Last Sunday, the New York Times published E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection, in which reporter Michael Moss informs us that “eating ground beef is still a gamble.”

 The newspaper obtained corporate records that indict our broken food-safety system. E. coli remains an ever-present threat, which is bad news for a nation that loves its burgers.

 ”The majority of E. coli comes into processing plants on the hides of grain-fed feedlot cattle and in their guts,” says Allen Williams, PhD, chief operating officer at Tallgrass Beef, a producer of grass-fed meats. “Most beef in the United States comes from cattle that are fattened on grain in feedlots. Grain diets alter the rumen pH in the gut to allow the acid-resistant bacteria, such as pathogenic E. coli bacteria, to grow and thrive.

 “Grass-fed cattle are much less prone to the pathogenic forms of E. coli that usually lead to sickness and recalls,” he adds. “Since 100% of grass-fed cattle are fed only forage diets and raised in the pasture, they are clean inside and out.” 

If you enjoy a good burger and haven’t yet switched to grass-fed organic beef, now’s the time. Burger lovers can follow my mom’s example.