This topic has now become mainstream. A few years ago, no one gave this a second thought, or even knew there was a difference in the beef you buy or how it was raised. But now the average consumer is becoming more aware and more educated on this topic. I am actually still learning about this myself. Instinctively I feel that grass fed beef should be better for us – after all, that’s what cows have always eaten in their natural state, right? But does it really make that much of a difference? And is it worth the additional cost to buy grass fed beef, which is quite a bit more expensive than grain fed beef. This article on Nutrition Secrets really does a great job outlining and explaining the differences of grain fed vs grass fed beef.
There are many terms to refer to the various types of alternative farming techniques, which can get a little confusing. Aside from grass-fed, you’ll also hear ‘pasture-raised’, ‘free-range’, and ‘organic’.
Free-range and pasture-raised are terms that do not necessarily relate to the diet of the animals, but the areas in which they live. These animals are typically not restricted to the claustrophobic feedlot conditions of the most common livestock raising practices.
Organic and grass-fed refer more specifically to the animals’ diet. Farmers who have decided to opt only for these cattle often give their cows radically different lives from those placed in feedlots.
Their existence is similar to experiences these animals have had for millions of years, before the dawn of agriculture, before we had billions of humans on the planet who want to eat more meat than ever before.
They are allowed to wander around in large enclosures, eating grass and exercising their muscles. These cows live to be five or six years old, far longer than the 14 months of life the more unfortunate feedlot cattle live.
Then there are the health benefits that do seem to lean towards grass fed beef being the healthier option between the two types of beef.
Lean red meat is incredibly high in protein, vitamin B12, iron, and lots of other important nutrients. Including it in your diet can help promote brain and muscle health.
But grass-fed beef goes a little bit further.
A lot of the benefits of grass-fed beef seem to revolve around heart health. Rekha Mankad, M.D., in an article on the Mayo Clinic site said that grass-fed beef is more likely to have:
- Less total fat
- Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- More conjugated linoleic acid, a variety of fat that studies show may reduce risk of heart disease and certain cancers
- More vitamin E and other antioxidant vitamins
Read the rest of this very informative article here: www.nutritionsecrets.com. It will help you make a more informed decision next time you are shopping for you and your family.