Our beef doesn’t magically appear on our plate, your’s doesn’t either.
Our beef grows in a pasture, not a lab. It starts with soil, and all of the complexities that live within it. The grass that grows in that soil is 50% above ground, and 50% below it. So while our cows move about, they are quite attached to the ground through the grass.
We are able to eat the beef as second hand vegetartians, so to speak. While cattle live on a vegetarian diet, they probably eat a few bugs they don’t seek them out for a meal, per say.
Either way, no lab, beside that which is called the rumen (cow’s stomachs) comes between the grass the cows eat and they product they make for us to eat.
What they eat and when can affect the flavor of the meat. While I hope you never experience this, if a cow eats ragweed, or wormwood (stink weed) for example, the milk and the meat can get an off flavor that will remind you of those plants. You can smell it in the milk a little if you have a sensitive nose, but the meat is more subtle.
Yes, I’m speaking from experience. Growing up on a dairy farm, our cows wern’t always very diserning eaters and sometimes ate these stinky plants, which ended up in the milk, and on our table the next day. Fortunately our milk went to the cheese making plant, so those aromatic plants residue were mitigated by the bacteria that make cheese. I wonder of there’s a market for wormwood flavor cheese? They world may never know.
The bottom line is, we are what we eat. We do care about what we eat, what our cows eat, and what you eat. I do the best I can every day to make sure we offer our cows, calves, and beef steers the widest variety of plants, less the stinky ones, so they get a balanced diet, and nutrient dense from all the diversity.