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Darragh McCullough: Grass-fed campaign needs to be up front about the other ingredients in our livestock rations

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Darragh McCullough pictured on his farm in Stamullen, Co. Meath. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

Darragh McCullough pictured on his farm in Stamullen, Co. Meath. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

Idyllic: A steak branded 'grass-fed' will conjure up image for consumers of cattle up to their waists in meadows, batting away butterflies flapping gently around their happy heads - the reality is more complicated due to the volume of imported grains such as soya and palm kernel in Irish beef rations.

Idyllic: A steak branded 'grass-fed' will conjure up image for consumers of cattle up to their waists in meadows, batting away butterflies flapping gently around their happy heads - the reality is more complicated due to the volume of imported grains such as soya and palm kernel in Irish beef rations.

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Darragh McCullough pictured on his farm in Stamullen, Co. Meath. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

Question: when does a grass-fed cow stop being a grass-fed cow?

Answer: whenever you like, provided you are making the rules.

Mark my words: this is a question that is going to vex a lot of farmers for years to come.