Why Grass-fed beef? Studies show that it is healthier.
Grass-fed beef contains less saturated fat and cholesterol. It also has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C and a number of health-promoting fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids and “conjugated linoleic acid”, or CLA. The information below is drawn from the Journal of Animal Science and Colorado State Univ. Press. For the additional cited research, see health benefits here.
Our beef is raised with zero hormones or antibiotics. They are also not fed corn and feed from feed mills, that often have contaminates and health violations. The meat is clean, healthy, and natural. This is how family farms raised and butchered healthy meat in generations past. This all changed to meet large demands and to enrich processors. Today, commercial cattle are often given hormones and other injections to induce weight gain and then sent to feedlots where they live in an unnatural setting, stressed and are then gorged on corn and feed to an unhealthy state before slaughter. You can trust that cattle from our farm stay on their mother's rich milk until weaned and grow fat on grass until the day they're slaughtered.
There are a number of nutritional differences between the meat of pasture-raised and feedlot-raised animals. Grass-fed cattle are lower in total fat. The lean meat can have only one third as much fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed animal. In fact, grass-fed beef can have the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast, wild deer, or elk. Research also shows that lean beef actually lowers your "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.
Because meat from grass-fed animals is lower in fat than meat from grain-fed animals, it is also lower in calories. (Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates. As an example, a 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer can have 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer. If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to lean grass-fed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in your eating habits. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you'll lose about six pounds a year.
EXTRA OMEGA 3s.
Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain- fed animals. Omega-3s are called "good fats" because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack. Omega-3s are essential for your brain, as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer's disease.
Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in animals raised on pasture. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished. The graph below illustrates this steady decline.
THE CLA BONUS.
Meat and dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" or CLA. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.
CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA—a mere 0.1 percent of total calories—greatly reduced tumor growth. There is new evidence that CLA may also reduce cancer risk in humans. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. Switching from grain-fed to grass-fed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category. Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grass-fed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat.
In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grass-fed animals is also higher in vitamin E. In studies, the meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements. In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.