A reader asks the following question:
“Why do you recommend grass fed beef?”
Please join this discussion and post your comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Here’s what I think . . .
Grass Fed Beef – Know Your Meat Source or Don’t Eat It!
When we imagine animals in their natural habitat we imagine them roaming around freely consuming what they choose. For cows, which are ruminant animals they forage for grasses and legumes. They have developed digestive systems designed for these specific foods. In a pastured environment they have the ability to roam around and choose grasses.
Unfortunately our grocery stores are filled with factory farmed meat. These cows are fed grains and corn which cause digestive tract issues requiring antibiotics and other medications to prevent gas formation. Most of the feed grain and corn is genetically modified. They are also not allowed to roam freely. Issues have occurred because these cattle stand in their own piles of excrement which can be transferred during processing to the meat, such as e-coli outbreaks. “Research studies have made it clear that cows remain healthier when they are fed and raised in a natural way. Healthier cows also mean healthier meat for all individuals who include meat in their diet” (Mateljan).
Besides the humanity of properly raising cattle in a natural, pasture environment is the benefit that grass fed beef increases the about of Omega-3 fatty acids. By eating grass fed beef you receive substantial amounts of EPA, DHA, and ALA. Lab tests show that grass fed beef has excellent nutritional content and an Omega-3 fatty acid profile close to that of wild salmon. This is because the cattle is raised on organic, nutritious grasses which are naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.
Grass fed beef is an area of nutrition that there is no middle ground or moderation in my opinion. If I can’t have grass fed beef than I would not choose to eat beef, period. The best choice is a local farmer who is properly raising grass fed beef where you can visit the farm. You can also purchase grass fed beef from many natural food stores – look for the terms “range fed” or “grass fed” on the label in addition to the organic certification. Due to the increasing knowledge of the health benefits of grass fed beef there are now online retailers as well. From a health perspective, it’s simple – know your meat source or don’t eat it.
Mateljan, George. (2006). The World’s Healthiest Foods: An Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. Seattle, WA: George Mateljan Foundation.
Salatin, Joel. (1995). Salad Bar Beef.
Weston A Price Foundation Website. http://www.westonaprice.org