All too often we see horrific videos of cramped farming lots and hear about the consequences of feeding animals genetically modified corn. But as we found out last week when The Meat and Livestock Australia team visited the IQS HQ, thankfully Australian production of beef and lamb operates quite to the contrary.
Here’s what we found out:
- Australia is one of the safest countries for meat production. We are known globally for having extremely safe beef and lamb. This is because we have strict policies in place, but also due to the fact we’re an isolated continent, which means we have a natural barrier to animal diseases.
- All our beef is raised on pasture, even if it is grain-finished. That means all cattle, whether grass or grain-finished, will spend the majority of their lives roaming the paddocks.
- All our lamb is pasture-fed. And only a very small percentage (around 6 percent or less) are lot-fed and finished on grain.
- We do not feed our beef or lamb corn. This was surprising! Like we’ve said before, we always opt for grass-fed and finished beef, but it’s worth knowing even the grain-finished beef in Australia are fed Australian sorghum, barley and wheat in the last 50-120 days of their lives. That’s a far cry from the genetically modified corn fed to cattle in other countries.
- All our beef and lamb is free range for the majority of their lives. Which is pretty spectacular and makes Australian beef and lamb a selling point to countries around the world. It’s more humane for the animals and results in better quality meat.
- Nearly 50 per cent of Australian land is used for cattle and sheep farming. This is because much of our land is unsuitable for crops. That means farming cattle and sheep is the most efficient way for us to produce protein with a high nutrient value.
- No part of the animal is wasted. Although we only typically consume the classic cuts of meat, all trimmings go into sausages or dog food, the hide is used in furniture and even beef testicles and penis are used (exports are at a record high… yes, actually).
What do you look for in your meat? If it’s grass-fed? Organic? Local? Let us know in the comments below: