Why Eat Grass Fed Beef

Why Eat Grass Fed Beef

Customers are more concerned these days about their own health as well as the health of their families and the environment. Our delicious 100% grass-fed beef offers many benefits. Grass is the most natural, healthy, stress-free diet for free-ranging cattle. When animals are 100% grass-fed, their meat is lower in saturated fats and lower in calories. Surprisingly, grass-fed beef can be as low in fat as a skinless chicken breast. Even better, grass-fed beef is rich in “good fats” that can protect against disease. Grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats found in salmon and flaxseed, which studies indicate may help prevent heart disease and bolster the immune system. And grass-fed beef is one of the richest known sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which recent data suggest may help prevent breast cancer, diabetes and other ailments. In addition grass-fed beef is high in vitamin A and vitamin E, two antioxidants thought to boost resistance to disease. Scientific studies, and health advocates agree that 100% grass-fed beef is the most nutritious choice.

Grass Vs Grain

cattle-grazing-of-grass

Different cattle feeding production systems have separate advantages and disadvantages. Most cows have a diet that is composed of at least some forage (grass, legumes, or silage). In fact most beef cattle are raised on pasture from birth in the spring until autumn (7 to 9 months). Then for pasture-fed animals, grass is the forage that composes all or at least the great majority of their diet. Cattle fattened in feedlots are fed small amounts of hay or straw supplemented with grain, soy and other ingredients in order to increase the energy density of the diet. The debate is whether cattle should be raised on diets primarily composed of pasture (grass) or a concentrated diet of grain, soy and other supplements. Cattle raised on a primarily forage diet are termed grass-fed or pasture-raised; for example meat or milk may be called grass-fed beef or pasture-raised dairy.

Grass Fed Beef

Grass fed or pasture-fed cattle, grass and other forage compose most all or at least the great majority of the grass fed diet. The debate is whether cattle should be raised on diets primarily composed of pasture (grass) or a concentrated diet of grain, soy and other supplements. The issue is often complicated by the political interests and confusion between labels such as "free range", "organic", or "natural". Cattle raised on a primarily forage diet are termed grass-fed or pasture-raised; for example meat or milk may be called grass-fed beef or pasture-raised dairy. However, the term "pasture-raised" can lead to confusion with the term "free range", which does not describe exactly what the animals eat.

Corn Fed

Cattle in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are typically fed corn, soy and other types of feed that can include "by-product feedstuff". As a high-starch, high-energy food, corn decreases the time to fatten cattle and increases yield from dairy cattle. These cattle are called corn-fed or grain-fed. Most grass fed cattle are raised for beef production. Dairy cattle are usually supplemented with grain to increase the efficiency of production and reduce the area needed to support the energy requirements of the herd. Some claim that the adoption of a grass-fed beef production system would dramatically increase the amount of land needed to raise beef.

Recent Studies and Health Benefits of Grass Fed Beef

According to research published in Meat Science, beef raised on grass have up to a tenfold increase of beta-carotene in their muscle tissues compared to grain fed cattle. Grass-fed beef also feature up to four times more vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle. Beta-carotene and vitamins E and C act as a powerful antioxidants that can enhance immune function and protect cells from the dangers of free radicals-highly unstable oxygen molecules that can damage normal cells and lead to cancer. This antioxidant action also is linked to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Grass-fed beef has more EFAs than cattle raised on grain, with up to six times more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. EFAs are polyunsaturated fats that help regulate mood, enhance metabolic rates and lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, resulting in a reduced risk for atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. And the play a vital role in reducing your risk for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Most grass-fed cattle are leaner than feedlot beef, lacking marbling, which lowers the fat content and caloric level of the meat.

Meat from grass-fed cattle also have higher levels of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and the Omega-3 fatty acids ALA, EPA, and DHA. While the research on CLA is unclear with regard to humans, it has shown many positive effects in animals in the areas of heart disease, cancer, and the immune system. Less intense population density is sometimes cited as a reason for decreased antibiotic usage in grass-fed animals. However, bovine respiratory disease, the most common cause for antibiotic therapy has risk factors common in both forms of production (feedlot and pasture finished). In dairy herds, grazed cattle typically have a reduced need for antibiotics relative to grain-fed cattle, simply because the grazed herds are less productive. A high-energy feedlot diet greatly increases milk output, measured in pounds or kilograms of milk per head per day, but it also increases animal physiological stress, which in turn causes a higher incidence of mastitis and other infectious disease, more frequently requiring antibiotic therapy.

Article used with permission from Brookers Natural Meats, Wholicious’ meat supplier. www.brookersmeat.com

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