Have you ever tried grass-fed beef? It’s not nearly as prevalent as the grain-fed kind, but if you have the opportunity to purchase grass-fed beef, here are some reasons why you should:
Cows were designed to eat grass. When cows are fed a wheat and corn diet, they produce lower quality fats and less protein per pound.
Less bacteria, no antibiotics:
Deadly bacteria like E. Coli are more prevalent in grain-fed cows. Commercial farming methods involve giving cows antibiotics to ward off infection and death.
Organic isn’t the same as grass-fed:
Organic meat, by law, must have no antibiotics, no growth hormones, and the animals have to be fed 100% organic feed. Farmers can feed their cows grains and still call their beef organic.
Better for gluten allergies:
People with celiac disease can get sick from eating grain-fed meat.
There’s less bad fat:
A result of cows eating what they were designed to eat.
Contains three to six more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef:
Omega-3 fatty acids greatly contribute to reducing triglyceride levels in the blood and also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Contains four times more vitamin E:
This vitamin is good for preventing and treating heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, diseases of the nervous system, respiratory infections and more.
Higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA):
CLA can suppress cancerous tumors and moderate body weight, body composition, glucose metabolism and the immune system.
Better for the environment:
Since grass-fed cows spend the majority of their lives on a pasture than in a cramped feedlot, the costs associated with manure clean-up are lower, and the potential for runoff into adjacent waterways are reduced.
Lower in calories:
The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories. Fat has nine calories per gram.
The only downsides to grass-fed beef are accessibility and affordability, but the average American already eats 70 pounds of cow a year, way too much for a healthy diet. It’s better to increase your nutrient intake and decrease your meat intake than vice-versa.
So How Do You Know If Your Beef is Grass-Fed?
Some beef are “grain and grass finished,” which means the cows are grain-fed for a large portion of their lives and grass fed for the last little bit. There can also be grass-fed grain finished beef, which means cows are mostly fed grass, but given grains towards the end to fatten them up. This is how you can tell if your beef is grass-fed and finished:
The fat is yellow:
Grain-fed beef has a thick white layer of fat. However, younger cattle can also produce a layer of white fat.
The meat will be tougher:
This makes it great for slow-cook meals and casseroles. Grain-fed beef has a softer, buttery texture. Younger cattle, grass-fed or not, have softer meat as well.
It has a stronger flavor:
Grass-fed beef just tastes better!
There’s less marbling:
Marbling are streaks of fat in the beef. Since grass-fed beef has less marbling, you get less fat and more protein.