Grass Fed Beef: Real Food for Dinner
Grass fed beef cattle are raised under blue skies, with plenty of sunshine and green grass in the summer and clean grain and hay in the winter.
They are healthy animals, with strong, balanced constitutions because they eat a natural diet meant for their systems, and this translates to the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals being stored in their bodies. Those vitamins and minerals are available to us when eat the meat from such animals.
In contrast, factory farmed animals live the last parts of their lives in crammed feed lots, standing in their own waste, breathing air that is foul and polluted. Instead of grass, they are fed unnatural and unhealthy foods such as beet pulp, brewers grain waste, corn, old bakery waste and soybean products.
These foodstuffs are unnatural to the cow’s system, and upset the delicately balanced ecosystem in the cow's rumen, the special digestive area of the stomach. This study shows that a diet higher in grain lowers the PH of a cow's rumen, which introduces a higher rate of E. coli bacteria.
As would be expected, these animals become ill and succumb much more quickly to disease and death under these unnatural conditions.
The government’s solution to the health issues created in these factory farms is to add antibiotics to the food to try and keep the animals well. This adds another foreign substance to an already compromised system, and results in super strains of bacteria that antibiotics can't kill. The flesh from these animals lacks the natural antibodies, vitamins and minerals which make grass fed animal products so healthy.
Health Benefits of Pastured Raised, Grass Fed Beef
Important Note: The nutrient values below apply to beef cattle that has been grass "finished". Most cattle are raised on grass during the early part of their lives, but then finished on grain the last 4 months before slaughter. This 4 months on grain changes the nutritional composition of the meat, resulting in lower levels of CLA, increases the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids, and increases the intramuscular fat. Talk to the rancher from whom you buy your organic, grass fed beef, and make sure the animal is grass finished, or at least has a very short grain finishing period.
Grass fed beef can be delicious but you might have to change the way you cook it to bring out the best flavor. Here are some steps for cooking meat, especially grass fed meat properly.
What About Red Meat and Cancer?
Most nutritional health authorities still advise the American public to avoid red meat because some studies have linked red meat consumption to colon cancer. But humans have been eating red meat for thousands of years. This begs the question: Why hasn’t the human race died out long ago from rampant colon cancer?
The difference, I would point out, is that the red meat you buy in the grocery store today has no resemblance to the red meat our ancestors ate.
Modern meat comes from factory farms where the animals are crowded into filthy holding pens, with no natural green grass to eat, and where they are forced to breath the foul air caused by the concentrations of urine and stool in these places. The animals are then dosed with antibiotics and hormones to force quick weight gain, and they are fed huge amounts of genetically modified and pesticide covered grain, not to mention other unnatural foods like bakery waste and dead animal flesh.
These are foods which a healthy grass fed beef cow would not eat. When you eat the flesh of these animals, you are eating what they ate and breathed.
I submit that the cancer correlation has to do with the foreign pollutants and the general sickness of the animals which are slaughtered for commercial meat sales, rather than red meat in general.
Resources for Further Reading
My Favorite Low Carb Cookbooks