RYE, N.Y. -- One of the things Ben Hager likes about working on an all-natural cattle farm is watching the young calves running about the pastures.
"They eat when they want to eat, they drink when they want to drink and they play when they want to play," said Hager, who works for the New York Beef Company in LaGrangeville, N.Y.
New York Beef produces all-natural, grass-fed beef, which can be found at the Rye Farmers' Market on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The cows are raised in open pastures and fed on a pure grass diet without antibiotics, chemicals, hormones or genetically modified crops.
Hager said it takes 32 months to bring an animal to the proper weight for slaughter, which feedlots accomplish in 13 months through force-feeding, growth hormones and genetically modified corn feed.
Although the process takes longer, Hager said it produces healthier meat and allows for the cattle to be raised humanely.
Grass-fed beef is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce cholesterol and fights heart disease. In contrast feedlot beef is high in Omega-6, which does exactly the opposite.
Hager has been with New York Beef for three years and performed a variety of tasks. He's herded the cattle across pastures and driven their meat to local markets.
"When you buy our beef, you're getting healthier food that's humanely-produced and supporting local agriculture," he said.
What do you think about the benefits of eating grass-fed beef?
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