Abundant Pastures Ranch (Why Grass Fed)

Eating grass-fed beef may lower your risk of E. coli infection

When you eat grass-fed meat, you may have a lower risk of becoming infected with dangerous E. coli bacteria.Why is this? Work conducted at Cornell University by Russell and Diez-Gonzalez in the late 1990s showed that cattle that were fed hay had far fewer E. coli than when they were fed a standard feedlot diet based on grain. (Microbes Infect 2, No. 1 (2000): 45-53.) In addition, the two researchers conducted a test tube study showing that E. coli from grass-fed cattle is more likely to be killed by the natural acidity of our digestive tract and therefore might be less likely to survive and make us ill.The reason for the greater persistence of E. coli from grain-fed cattle, the researchers speculated, is that feeding grain to cattle makes their digestive tracts abnormally acidic. Over time, the E. coli in their systems become acclimated to this acid environment. When we ingest them, a high percentage will survive the acid shock of our digestive juices. By contrast, few E. coli from grass-fed cattle will survive because they have not become acid-resistant.