“Corn-Fed Beef” Is Not Something to Brag About

Yesterday I heard a radio ad for Fred Meyer advertising their special on “all corn-fed beef.” In a perky radio voice the actress announced this as if it was the most wonderful thing Fred Meyer could offer its customers. Maybe at one point “corn-fed” appealed because it meant a nice marbled cut of beef but, Mr. Meyer, this informed consumer knows better. To me “corn-fed” means a fatty cut of beef from a feedlot cow that is pumped full of antibiotics and hormones for its entire short, sad life because, if it doesn’t take antibiotics, the corn (which grass-eating cows were not created to consume) will kill it.

I’d like to call on Fred Meyer to recognize the increasing demand here in Oregon for free-range, grass-fed beef. I have never seen this kind of beef in Fred Meyer and instead go to Whole Foods, New Seasons or our local farmers markets to buy it. Free-range, grass-fed beef is leaner and therefore healthier plus there’s no need to worry about the heavy use of antibiotics or hormones – free-range cows don’t need them. Most recently we enjoyed grass-fed, ranch-raised beef almost daily while in Buenos Aires. Argentine beef is world famous because the cows graze on the sweet grasses of the pampas instead of on corn while stuffed in a crowded feedlot.

Fred Meyer, I don’t hate you, I actually find your natural food section full of many of my favorite grocery items. I’m disappointed though in your lack of knowledge of what Oregon shoppers are looking for and I hope you’ll recognize that at least one customer (me!) is not the least bit interested in your corn-fed beef.



  1. Franny said,

    June 9, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    You’re right – Fred Myers needs to hear the battle cry against corn-fed, feedlot beef!
    There are others out there. Join the grass-fed party. Power to the People! http://www.winagrassfedcow.com.

  2. J said,

    July 5, 2009 at 2:08 am

    There’s a question to which I’ve not yet received a satisfactory answer. Grass-fed beef is understood to be healthier for the consumer and for the steer. That much is not really up for debate. But is the flavor better? If it is, why do steakhouses still use corn-fed? If I eat beef, I am eating it for flavor, not health (why not just eat a meatless meal then?) and I seek the best flavor in my beef.

  3. Erin said,

    December 3, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    J, to answer your question there’s a great thread at
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/400836 that discusses the difference in flavor of grass fed verse grain fed.

    If anyone is looking to purchase grass fed beef in Oregon, check out http://www.TualatinAcresFarm.com. It’s 100% grass fed and they don’t use antibiotics or hormones.

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