Grass-fed beef has been around for centuries, but just recently more and more people have been looking to purchase grass-fed beef. Red meat has always had a bad reputation, but now you can purchase red meat that actually benefits for your heart.
First of all let’s discuss grass-fed versus grass-fed, grass-finished. Grass-fed beef is allowed to eat grass up until 4-6 weeks before slaughter. At which that time, the farmer fattens his cattle with grains. This is bad because all of the omega-3s and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from the cow eating grass start to diminish rapidly over that time period, making the beef not much healthier than if it was fed grains the entire time. So make sure you get grass-fed, grass-finished, as this means the cattle only ate grass.
The benefits to grass-fed, grass-finished cattle are higher amounts of omega-3s, higher amounts of CLA, and lower total fat content. So not only will the caloric intake be less, but the fat in the meat is very lean and healthy for your heart.
Grass-fed, grass-finished beef also has higher quantities of Vitamin A and E, as well as higher quantities of cancer fighting anti-oxidants: glutathione and superoxide dimutase. Also, the beef is anti-inflammatory in nature. This means that eating grass-fed, grass-finished beef with help lower your systemic inflammation which helps decrease chronic pain syndromes.
So what’s the downfall? There are two variables that come to mind that may deter consumers from purchasing grass-fed beef. First, it is costly. Typically you can get grass-fed ground beef for around $7-8 per pound. If you find a farmer and purchase a quarter, half, or whole cow, then your cost will decrease, but finding up front money and freezer space may be challenging. Second is the taste. Grass-fed beef will taste different due to its diet of only grass. Taste is different for everyone, but I figure with enough spices you can make it taste any way you like. I think it tastes delicious, and the health benefits far outweigh anything else.
Dr Spencer Charlet
Chiropractor in Mooresville, NC