To truly understand the benefits of organic grass fed beef it is important to be familiar with the terms “organic” and “grass fed” in regard to how it affects the meat you eat. Either organically-fed or grass-fed beef alone is still better than conventionally raised meat, but does not provide the superior benefits that come with being grass fed organic beef.
To qualify as organic, animals must have been fed only natural plant products rather than feed that contains animal byproducts, antibiotics or growth hormones. This is common practice in factory farms or CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), where the majority of your supermarket meat comes from. Grain-fed bovines can be organically bred and raised in accordance with organic standards, however, they do not provide the same health benefits as organic grass fed beef.
Since farmers are not required to adhere to any standards of how they grow the grasses they feed their cows, you can have beef that is grass fed, but that grass may have been grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, again only giving you some of the health benefits of organic grass fed meat.
You may have heard that grain-fed cattle are more tender or flavorful, howevergrain is not the food that these animals naturally eat. In fact, grains cause stress to their digestive systems, and they must be constantly monitored and given antibiotics at the first sign of sickness, which is often the result of feeding them this unnatural source of food.
The reasons for feeding beef grain are very simple; both the cattle and profits grow bigger faster. The average cow used to be about four to five years old before slaughtering; today that age is more like 12-16 months. They are injected with hormones, supplements, antibiotics and other drugs to speed up the growth process.
Make no mistake about it, the negative effects of these chemicals are passed along to us in the animal's meat. Only cows that have been fed or grazed on natural pastures can be called true grass fed organic beef, and only then can you benefit from their chemical-free nutrients.
Research shows that grass fed organic beef has greater nutritional value than its grain fed counterparts. First of all, it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and the fats it does contain are healthier for you. It is one of the richest sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), vitamin E and has higher amounts of the all-important omega 3 fatty acid. CLA has been shown to reduce both abdominal fat and cholesterol. It also fights cancerous tumors, and in those who are susceptible to food-induced allergies, it can reduce allergic reactions.
The vitamin E content in organic grass fed beef is also higher than grain-fed beef. Vitamin E helps protect your body from free radicals, which destroy certain cells in the body, resulting in premature aging. It is also a major player in reducing the incidents of cataracts, diabetes and heart disease.
In addition, organic grass fed beef contains higher amounts of essential omega 3 fatty acids, which are responsible for lowering the risk of cancer, arthritis, inflammation and heart disease. It also aids in the prevention of skin diseases such as eczema.
There have recently been many recalls of beef due to E. coli contamination, which does not happen with organic grass fed beef. The natural diet of grasses either does not let this bacteria survive, or it is at such a low level that it does not affect us.
Organic grass fed beef has none of the pesticide, fertilizer, hormone and antibiotic contamination of grain fed beef.
You will find when shopping for organic grass fed beef that it is usually more expensive than other beef. There is a good reason for this. The time it takes to raise these cattle is considerably longer and involves more costly resources, such as organic feed, which equates to increased costs being passed along to the consumer. However, can you truly put a price tag on good health?
Some say that in order to eat healthy it costs a lot more money. This may be true initially, but you will find that as you begin to eat healthier you will feel satisfied more easily and you will eat less. Eating less meat in general is a good idea for most people following a typical American diet. Less meat consumption means added savings to you. And by eating healthier meat you will also likely find yourself going to the doctor less often, resulting in lower health care costs.
Grass fed organic beef cannot be found everywhere, but there are a few good web sites that specialize in selling online steaks, such as US Wellness Meats. These specialized stores will have package deals on organically fed beef as well as other natural products, which can be delivered directly to your home.
Overall grass fed organic beef is, without a doubt, healthier than grain fed beef, is environmentally cleaner, and the treatment of the animals is much more humane. Don't just take my word for it; if you have the opportunity, make your next hamburger or steak organic grass fed beef and see for yourself how it tastes. The health benefits will come over time, but you will have the knowledge that the food you are consuming is free from dangerous chemicals and that you are truly getting the health benefits from it that nature intended.
Search this site: