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Stew Leonard's "Naked" Beef Info -- straight from the horse's, I mean, rancher's mouth

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Stew Leonard's "Naked" Beef Info -- straight from the horse's, I mean, rancher's mouth

lattelover | May 23, 2008 12:29 PM

OK. I went to SL in Norwalk and talked to the Kansas ranchers about their beef. They run a ranch in Manhatten Kansas, but they really are a feed lot for the beef cattle in question. According to them, they receive their beef cattle from many different ranches in the MidWest, as few as 75 head to 1000 head per ranch. Each ranch signs affidavits that their calves are grass (range) fed. Each calf carries a computer chip detailing its age, treatments etc. No calf is given any antibiotics or hormones unless they get sick. In that case they are treated but separated and disqualified from the "naked beef" program. They go to the feed lot at about 12 months. At that point they are given grain pellets made up of 60% corn, 30% silage and about 10% corn by-product (by-product of ethynol extraction). The feed is not treated, but it is still a little unclear to me if the corn had been treated with pesticides during the growth period. I believe they said they did use fertilizer, at least partly animal marure from their ranch. The cattle are slaughtered at about 20-30 months. They are not tested for mad cow disease because the disease apparently does not develop in cattle under 30 months of age, and this practice is acceptable to the Korean and Japanese markets which are quite picky in this regard. So that is what I remember. They said I asked "good questions." The ranchers will be at SL tomorrow (Saturday) from 11 am to 3pm if you can think of other things to ask.

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