Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Is Grass-Fed Safer Than Grain-Fed Beef?

Possibly not.

Bill Marler posted some research:
Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed Beef and the Holy Grail: A Literature Review

Some highlights:
"E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and other dangerous pathogens have been repeatedly isolated from both grass and grain fed livestock."

"Studies by other researchers worldwide have since found little difference in acid resistant E. coli O157:H7 among grain- verses grass-fed cattle, and some even found more E. coli O157:H7 shed by grass-fed animals."

"Outbreaks have been traced back to grass-fed and pastured animals, as well as animals in feedlots. Notably, the E. coli O157:H7 spinach outbreak strain in 2006 was isolated from grass-fed cattle."

"Another outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 was linked recently to raw milk and colostrum from cattle raised organically on grass."
He concluded:
"In summary, the scientific evidence at this time does not support a broad conclusion that grass feeding significantly reduces the risk of E. coli O157:H7 or other dangerous foodborne pathogens from entering the food chain."

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