Grass-Fed Beef – Ethical Superfood

Free range beef

Red meat has taken a lot of hits over the years.  Once the obvious cornerstone to a nutritious diet, red meat finds itself stuck in an uphill battle for relevancy. This is largely due to the system from which most Americans by their meat. The factory farm system is riddled with safety issues, both to the animals and the workers.  Animals are exposed to massive amounts of antibiotics. Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation” and the documentary, “Food Inc.” are damning illustrations of a food industry that feeds the public burgers contaminated with poop and cows with large visible holes, surgically implanted holes. There is a way to eat beef humanely and reap the benefits of a forgotten superfood, and that’s through the consumption of grass-fed beef.

According to an article in The Nutrition Journal aside from being significant source of the macro-nutrient protein,red meat, regardless of feeding regimen, is nutrient dense and regarded as an important source of essential amino acids, vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E, and minerals, including iron, zinc and selenium.” This means even factory farmed meat has its benefits. If you’re worried about contaminants,  Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, authors of It Starts With Food, recommend sticking to leaner cuts of meat, as poisons collect in the fattier portions.

However, this shortcut shouldn’t stop one from investing in grass-fed beef. Grass-fed cows are different from their grain fed counterparts in several ways. One, they subsist on grass diets (obviously). Two, a grass-diet changes the chemical and nutritional profile of the cow. Three, by virtue of its grass fed diet, which requires the cow to be free to roam, the animal cannot be part of the claustrophobic factory farming system. As ethical choice this makes grass-fed meat a superior choice.

How though, does the change in diet make grass-fed meat a superior choice to its grain-fed counterpart? For starters, the aforementioned Nutrition article states grass-fed meat “contains elevated concentrations of stearic acid…the only saturated fatty acid with a net neutral impact on serum cholesterol,” so grass-fed meat shouldn’t concern anyone monitoring their cholesterol levels. More importantly, grass fed is a significant source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally, “a healthy diet should consist of roughly one to four times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.” Notice the article isn’t saying that either fatty acid is inherently good or bad. Instead it’s saying both are needed in a specific ratio. They’re two objects on a scale, and one should aspire to have them achieve equilibrium. However, the article goes on to state that on average, “the typical American diet” has roughly “11 to 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids.” This imbalance has been linked to a variety of “inflammatory disorders in the United States.”  Grass fed meat provides a means by which to restore balance to this lopsided ratio. Also, nutrition expert, Kris Gunnars, states that grass-fed beef contains twice the CLA as grain-fed beef. This fatty acid is associated with improved body fat composition. Lastly, he states grass-fed meat is abundant source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, potassium, iron, and zinc.

Red meat has fallen on hard times, but that doesn’t mean you have to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet. Meat is still healthy, but like many foods, super or otherwise, the source does matter. Grass-fed meat establishes a path for the conscientious meat eater.

 

Written By David Arroyo

 

Cows With Holes (NSFW)

Nutrition Journal

Grass-fed vs Grain-Fed

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Miley Cyrus: Next Star to Rehab? April 21, 2014
    Miley Cyrus was reported to have told Dolly Parton about her drug use. Parton was concerned for Cyrus after hearing her talk so casual about the use. Is it possible Miley Cyrus will be the next star to go down the rabbit hole of addiction, ending up in rehab? After the outlandish behavior of Cyrus, […]
    Jabar Morarend
  • Innocence Lost Regained April 21, 2014
    Innocence in America in times past, seemed inevitable that the days of black and white would fade into color and reel to reel would evolve into the Blue Ray DVD. Yesteryear, movies were pretty tame in comparison to today’s films with their graphic violence and soft-core porn love scenes. Where are the days of Matt […]
    John Thomas
  • Turn on AMC: Of Cabbages and Kings (Recap/Review) April 21, 2014
    On Turn on AMC tonight, the episode is called Of Cabbages and Kings. The title is likely taken from the Lewis Carroll poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” It’s an apropos title, as Abe Woodhull is a cabbage farmer, and the show depicts Americans revolting against the rule of King George III of England, and […]
    Douglas Cobb
  • ‘Hearthstone’ Hits the iPad After Successful Beta April 21, 2014
    Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard’s crack at a collectible card game, has received rave reviews since its inception. The game was designed with the mobile platform in mind, and after months of open beta on the PC, Blizzard released the game on the iPad on Wednesday. In less than a week, Hearthstone has already become […]
    Jonathan Gardner
  • Ukraine Crisis Has Rapture Watchers Nervous [Video] April 21, 2014
    The Ukraine Crisis is continuing to draw various interests and concerns from across the world to a head. Notably, the recent events in Eastern Europe has made some rapture watchers nervous. With controversial figures and internet videos touting the recent events as prophecy, the crisis now has a heavy religious following. Figures such as John […]
    Brett Byers-Lane

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 627 other subscribers

Quantcast