Most of us imagine that the beef we pick up from the grocery store comes from happy, healthy cows who are getting fat in nice green pastures. Unfortunately, this is usually FAR from the truth. For more information on the beef you’re eating, watch these documentaries (particularly Food, Inc.)
But rather than scaring you into thinking about the beef you’re eating, I’d rather give you a fabulous alternative: Grass-Fed Beef.
You may have heard that too much red meat is bad for you. Well, if you are eating typical grain-fed beef, then yes, too much of that is bad for you. But grass-fed beef is a completely different animal.
Why is grass-fed beef a better alternative to the stuff you find in the grocery store? Let me count the ways…
1. Grass-fed beef is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It actually contains 2-4 times more than that of typical grocery store beef. These essential fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body. They also reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. Most Americans do not get enough Omega-3’s to balance their intake of Omega 6’s. Omega-6 fatty acids (which can be found in many vegetable oils, nuts, and grain-fed beef) are known to increase inflammation in the body. It is important to have a balanced ratio of these acids, though most Americans consume 14-25 MORE Omega-6 than Omega-3. This is not good, and it’s no wonder our bodies are inflamed! Obviously, the goal is to consume more Omega-3’s (and less Omega-6’s) to balance this out, and to hopefully achieve an overall ratio of 1:1.
Again, grass-fed beef is the best choice here, as it contains a ratio of approximately 3:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3, while grain-fed beef contains a ratio of approximately 20:1. That’s a big difference!
2. Grass-fed beef is almost always organic. Because cows on grain diets are often sick (they were not meant to eat grain; they were meant to eat grass!), they are often given antibiotics to prevent the spread of disease, and hormones to encourage growth. Grass-fed cows are much healthier and happier, so they have no need for antibiotics or hormones. They grow big, healthy, and strong because of their natural diet!
3. Grass-fed beef is considered “lean meat.” If it’s grass-fed, it has about 1/3 the amount of fat found in grain-fed beef. That means that a grass-fed steak can have as little fat as a skinless chicken breast. And since it has less fat than typical grocery store beef, it also has fewer calories!
4. Grass-fed beef contains four times more vitamins (particularly vitamins A and E) and antioxidants than grain-fed beef.
5. Grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, minerals, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and CLA.
6. Grass-fed beef is obviously lower in saturated fats than grain-fed beef. And the saturated fats that it does contain are vitamin-rich and good for you!
7. Grass-fed cows are happier. I’m not with PETA, or anything like that, but it makes sense that happy, pasture-raised cows make healthier beef. In the documentaries I mentioned above, you will see the differences between grass-fed cows and grain-fed cows. Most of the time, the grain-fed cows are locked in barns with little ventilation. Most of them have never even seen grass. They are sick, diseased, and pumped with hormones to promote growth. In the documentaries, you will see inside those cows’ stomachs, and they have mold and bacteria growing among the grains they are eating, because those grains are not as digestible for them as grass.
On the other hand, the grass-fed cows are healthy and happy. Think about it… they are roaming around in the fresh air; stress-free, and disease-free. It has also been proven that cows with less stress produce meat that is much more tender, sweet, and lean.
The food industry, in an effort to produce an efficient industrial process that produces the largest amounts of inexpensive meat in the smallest amount of time, has done us no favors.
Interested in Getting Some Grass-Fed Beef?
Dustin and I just placed our first order! To find a farmer in your area, visit EatWild.com. We ordered from Little Creek Ranch. Take a look at their fabulous website, and watch their news coverage video. They ship very inexpensively if you don’t want to make a trip to their ranch. Including shipping, our beef comes out costing approximately $5.25 per pound. Not much more than what we would pay at the grocery store, but SO much better for us!