Originally, all beef was grass-fed. A cow's natural inclination is to graze and get all of the nutrients it needs while doing so.
As the production of beef grew larger and larger, led by corporations and massive farms, the ability to feed grass to cattle was hampered. If you have 10,000 cows grazing a field, the grass isn't going to last very long and you're out of a food source.
The solution was to give cows grain-based feed that did the trick, but we're finding out that grain-fed beef doesn't offer the same nutritional value as grass-fed beef does. Additionally, the cows aren't as healthy or happy when they aren't able to eat what they would naturally.
We're going to explore some of the benefits of grass fed beef in this article, giving you a little insight into what it is and why you should switch to it.
What is "Grass Fed Beef," Really?
Literally speaking, grass-fed beef is just the product of cattle that eat only grass and whatever else they munch on while grazing.
The reality of the situation, though, is that the term "grass-fed" isn't well-regulated by the USDA. The trouble is that most cattle feed on some grass during the year, and it's a positive thing to have the "grass-fed" label on your meat.
Because there isn't strict regulation, it's possible for some farms to label their beef as grass-fed when it's actually not. Many farms that feed grass in the summer months typically switch to a grain-based alternative in the winter.
Depending on how long winter lasts in an area, that switch can really affect the quality of the meat that comes from those cattle.
Farmers who are dedicated to maintaining a true grass-fed stock will feed their cattle grass in the summer and tend to use alfalfa in the winter. Those who are able to pull this off get the "grass-finished" label on their meat.
If you're concerned about the quality of beef you're getting, look for the "grass-finished" stamp or call the company and inquire about their feed.
What's Better About The Beef?
It's important to note that a healthier cow produces healthier meat. There are numerous health benefits of grass-fed beef that make a huge impact on individuals who eat a lot of meat throughout the year.
If you're like many Americans, meat is a staple of your diet. For example, grass-fed beef is known to have fewer calories. Many people in the United States eat upwards of 60 pounds of beef per year.
You'll eat somewhere around 15,000 fewer calories per year if all of that beef were grass-fed. It also contains something called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA can help to combat obesity as well as diabetes, two diseases that are typically made worse by red meat.
Grass-fed beef also contains electrolytes, which help to combat symptoms of the keto flu. People who switch to the keto diet tend to eat a good deal of meat, but often fail to get essential nutrients and experience flu-like symptoms.
What Are Your Options?
Because grass-fed beef requires a little extra humanity and effort than the alternative, it costs a little bit more.
This is the case with most humane products that are better for the human body. It might be good to think about these products not as more expensive, but as fairly priced for the quality.
Other meat options are a little cheaper because they save money by feeding cattle a lesser-quality food. Additionally, grass-fed and organic beef tend to come from smaller farms that pay better attention to their animals.
It's the equivalent of buying food from a massive super chain instead of a small, locally-owned business. Sure, the price will be a little lower, but you won't know that anyone in the store even cares or knows where the food comes from.
If grass-fed beef just isn't in your price range, consider the next best things. Any product that's labeled "grass-fed" is better than one which is not. The "grass-finished" label is your best option and even better if it's certified organic.
That said, you can shop ethically on a budget by doing a little research on the companies you purchase from. A phone call or peruse through the website should give you some insight into what goes on with the animals.
Grain Harms the Cows and Humans
When grazing animals like cows are forced to eat only grain, their composition of fatty acids shifts in a way that can lead to health issues.
For example, grain can wreak havoc on the cattle's digestive system and contribute to issues in the liver. Those issues can develop into diseases that cause the animal a lot of pain.
Further, the natural grazing of the animal provides them with a variety of nutrients that come from the plants intermixed with grasses. Those nutrients are what the animals have evolved to require.
Even though cattle are a domesticated relative of the Ox, their bodies and minds still require the same nutrients. Not to mention that the process of producing, transporting, and feeding millions of cows grain is extremely taxing on the environment.
When that product hits the dinner table time and time again, whether it's milk, butter, cheese, or beef, it is too high in omega 6 and too low in omega 3 fatty acids.
Too little omega 3 can cause inflammation which is the source of a lot of disease and death in The United States.
You might be thinking that grains can't be so bad, seeing as they're good for humans when we consume them on our own. The difference is that single-source grain feed doesn't provide cattle with enough nutrients, and the makeup of their body is damaged.
They can't digest foods as well, they're not as healthy, and that damage is reflected in our diets when we eat non-grass-fed products.
Want a Healthy Beef Source?
Getting your hands on some grass fed beef might be the next step you take toward a healthier life. We're here to help you move in the right direction.
Explore our site for ideas and options on getting grass-fed beef meals delivered right to your door.