Lip smacking vitamins!

If you’ve ever had small kids close together you understand that when given the opportunity to leave them at grandma’s and have an adult dinner with your husband, you go!  And then you contemplate the stipulations of said dinner once you get there.  This is how I ended up at a steak dinner sponsored by a feed company presenting on their fabulous new cattle mineral options.   More stimulating than another night of reading the Little Blue Truck and playing farm with plastic toys?  Well you can make that decision yourself.

This is what I learned that night.  If a cow is deficient in mineral during pregnancy it will affect the growth and productivity not only of that calf, but if that calf is kept as a breeding heifer it will even affect her offspring.  They presented all the research and growth charts, which I have long since forgotten.  They educated all the farmers in the room and their slightly zombie like wives on how cattle will over-indulge and have similar production problems if the mineral isn’t consistently available.  Then of course they present to you their fabulous products and once the presentation is over the price sticker is quietly discussed person to person.  Yeah, you may not have sat through a cattle specific sales dinner, but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.   

The thing is, mineral is expensive.  This is why many farmers don’t have mineral out consistently or at all.  Mineral consumption does not lead to a clear and obvious improvement in profit.  It’s hard to spend money on something that doesn’t clearly lead to a benefit.  Now is where knowing your farmer makes a difference.  Not all beef is the same.  This mineral over time allows us to breed cows whose calves are naturally healthier with less sickness and gain weight more efficiently with the same feed. 

A mineral tub in the middle of a pasture is a small thing.  Just like in life creating good habits slowly adds up to less stress, better health and productivity.  If you look at human research instead of cattle research you can find these same truths.  There are tons of articles that examine the availability of food in comparison to life expectancy.  In third world countries scientist have connected the life expectancy of children born during the wet growing season to be significantly higher than those born in the dry season.  Why?  The mother’s nutrition.  Just like cattle, our nutrition can affect generations to come. 

Beef is not only a sustaining protein it is full of vitamins and minerals. 

Vitamin B12: only found in animal-derived foods it is essential for your brain, nervous system and blood formation helping make DNA and red blood cells 

Zinc: an essential mineral that helps your body resist infection and aids in tissue repair 

Selenium: an essential trace element that helps to protect cells from damage and helps to regulate thyroid hormone 

Iron: a mineral that your body uses to make hemoglobin and myoglobin proteins. Hemoglobin helps the lungs move oxygen to the rest of your body while myoglobin brings that oxygen to the muscles.  Your body also uses iron to make hormones, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues.  (beef provides hemme form of iron which is absorbed efficiently in contrast to non-hemme iron from non-meat sources) 

Niacin (vitamin B3): a vitamin needed in small doses, but can help reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol 

Vitamin B6: important for blood formation and energy metabolism, may also affect mood & skin 

Phosphorus: essential for helping the body make energy, deliver oxygen through red blood cells and helping make bone 

Beef is also known to be a source for creatine (a muscle energy source) taurine (an antioxidant amino acid for heart and muscle function) and glutathione (an antioxidant).


So the lesson here is the cows and you both need minerals.  Beef helps provide those ever important vitamins and minerals you need, but be careful when your farmer husband invites you to a free dinner, lol.

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