Do you know that 48 million people are struck down with food poisoning each year? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention beef is ranked number three on that list under fish and dairy. In fact, beef accounts for 9% or a little bit less then 4.8 MILLION people!

Scary thought, but I used to eat RAW hamburger meat with seasoned salt on it when I was a kid. The thought makes me want to be sick.

So, what’s the beef? (Oh man…these beef jokes are going to be rampant through out.) Well, it turns out that beef raised with the addition of hormones and antibiotics has given rise to SUPER BUGS! BEEFY SUPER BUGS! They can’t lift a lot of weight, but these super bugs are resistant to classic antibiotics that are usually fed to the cows to keep them healthy.

Consumer Reports recently ran a great piece on this whole hamburger and they came up with the following break down (and by they, I mean me after reading it).

* Cows raised organically, grass fed, pastured, with out the use of antibiotics or steroids and slaughtered humanely tended to be healthier, had less super-bugs and generally are safer for you to consume.

* Cows raised the conventional way, i.e. on a farm, had a greater potential of having all the crazy bad stuff like E. Coli and a bunch of other bacteria that I can’t pronounce and that would just cause you to want to google it. Bad stuff that kills people. That’s what you need to know.

Here’s another tidbit to think about – cows that are conventionally raised are fed a mixture of antibiotics, corn and soy (among other things like candy, chicken coop waste and remnants from pork and chicken slaughter. Yum. And disgusting.) that, according to one farmer, “causes cows to become unnaturally obese animals that would never exist in nature.” It takes just 16-18 months for cow to reach 1200 pounds, where as a cow grass fed and pasture raised takes about 4-6 months longer to reach a weight that is slightly less.

Slaughter weight is 1100 pounds. Let’s just make a small comparative jump here, cows are mammals. We are mammals. Cows are fed corn and soy to fatten them up to proportions that are “unnatural and would never exist in nature.” Just sayin…how’s that corn and soy taste?

Here’s the beef!

Below are the labels you want to look for when shopping for beef and what it means for your health.

“Might kill me or cause me to yack my brains out if I don’t turn it into a piece of leather.” –

Basic Beef or raised without antibiotics.

Reliable terms are “no antibiotics administered”, “raised with out antibiotics”, “USDA processed verified” (most trustworthy claim). Beware of “no antibiotics used for growth promotion”, super shady, antibiotics can still be used in these cows.

“Smaller chance of killing me, but still a potential I might be praying to the porcelain gods if I cook hamburger to less then medium well.”


Look for “100% grass fed”, “grass fed” and while your at it, look for beef that also carries one of the terms above. “USDA Never Ever 3”is also a great term to look for.

“Probably won’t kill me and I can enjoy a medium rare burger with out fear of washing out my insides.”


Look for “organic” or “America Grass Fed Association” – that’s the ideal.

“Safest choice and best choice if I like my meat rare.”

Grass-fed organic

“Animal Welfare Approved” seal, “Certified Humane” seal or “Global Animal Partnership” (GAP) 5 or 5+ seal all mean the animal was raised as humanely as possible.

There ya have it! Now go out and support your local farmer that raises their beef grass fed and organic!