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Q: Hi, I wanted to know how the nutritional quality of the soil/grass itself affects the nutritional quality of the meat (other than omega 3) and do grass-Fed meat ranchers like yourself monitor minerals and so forth in their grasslands. Great Website by the way! Looking forward to ordering.
A: Soils have a direct impact on the nutrients of the plants that grow on them. (This is one reason why in nature different plants grow more prolifically than others by region.) Prior to the fencing of the ranges, animals would graze over more soil types than they do now. Therefore the combined cross-section of minerals was greater. Yet just the same, on our ranch there are seven different soil types. So even in small areas soil types differ significantly.
Yes, the chemical makeup of soils is always a concern because it is fundamental to agriculture. EVERYONE in livestock management (or crop production of any kind) is concerned about soils and soil types. The grass-fed folks are not an exception by any means. Mineral companies focus on soil compositions intently and make different mineral supplements for various regions depending on the geology of those areas. If you think about it, gold is found in some areas, copper in others, iron in others, etc. Therefore everyone participating in agricultural production knows mineral concentrations vary around the world and their situation is not the same as elsewhere. Because all people in agriculture, starting with those with a pulse and rudimentary intelligence and those further up on the ladder, are focused on being sustainable you can trust that they are trying to maintain and improve their soils. Yes, contrary to popular myths, "improve."
In our area we are pretty fortunate for having soils that are rather complete. In other words, nearly all of the micro nutrients are present. Just the same though we have mineral supplements available for the livestock. In other areas where there are deficiencies, such as copper and selenium for instance, the commercial mineral supplements made for those areas have copper and selenium in them. By and large then, because of the widespread use of mineral supplementation, this is really not an issue the general public needs to be concerned about compared to what kinds of feed livestock get.
Humorously, asking if professional ranchers "monitor minerals and so forth in their grasslands" is a backhanded put down. I know that in your case it wasn't intended that way by any means, but it is like asking whether or not folks in agriculture know how to read or do basic arithmetic. Or do they know that they need to put fuel in their trucks to keep them going. Duhhh. lol
Now when it comes to how mothers of America feed their children and how feedlot operators feed their cattle, that's a different situation. Mothers of America and feedlot operators do not understand how damaging grain is to animal body function. So they feed grain and lots of grain. Consequently, both mothers and feedlots operators are destroying the health of their dependents because of gross ignorance. That is something to be concerned about BIG TIME.
Here's just one link out of millions about soils. Every agricultural, geological, anthropology, and engineering school in the world is tuned into this type of stuff big time. It's fundamental.