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Friday, August 16, 2013

What's so great about GRASS-FED Beef?

COWS were made for GRASS!

The meat man at Whole Foods asked me "why do you want to pass on the $4.99/lb beef on sale that is only partially grass fed"?  Partial, I don't like the sound of that.  Then the meat man explained how the cows are fed corn the last part of their life which adds about 300 pounds to their weight and makes the farmers a nice profit.  I wanted the $7.99/lb beef that is totally grass-fed, but I was not completely clear on my reasons.  I told him that cows were meant to eat grass, and I also asked him if he could guarantee the corn-fed cows were not consuming genetically modified foods (gmo corn) in their grain.  His response, "of course I cannot guarantee that there are no gmos, and there probably are".  Next he proceeded to tell me that the gmos in the grain were not "transferred" to the meat. Meaning I would not be consuming gmos.  Oh really, yeah right, was my response.    I told him I didn't have time to give him a science lesson and moved on with my 100% grass fed beef in cart.  Oh, I was stirred up after that conversation, and to think it all happened at Whole Foods! I'm thankful though because it spurred me onto think more about why I pay more and feel passionate about supporting farmers doing all grass fed.

A week later I was at a farmers market and asked one of the cow farmers why I should buy 100% grass fed beef.  His response, "because it has more omega 3s than a fillet of salmon".  WHAT? Omega 3s in beef? I thought that was only in fish and flax oil, maybe some nuts too.  I was floored, but also I felt a little proud of sticking to my gut instinct on the 100% grass fed purchase at Whole Foods.  Now to do my own investigation.

What's so important about omega-3's? We cannot make these fats in our bodies. So we need to get them from eating yummy things like fish, beef, and other pastured animal products like eggs.
What about omega-6s? These are important too, but the problem is we get WAY TOO MUCH!  Omega-6s are found in vegetable/seed oils which the average person consumes too much.  This is probably because packaged foods contain vegetable oils, chips, crackers, cereals for example.

A quick review of the research and this is what I found below:

*"grass-finished beef tends toward a higher proportion of cholesterol neutral stearic FA (C18:0), and less cholesterol-elevating SFAs (saturated fatty acids) such as myristic (C14:0) and palmitic (C16:0) FAs"(1)

I want cholesterol neutral instead of cholesterol ELEVATING!

*"Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries"(1)

Cancer fighting antioxidants!! Maybe this is a link to the reason cancer is on the rise.  We are eating way too much factory farm meats! Shocking.

I'll keep on buying my 100% grass-fed beef and I hope you do too! Let's support nature even if we have to eat a little less ;-)

*(1) 2010 Mar 10;9:10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef

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