It has been interesting to follow the growing awareness of consumers about the food supply and particularly beef. People are becoming much more educated and concerned about how their food was raised. As a small beef producer I think that is wonderful thing! I am always amazed by folks who have no idea, and apparently do not care, where their food comes from - or what may be in it.
We had a visitor to our ranch last year who illustrated this situation perfectly. This seemingly intelligent woman - we'll call her Susan (names have been changed to protect the guilty) - was asking questions about our ranch. I mentioned the cattle we raise and she asked if we had any chickens? I said yes we do have a small flock that free range in our orchard and we enjoy the wonderful eggs the girls give us. Susan was horrified and announced in a loud voice "Oh! I could never eat anything that came out of a chicken's backside, I have to get my eggs from the grocery store!" And she was serious. Really. I don't know about you, but people like that scare me. I wonder where she thinks the grocery store gets their eggs? I'm even more curious about where she thinks grocery store beef comes from? Does she think it magically appears in the supermarket shrink wrapped on a tray? I confess I was so stunned by her pronouncement about the eggs I didn't ask.
Happily, I think the Susan's of the world are becoming fewer. I meet a lot more people who are knowlegeable about their food and the meat supply. They know the difference in grass fed beef and grocery store beef from a feedlot or CAFO and they care about the nutrition and quality. There is an excellent article by Dr. Mercola that talks about this very topic The "Golden Beef" His conclusion: Switching from supermarket beef to local a farmer who grows grass fed beef allows you to get superior food from a safer, more humane source, while supporting your community and the environment at the same time—it's truly a win-win-win-win proposition, and what could be better than that? I agree.