6 Reasons To Eat GRASS FED Beef
If you want to avoid excess toxins and improve your health, then understanding the difference between conventionally raised beef and 100% grass fed beef is extremely important.
“100% Grass-fed” means that the animals are fed only grass and forage for the duration of their lives (never grain), are raised on pasture, and are never treated with antibiotics or hormones. A diet of grass is important because grass is what cows are designed to eat. Much like you thrive when you eat in alignment with your body’s needs, so do they. Properly-fed cows are healthy, happy and the precursor to a high quality product and nutrient-dense meal.
By contrast, on conventional farms, most cows eat grass only for their first six months. Then they are sent to feedlots where they consume genetically-modified (GMO) corn and grains for the rest of their lives. This unnatural diet often leads to inflammation and acidosis. Feeding a cow corn and grain is akin to you eating cake and doughnuts, three times a day for seven months. You would be sick and bloated, just like the poor cows. Grain and corn are the diet of choice for conventionally raised cows not because they are nourish the cows, but because they fatten them up quickly. This means big bucks for those who profit.To add insult to injury, the frequent illness that results from this unnatural diet must then be controlled by a steady dose of antibiotics. Roughly 70% of the total United States antibiotic production is fed to our farm animals just to help keep them alive. Studies have also shown that these antibiotics can be passed right along to the consumer which can cause hormonal, reproductive and developmental issues. They have even been linked to certain cancers. Clearly, this scenario is not ideal.
Fortunately, the solution is simple: Choose 100% grass-fed beef. Besides being antibiotic, hormone and GMO-free, research has also demonstrated that grass-fed meats are nutritionally superior to conventionally raised meats in several ways. Keep reading for 6 reasons to get your hands on some 100% grass-fed beef today!
1. Improved omega-3 fatty acid content.
Although the levels of omega-6 fatty acids remain somewhat constant in grain fed and grass-fed beef, the omega-3 fatty acid content is 2-5 times higher in grass-fed cows depending on the breed. Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for fighting inflammation and preventing coronary artery disease, hypertension, arthritis, cancer and other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Because many of your nagging health symptoms are the result of inflammation, the more omega-3s you can obtain from your diet, the closer you come to reaching your goals.
2. Improved omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is also a hot topic in health circles these days. This is because the standard American diet contains far too many omega-6 fatty acids and far too few omega-3 fatty acids which has lead to an imbalance that causes inflammation. Our paleolithic ancestors had a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids around 1:1. Today, a common ration is 20:1. By consuming 100% grass-fed beef, with its ratio of approximately 3:1, you move one step closer to correcting the imbalance. Grain-fed cows, on the other hand, have a ratio close to 20:1 which simply perpetuates the cycle.
3. Higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is a fatty acid that exerts potent antioxidant activity. It is also thought to play a role in the prevention of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Although grain fed beef may contain this fatty acid, grass-fed products contain 2-3 times more. As rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer continue to raise, everyone can benefit from CLA’s disease-preventative effects.
4. Altered amino acid profile.
When cows are fed corn, which is very low in tryptophan, you may end up with inadequate amounts in your diet. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and a precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is protective against depression. It sounds crazy, but what your cow eats can have a profound effect on the way your brain functions.
5. More vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Grass-fed beef products are also higher in vitamins and minerals. A side-by-side comparison conducted by the USDA and Clemson University researchers determined that grass-fed meats contained more B vitamins (thiamin and riboflavin), calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E. Other studies have also found higher levels of zinc, phosphorus, sodium, iron and up to seven times the amount of beta-carotene.
6. Toxins are stored in fat!
If you cannot afford to purchase both organic produce and high quality animal products, be sure to prioritize animal products. Fat stores toxins. Therefore the antibiotics, hormones, steroids and other toxic chemicals will be stored in the fat of conventionally-raised animals. Although eating organic fruits and vegetables is also ideal, they do not contain the high amounts of fats that animals products do, and the nasty chemicals will not be stored to the same extent. If you have to choose, 100% grass-fed animal products should be at the top of your list.
So as you can see, grass-fed means:
- Healthy cows
- Higher nutrient density
Does this cost more? Yes, but only in the short term.
For example, if you consume the average intake of beef each year in America (approximately 67 pounds), then one year of grass-fed beef will only cost you $300 additional dollars. While this may seem like a significant amount, it's important to remember that what you eat has a huge impact on the state of your health. The $300 you spend this year is likely to save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in prevented doctor’s bills, medications, and other health care costs down the road. The 11 year old Birke Baehr, said it best in his TED talk “What’s Wrong with our Food System, “we can either pay the farmer or we can pay the hospital.”
That is precisely the issue. Many worry about the cost TODAY, instead of seeing the benefits TOMORROW, and for the rest of your healthy, happy life.
While I understand that it may not be possible for everyone all the time, it is definitely worth the extra cash whenever it can fit into your budget. Your health, the animals and the planet will all be grateful.
If you haven't tried Paleovalley's 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks do yourself a favor and grab some right now. They are gluten free, soy free, sugar free, and are made with the highest quality, 100% grass fed beef. We use a completely natural fermentation process to make them shelf stable - the same preservation method our ancestors used!
Happy Paleo-ing 😊