What is "Mad Cow Disease?"
Mad cow disease is caused when cattlemen
try to raise the maximum amount of beef on a small feedlot. Because there is not enough natural grass to feed the animals,
growers look for an inexpensive food source. Although currently banned in the U.S., sometimes cattle food is actually made
from the parts of other animals (cattle, chickens, meat by-products & blood). This is usually how cows get the disease
-- from eating meat products.
Cows were designed to eat grass not meat or meat by-products! Our cattle eat only natural northeast Georgia
grass, shrubs, and trees. Because we do not feed our cattle (other than a few grain-molasses treats!) this is not a concern.
Hamburger and E. colli
The other problem with illness comes
from eating rare hamburger that has been contaminated with bacteria. This illness, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), occurs
when one eats food contaminated with E. coli and other bacteria. HUS follows typical symptoms of food poisoning and can lead
to severe diarrhea and intestinal bleeding. The widely publicized scares have caused many people to avoid burgers and to
overcook their steaks. The problem comes from the commercial butchering process. High volume slaughterhouses often have
very unsanitary conditions and the carcasses can become contaminated with feces.
Compounding the problem is that, in a high volume lot, it is impossible to avoid
a few sick animals. Often the burger you buy at the supermarket can have meat from up to 1,000 different animals.
Because the bacteria gets intimately
mixed into the meat in the grinding process the only way to kill the bacteria is to cook the burger to well-done with no pink
center. When you buy our animals you can rest assured that you will be getting meat from a single healthy animal butchered
humanely in a small clean shop. While it may be safest to not eat any hamburger that is undercooked, the risk of illness
is greatly reduced.
How About Steaks?
Steak is another matter and is the subject of much misinformation. Commercial steak can still be contaminated
in the butchering process. However, unlike ground beef, the meat is from a single animal. Because the meat is not ground,
bacterial contamination stays on the surface.
Eating rare stake is safe as the searing heat of a grill kills all of the surface bacteria. Our
steaks are even safer as we assure healthy animals and a clean butchering process. Furthermore, the meat does not contain
pesticide residues, antibiotics, or growth hormones.