Living in corn country and raising 100% Grass Feed Beef is defiantly not the norm. Since, we started the grass fed beef program we have heard criticism from almost everyone around us, especially other cattle raisers in the area.
The argument is that corn fed taste better, the cattle grow faster and feeding corn is the cheapest way to get them to a slaughter weight.
When we started raising cattle we had a decision to make.
1. Lower in total fat.
2. Higher in beta-carotene.
3. Higher in Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol).
4. Higher in B vitamins and riboflavin.
5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
6. Higher in total Omega-3s.
7. Healthier ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats.
8. Higher in CLA (potent cancer fighting qualities).
9. Higher in Vaccenic Acid (which is converted by the body to CLA).
10. Lower in saturate fats linked with heart disease.
Source: S. K. Duckett, J. P. S. Neel, J. P. Fontenot, and W. M. Clapham; Effects of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin, and cholesterol content; Journal of Animal Science; 2009 87: 2961-2970.
With all the health benefits of grass fed you would wonder why we ever started feeding cattle corn to begin with. I guess the answer is that feeding corn is cheaper, easier and faster.