Healthy Grass-fed Beef

Discover five benefits of eating beef from pasture-raised cattle.
Stephanie Lingafelter
December/January 2005
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Angus, particularly old-style Angus, is a breed well adapted to grass-fed production.
BRYAN WELCH


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Beef from a cow raised on pasture is a safer choice than feedlot beef, offers richer flavor and more nutrition, and is even healthier for you than a chicken breast. Here are five benefits of eating pasture-raised cattle:
  • Grass-fed beef is one-third to three times leaner than conventional grain-fed beef, and as a consequence has fewer calories, too.
  • Grass-fed beef has two to four times more essential omega-3 fatty acids than feedlot beef. It also contains more beta carotene, vitamin E and folic acid.
  • Researchers have found grass-fed beef contains two newly discovered 'good' fats: conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and trans-vaccenic acid (TVA). CLA shows great promise in lab animal studies of helping fight cancers and cardiovascular disease.
  • Grass-fed beef has no extra hormones or traces of antibiotics. The animals also live a low-stress life, grazing outside on pasture, in contrast to the stinking, dusty, shadeless conditions in most commercial feedlots.
  • Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or more commonly, mad cow disease), has not been found in grass-finished animals. And grass-finished cattle are also less likely to be contaminated with acid-resistant forms of E. coli, a serious food-borne bacteria.

The following Web sites allow you to find grass-finished meat in your area by entering your Zip code or city and state: Eat Wild, Local Harvest and Eat Well Guide.

To learn more about pastured and grass-fed meat, visit our Safe Meat Page.








Post a comment below.

 

Claire_2
10/15/2008 11:29:48 AM
Strange as it may seem, I actually never thought about cattle being in feedlots before. I live in South Texas, nothing but pastures and cattle around here; the cattle get a salt lick and hay in the winter, a little bit of feed if they're looking skinny. They live a good life down here, let me tell you. After reading your article, I quit buying my meat at the chain grocery store and started buying from my local grocer. First, I asked the butcher where the store's meat came from and was gratified to find out it was local cows straight from the pasture to the slaughterhouse. Just to make sure, I traveled the 30 miles to the slaughterhouse and looked at the place to make sure it didn't have a feedlot. It was just a small local place that processes some everyday - deer in season, goats, and, of course, beef. The difference in the types of beef is astounding. The meat is so fresh and tender, especially compared to the big chain grocer. There's no "corn" taste either - it's just tender and tasty beefiness.

Ken_1
9/29/2008 12:37:38 PM
There is a much cheaper solution to acquire grass fed beef. Check your local paper or the 'Nickel' and see if someone has a beef ready to butcher. You can go see the animal and how it was raised before you buy. Another big plus is the cost is typically about $2.00/lb plus kill plus cut & wrap. For less than $3.00/lb we filled our freezer with steaks, roast, ribs, and hamburger. One thing nobody mentions is that grass fed beef will usually taste 'wilder' than typical feedlot beef you get at the grocery store. This can be mitigated by feeding the animal COB, corn, oats, and barley the last month before it is slaughtered.

Max_1
9/29/2008 10:52:23 AM
After recenty viewing the documentary film 'King Corn', I finally took the step of eliminating commercially produced beef from my family's diet. And at first, I thought my only course of action was to order grass-fed beef online. But while searching for affordable sources of grass-fed beef, I stumbled onto 'Laura's Lean Beef' dot com. On their website, they noted that a local grocery store (Kroger) carried their products. After calling Laura's Lean Beef, based in Lexington Kentucky, I felt assured that their beef was safe for my family to eat. So I called the local Kroger to confirm that they did in fact offer Laura's Lean beef. The meat manager said that the only beef they stocked from Laura's Lean Beef was hamburger in 92% and 96% lean. I decided to try the hamburger just to see what noticeable difference there was between that and regular ground beef. I fried up a pound of the hamburger I'd bought at Kroger and tasted it before adding any seasoning. I was impressed with both the aroma and the flavor. The cost difference is substantial. I can buy regular commercial ground beef (80% lean) at a small grocery store near my home for $1.99/lb. The Laura's Lean Beef 92% lean hamburger sells for $5.29/lb. $3.30 difference per pound! Is it worth it? That remains to be seen. My solution to the expensive side of this little expriment is to reduce our intake of beef to the point that the cost is no longer an issue. We will learn to savor any beef we eat and look at it as a treat worth waiting for. But overall, my feelings are that my family's health is more important than a bigger bank account. That's the bottom line for me. I also bought a pound of ground grass-fed buffalo meat while at Kroger. I followed the meat managers instructions and fried up four 1/4 lb patties without seasoning and my wife and I each ate a hamburger on whole wheat buns without any seasoning, condiments or vegetables. The flavor was wond








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