Did You Know?
Our “Did You Know” page is where we try to expose the secrets of the industrial beef industry.
Did you know that in spite of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) launched in January 2017, farmers are still able to use routine antibiotics in their feed?
According to an article published by Pen State, “Ionophores: A Technology to Improve Cattle Efficiency”, antibiotics that are not bactericidal (they do not kill the bacteria) but simply inhibit their functionality and ability to reproduce are still legal to use. They are a class of antibiotics that are used in cattle production to shift ruminal fermentation patterns.
According to the paper, “Ionophores are not just antibiotics–they are antibiotics that target specific bacteria. Because of their specificity, ionophores are not used in medically relevant human applications (i.e., in hospitals to treat human disease). Therefore, ionophores are not currently regulated under the VFD and may be fed to cattle to improve feed efficiency.”
To be fair to my fellow farmer, I suspect many farmers do not even know Ionophores are used in their feed or that they are antibiotics. The additive was recommended by my feed specialist even after I informed them that we are selling natural beef with no routine antibiotics. It was only after reading the Penn State article that I realized the additive was an antibiotic.
Given this experience, we have chosen to avoid all feed additives and supplements at Midwest Best beef. We mix all our own feed with individual ingredients on our own farm with our own equipment. Most of the feed come from our farm. This method is considerably more costly and time consuming, but it is important that the beef we produce meets the standards we promised to ourselves and our customers. We go to great lengths to make sure the beef our family and your family consume is the best product we can produce.
Did you know many of the animal by-product and antibiotic additives used in animal feed are needed to keep the animal alive and make them fat?
These additives can include animal manure, antibiotics and animal byproducts. In some cases, animals are feed by-products from the same species. Many of these ingredients are unknown even to the farmer.
From the video (0:00)
“Most animals raised in this country eat a secret formula. Some elements of the mix are even unknown to the farmer.”
At Midwest Best beef we mix our own feed, so we know exactly what is going into our feed and our beef. We do not use any special feed additives with unknown ingredients.
From the video (0:19)
“How many ingredients are we looking at the end of the day?
Probably ten to twelve different ingredients in. That includes pig fat. So yes. the pigs are eating pig fat.
Since we mix our own feed at Midwest Best, we know we are feeding strictly vegetarian feed ingredients.
Check out our Life on the Farm page to see the process.
From the video (2:19)
“The FDA estimates that 1% of all chicken poop goes into feed.”
No animal poop or any animal by-products are ever fed to our beef
From the video (5:52)
“Is there an alternative? Maybe going organic?
At Midwest Best, we follow many of the same organic principles regarding vegetarian feed sources containing no animal by products, or antibiotics. Since we use conventional version of the same feed stuffs, we are able to offer a safe healthy natural product at a price comparable to your local grocer. See out FAQs for a detailed explanation comparing the natural beef we sell and the Organic version.
From the video (5:55)
“There is the heart of it. Demand for cheap meat. We produce it as efficiently as possible and the conditions the animals live in means drugs are often used not only to keep them alive but to make them fat.”
At Midwest Best, we do not use large feedlots with thousands of animals crammed into a relatively small space. Our animals are provided shelter and clean bedding regularly to ensure they are healthy and safe. Raising our animals this way eliminates the need for the routine antibiotics to keep them alive.
From the video (6:25)
“Food executives say industrial methods are the only way we are going to feed 9 billion people in the next three decades…. Maybe….But when you buy an unprocessed raw ingredient, do you know what is really in it? Where it has been before it gets to your plate and weather it was produced as safely as possible
When you buy from Midwest Best, you can be sure where your beef comes from, what is in it and where it has been before it got to your plate. Unlike the industrial beef industry, you do not need to take our word for it. We not only welcome, but we encourage farm visits. Come and see for yourself how we produce your beef. Verify for yourself the ingredients we use and how we care for our beef.
Did you know cattle in industrial feedlots are fed animal and seafood waste as well as candy?
Did you know that cattle in some commercial feedlots’ cattle are routinely fed antibiotics, chicken manure, fish and seafood byproducts (crab, shrimp, and fish guts), and candy? – Wrappers and all.
At Midwest Best Beef, we feed out cattle a strictly vegetarian diet of Hay (alfalfa) and corn.
Did you know the industrial beef processing industry applies various chemicals or gasses to the beef before it gets to your plate?
The industry uses Ammonium hydroxide to sterilize beef that would not normally be considered safe for human contact or consumption.
The Product is used to create “Pink Slime” (AKA Finely textured beef). Approximately, 70% of the ground beef sold in the United States contains this beef product, according to an investigation by A.B.C. News.
Chemical preservatives such as propyl gallate, which causes tumors in laboratory test animals are used to preserve meat and maintain the bright red color in the store.
Stores also use modified atmosphere packaging’ (MAP) to inject Carbon monoxide to mask decaying meat and present a bright red appearance.
Did you know the quality of meat from a supermarket can vary widely?
Ground supermarket beef tends to come from retired dairy and beef cows (female birthing cows) that can be between 6 and 8 years of age.
At Midwest Best, all of our beef is harvested from Angus beef around 2 years of age.
Did you know your beef can come from anywhere in the world without labeling it?
The US repealed the Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL). Now your local super market beef could come from anywhere in the world without notifying the consumer.
Midwest Best beef is raised right here in Iowa. Feel free to stop by the farm and see for yourself the care and pride we invest in our beef.
Did you know the beef you buy can be up to 12 % injected water and chemical solutions?
Wal-Mart, for example, says a majority of its fresh offerings are enhanced with a 6 to 12 percent solution of water, salt, sodium phosphate and natural flavorings.
At Midwest Best, our beef is 100% beef. There are no additives, colors dyes, preservatives or water added. Whether they call it Plumbing, juicing or enhance beef, it means you are paying retail beef prices for a water/salt/chemical solution.
Did you know the added chemical solutions is big part of why your burgers shrink?
Most of us have bought “cheap” ground beef at one time or another and been astonished at how much our burger shrank on the grill or in the fry pan. Most people believe it is the fat melting away. The fat may contribute but the primary reason is the water boiling off. The water, brine, and chemical solutions added to meat will cook off while grilling or frying. Additionally, the fibers within the meat will contract releasing there moisture as well. Different tissues will contain different amounts of water and thus will contract more or less depending on that water content.
At Midwest Best Beef, not only do we not add any water, brine or any other chemical solutions, we dry age the entire carcass resulting is beef with a lower moisture content and a higher concentration of flavor. Furthermore, our beef is all muscle meat. We do not grind other part of the cow such as noses, lips, etc. in our beef. This produces more consistent beef with less shrink.
One of our customers put us to the test. He was gracious enough to share his results with us. He started with a patty about 4.75 inches in diameter. After cooking the patty, the resulting burger was still 4.5 inches. There was still plenty of fat in the pan to provide a rich beef flavor. By using only muscle meat, aging the entire carcass and not adding water or other chemical solutions, we are able to provide ground beef that is full of flavor rather than water.
Did you know Meat Glue is used about 8 million pounds of meat each year to turn inexpensive meat into more expensive cuts?
The industrial beef industry uses “Meat Glue” to take inexpensive stew meat and bind it together to make meat that can be marketed as more expensive streaks. Only about 15% of a steer will yield high value steaks. In the past, the trimmings from the carcass were ground into hamburger or sold as stew meet and stir-fry. In an effort to increase profits, the industry came up a “Meat Glue” that allows these trimmings to be glued together to form larger more valuable cut. However, besides being deceptive to the consumer, it allows for increased risk of bacterial contamination and E-Coli. While still legal in the US, the European union banned Glue Meat in 2010.
At Midwest Best Beef, the cut of meat you buy is the cut that came off the animal as it came of the animal. We do not use any reconstituted meat or meat products in our product line.
Any questions? Please Contact Us