually simple, and it tastes so much better than the feedlot variety.

I call on all ranchers to learn how to raise grassfed meat, drop the feedlots, and free themselves from their dependence on corn.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday and Monday Mania blog carnivals.