What is Grass Fed Beef – and Why is it Good For Us?
Grass fed beef simply means that the beef cattle were fed only grass, grass hay, or grass silage, as their only feed from birth to the butcher shop. Grass fed animals are raised the way nature intended, starting with their mother’s milk, then grazing contently in fields and pastures their entire lives.
Grass fed animals are generally much healthier, therefore they do not require antibiotics, feed supplements or hormones. This means there is no residues left in the beef to be passed on to you! Not being crowed into tight, confined, sometimes dirty pens means that they are healthier and happier animals also.
Besides being healthier for you, grass fed beef is also tastier and leaner, providing many health benefits. Being raised the nature intended, grass fed beef is higher in Vitamins A & E, CLA’s and has the right balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Our bodies convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A, and grass fed beef contains 10 times the amount of beta-carotene than traditional grain fed beef. It also contains 3 times the amount of Vitamin E then grain fed. The balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids is an important factor in our bodies’ health, aiding in the prevention of coronary disease, cancer and diabetes. Cattle, fed a diet of mostly grain produce meat that has very low levels of Omega 3 and high levels of Omega 6, which presents health concerns to us.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is produced in the stomach of cattle, which in turn is found in meat. When passed onto us it has many health benefits. When cows are grass fed their entire life they have 2 to 3 times the amount of CLA then grain fed cows.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA’s have recently been discovered and good news for us, they are good for you! CLA’s are a fatty acid that has potential cancer fighting properties. They are also promoted as a diet aid and muscle builder. In recent animal studies, even small amounts of CLA have been able to block all 3 stages of cancer. Beyond that CLA has significantly slowed down the growth of a number of tumors including colon, skin breast and prostate cancer.
Grass fed beef has 1.5 times more protein than grain fed – feed lot raised cattle. This is because feed lot cattle are there for one reason – to fatten quickly. They are pushed hard to reach slaughter weight in 18- 20 months, by being fed huge amounts of grain, being injected with growth hormones and not being allowed to get any exercise. The faster they get to slaughter, the more money these factory farms make.
Not so with totally grass fed and finished cattle. They grow at a slower pace, the way cattle did in the early 1900’s, with plenty of fresh air, clean surroundings and lots of green grass to eat. When they are grazed on lush green grass as their only source of feed, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 and CLA is abundant. When we eat grass fed beef, we energize ourselves with these nutrients that are passed along to us through the meat of these all naturally raised animals. Not only are these animals more healthy, we are too when we reap the benefits of grass fed beef.