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listopencil
06-06-2012, 01:43 PM
I was shopping last week for hamburger patties and grabbed some from this company. It was a little more expensive but reasonable enough and the package had the number of patties I wanted for what I had planned. I normally look for 85/15 but these were pretty close at 81/19. I've got to say these burgers are great. I purchased the sleeve of nine 1/3 pounders. I looked up their company on the internet because I was trying to figure out why their burgers were so good. I did find this:



Feeding Practices Although our cattle spend approximately 80% of their lives grazing on grass, we finish them for about 120 days on a nutritional-balanced diet of corn and other feed grains, plus alfalfa hay, vitamins and minerals. One of the secrets to great beef is meticulous attention to feeding practices. Harris Ranch is one of just a few producers in the country that produces beef exclusively from cattle fed in our own feedlot, Harris Feeding Company. Since corn-fed beef is the most flavorful, tender and juicy beef available, Harris Ranch’s Central California feedlot purchases Midwestern corn by the trainload to serve as the basis for our scientifically formulated rations. We mill all of our own feeds under the guidance of a consulting animal nutritionist. As part of our specialized feeding regimen, Harris Ranch tests to ensure all ingredients used in our feed are free of pesticide residues. Furthermore, Harris Ranch has never fed any animal proteins. Many of our customers are surprised to learn that beef produced in feedlots actually has a smaller carbon footprint than meat raised exclusively on grasses.

http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/aboutus/story.html#Anchor-Feeding-11481

I would strongly recommend giving them a try.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 02:17 PM
Jesus. After I pan fried the burger patties cooked some sliced onions in the oil the had left. Then a few hash brown potato patties because I'm making a brunch kind of thing. The oil that the burgers left behind is almost clear.

mr. tegu
06-06-2012, 02:59 PM
All mass produced beef uses corn as the main ingredient in their feed. They seem to pay a little more attention to their animals than most but the only thing they are really doing different is the grass feeding portion. I am sure they are still using hormones, unless I missed that part.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 03:29 PM
All mass produced beef uses corn as the main ingredient in their feed. They seem to pay a little more attention to their animals than most but the only thing they are really doing different is the grass feeding portion. I am sure they are still using hormones, unless I missed that part.

Yeah, I don't see anything on their site about hormones. The grass fed portion of their feeding program looks (to me) to be the only difference. I don't know. I do know that it tastes substantially better than the average burger patty, and that the fat turned into some really nice oil for cooking the rest of my meal.

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 05:34 PM
Ummm...just say no....it's made in CA...compared to regular CA beef it's not bad...but compared to any midwest beef it's just bottom of the barrel. If it's all you can get fine...but if you can get better you should.

Sorry the old litmus test applies....grass fed beef being preferred is a fallacy. My personal rule is, if someone says grass fed beef is 'better' they probably should be a vegetarian. Grazing will always make meat tougher and less marbled and it's flavor will suffer.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 06:18 PM
Ummm...just say no....it's made in CA...compared to regular CA beef it's not bad...but compared to any midwest beef it's just bottom of the barrel. If it's all you can get fine...but if you can get better you should.

Sorry the old litmus test applies....grass fed beef being preferred is a fallacy. My personal rule is, if someone says grass fed beef is 'better' they probably should be a vegetarian. Grazing will always make meat tougher and less marbled and it's flavor will suffer.

That's nice. I'll trust the fact that I ate it this morning and it tasted much better than other burgers more than your opinion on how cattle should be raised.

LiveSteam
06-06-2012, 06:24 PM
Ummm...just say no....it's made in CA...compared to regular CA beef it's not bad...but compared to any midwest beef it's just bottom of the barrel. If it's all you can get fine...but if you can get better you should.

Sorry the old litmus test applies....grass fed beef being preferred is a fallacy. My personal rule is, if someone says grass fed beef is 'better' they probably should be a vegetarian. Grazing will always make meat tougher and less marbled and it's flavor will suffer.

You from Texas?

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 06:49 PM
You from Texas?

Nope I grew up in KS, but have been forced to live in CA now. I've actually been to Harris proper, it's decent stuff but at best only average. Sadly that makes it top 1/4 of beef here.

The grass fed beef bullshit is a marketing gimmick that frankly is just flat out wrong headed. It was started because CA(and other east/west coast) food nuts started to believe that because grain was used to fatten industrial cattle in farms it must be 'bad'....therefore 'grass' is better and more humanitarian too. All garbage....

Some of the recognized finest beef in the world(i.e. Kobe beef), is not grass fed, it's grain fed. Why? Because they recognize the simplicity, if you want the most tender flavorful meat you don't want your cows well muscled. The firmer the muscle the less tender the cut naturally. The more you make your cattle 'work' to eat(i.e. grazing) the less tender that meat is going to be. Keeping you cattle fat and lazy leads to better marbled and tender cuts of beef and that is grain fed beef.

Harris(and many others who ship to the coasts) market 'grass' fed as that being somehow better than proper grain fed. It plays up to the coastal and urban ignorance that anything associated with the large industrial farms must be 'bad'. Since they abuse grain fed all grain fed beef must be 'bad' and grass is 'good'.

One of the things that harris does that I respect is that they recognize grain is better that's why they 'fatten' them up with it for the last 120 days. That's one of the reasons I think they have some of the better beef out here, but it still pales in comparison. I still tell people out here that when I go back to KS, I can go to a place like denny's and order steak and eggs and that steak is better than most mid-high end steakhouses out here. Sadly it generally is.

For the record I think TX beef is generally good(I spend quite a bit of time there), but they tend to have a problem in that too often the farmers will breed the cattle for the length of their horns than the quality of the beef.

Short of Kobe, I've found few rivals for properly raised midwest beef.

Okie_Apparition
06-06-2012, 06:52 PM
The grass the cattle eats was spayed with gray hog water
the hogs ate corn

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 06:53 PM
BTW this is funny if you look under harris's production and food practices page they say this....

Feeding Practices – cattle (typically 18 – 24 mo. of age at processing) are fed a diet consisting primarily of Midwestern corn and other locally grown feeds. Our cattle rations have never contained animal proteins, and they never will. Finally, we regularly test incoming feedstuffs for unwanted pesticide residues.

http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/aboutus/safety.html

wait what where's that 80% grass fed again?

listopencil
06-06-2012, 07:05 PM
BTW this is funny if you look under harris's production and food practices page they say this....



http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/aboutus/safety.html

wait what where's that 80% grass fed again?

It's quoted in the OP:

Although our cattle spend approximately 80% of their lives grazing on grass, we finish them for about 120 days on a nutritional-balanced diet of corn and other feed grains, plus alfalfa hay, vitamins and minerals.

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 07:14 PM
It's quoted in the OP:

Although our cattle spend approximately 80% of their lives grazing on grass, we finish them for about 120 days on a nutritional-balanced diet of corn and other feed grains, plus alfalfa hay, vitamins and minerals.

I know I just found it interesting that they appeared to directly contradict that info on their website. I'm guessing the old, you have to at least claim 'grass fed' in CA or your sales will suffer.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 07:20 PM
I know I just found it interesting that they appeared to directly contradict that info on their website. I'm guessing the old, you have to at least claim 'grass fed' in CA or your sales will suffer.

It sounds good. I like the idea of the cattle wandering around, eating grass, with some ranch hands to keep an eye on them. Then they can be corn fed for a bit. Not a big deal. I was turned off of beef by the thought of cows eating a mix of corn, their own shit and bovine body parts mixed into the feed to stretch it out. Then impaled on forklifts and carried over to be slaughtered.

Buck
06-06-2012, 07:25 PM
Almost stopped reading at, "we finish them for about 120 days on a nutritional-balanced diet of corn..."

Stopped reading at, "Since corn-fed beef is the most flavorful, tender and juicy beef available."

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 07:25 PM
Bah screw them wandering around...I want my cows fat, lazy and relaxed(which isn't industrial farming btw). Ala what the do for kobe beef! Why not start marinating your beef while it's still on the cow!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VSU5Iu9Z9qI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

listopencil
06-06-2012, 07:30 PM
Bah screw them wandering around...I want my cows fat, lazy and relaxed(which isn't industrial farming btw). Ala what the do for kobe beef! Why not start marinating your beef while it's still on the cow!

<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VSU5Iu9Z9qI" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe>


Hmmm. Massaged and fed beer daily.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 07:33 PM
Almost stopped reading at, "we finish them for about 120 days on a nutritional-balanced diet of corn..."

Stopped reading at, "Since corn-fed beef is the most flavorful, tender and juicy beef available."

Do you only eat beef from cows that are only grass fed?

Buck
06-06-2012, 07:45 PM
Do you only eat beef from cows that are only grass fed?

No.

But there is nothing special about a cow that is fed corn for 4 months prior to me eating it. Also they claim that grain fed beef is more juicy. That's a bs claim.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 07:49 PM
No.

But there is nothing special about a cow that is fed corn for 4 months prior to me eating it. Also they claim that grain fed beef is more juicy. That's a bs claim.

Have you tried their beef?

WV
06-06-2012, 07:53 PM
I get a side of locally farm grown beef every year....I do feel sorry for you guys that have to buy in stores though.

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 07:55 PM
No.

But there is nothing special about a cow that is fed corn for 4 months prior to me eating it. Also they claim that grain fed beef is more juicy. That's a bs claim.

Actually honestly the answer is fairly simple. The reason that grain is better than grass for fattening up a cow is energy density. The amount of grain that has to be eaten to achieve a certain calorie count is much less than the corresponding grass.

What is juicy about the beef? It is the fat in the beef, if you have less fat you generally have a less flavorable cut of meat. That's why you'll see terms like 'well marbled' to describe cuts of meat.

Grain is substantially more efficient to do this job and cows will likely be fatter off grain than they will be off grass.

The secondary issue is exercise, since grazing tends to be used for grass fed(because the volume of grass you'd have to deliver is large), those cows have to work more to eat. More work = bigger muscles which generally equals tougher meat. Ideally you want your cow as fat and as lazy as possible to achieve the best quality beef. That is extremely difficult to do with grass fed beef.

jiveturkey
06-06-2012, 08:00 PM
Grass fed is healthier for us. It's high in omega 3's, which helps keep systematic inflammation in check. I personally don't care how the animal is treated. I switched to grass fed from a local rancher a while back and I don't notice much of a flavor difference. They're a small operation so I can't always get what i need so I mix in the grain finished cow or I'll go the bison route.

HonestChieffan
06-06-2012, 08:02 PM
Great marketing

mlyonsd
06-06-2012, 08:03 PM
Technically Buck is right when it comes to ground beef. I doubt anyone could consistently taste the difference between corn or grass fed GB if they both had say 15% fat.

The difference is in the unground cuts. A ribeye off of a corn fed beef will consistently have better marbeling, meaning better flavor than a grass fed one.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 08:22 PM
Great marketing

That's the thing. I grabbed it from a grocery store because the price was acceptable and it was around what I wanted as far as fat content. When I cooked it I noticed that the flavor was better than what I was normally getting. No marketing involved in the decision.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 08:24 PM
Technically Buck is right when it comes to ground beef. I doubt anyone could consistently taste the difference between corn or grass fed GB if they both had say 15% fat.

The difference is in the unground cuts. A ribeye off of a corn fed beef will consistently have better marbeling, meaning better flavor than a grass fed one.

I go as low as 85/15 for hamburgers but 80/20 is not unusual. These were 81/19.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 08:27 PM
Actually honestly the answer is fairly simple. The reason that grain is better than grass for fattening up a cow is energy density. The amount of grain that has to be eaten to achieve a certain calorie count is much less than the corresponding grass.

What is juicy about the beef? It is the fat in the beef, if you have less fat you generally have a less flavorable cut of meat. That's why you'll see terms like 'well marbled' to describe cuts of meat.

Grain is substantially more efficient to do this job and cows will likely be fatter off grain than they will be off grass.

The secondary issue is exercise, since grazing tends to be used for grass fed(because the volume of grass you'd have to deliver is large), those cows have to work more to eat. More work = bigger muscles which generally equals tougher meat. Ideally you want your cow as fat and as lazy as possible to achieve the best quality beef. That is extremely difficult to do with grass fed beef.

I don't want beef that's just been standing around in a feedlot though. From what I have seen/heard/read it can be very unsanitary. I was surprised that I noticed a difference in the flavor of the meat and I've been trying to figure out why their meat tastes better.

CrazyPhuD
06-06-2012, 08:37 PM
I don't want beef that's just been standing around in a feedlot though. From what I have seen/heard/read it can be very unsanitary. I was surprised that I noticed a difference in the flavor of the meat and I've been trying to figure out why their meat tastes better.

Honestly it could be any number of factors, but I do believe that Harris has their own herds so they are more likely to exert better quality control and genetics than places that buy from farms in bulk.

mikeyis4dcats.
06-06-2012, 08:45 PM
Technically Buck is right when it comes to ground beef. I doubt anyone could consistently taste the difference between corn or grass fed GB if they both had say 15% fat.

The difference is in the unground cuts. A ribeye off of a corn fed beef will consistently have better marbeling, meaning better flavor than a grass fed one.

the reason that is is right there in your post. 15% fat. That means leaner grass fed beef is actually processed with added fat to increase the fat content. Grain fed beef does not need that.

listopencil
06-06-2012, 09:13 PM
Honestly it could be any number of factors, but I do believe that Harris has their own herds so they are more likely to exert better quality control and genetics than places that buy from farms in bulk.

That makes sense.