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Tuesday
Oct252011

Try-It Tuesday: Go Grass-Fed

Written by Anika DeCoster, RD, CPT, CISSN

Have you gone grass-fed yet?  This question brought for some fun discussion at my last book club meeting.  One of the gals in our club raises and sells grass-fed cattle on her farm (a dietitian’s dream for a best friend!) and had a customer return a recently purchased roast because he swore all he could taste was grass.  I had to laugh out loud, only because the first thought in my head was wondering if the gentleman could then also taste the corn, grains and soy your conventional, store-bought beef once ate.   Although I think the placebo effect might have struck in this case, it reminded me that maybe the general population views “grass-fed” as another up and coming nutrition trend or fad.  Sort of like the wheatgrass effect on many of us; we heard it was healthy, tried it (and maybe gagged) and then decided the taste wasn’t worth the health benefit.  However, this is not the case, so this week, if you haven’t already, go grass fed for all your beef products.  Here are a few reminder reasons on why to choose grass-fed:

  1. Allows for the animal to consume its traditional diet.  Cattle are not meant to eat grains and similar to humans, we continue to see a negative impact on health when we consume foods that we aren’t designed to eat.   
  2. Grass-fed beef is more nutritious!  Naturally higher in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and CLA, and contains less fat per serving. 
  3. All natural---free of antibiotics and hormones. 
  4. Animals are allowed to be animals.  They are allowed to graze the land and are raised using sustainable farming practices versus the alternative of being confined and crammed in feedlots. 
  5. Food Safety benefits.  Because of their environment and quality diet, they are less likely to contract food-borne illnesses. 
  6. It doesn’t taste like grass.

As if these benefits weren’t enough, I often hear from my clients is that it just tastes better!   But for the health of the animal and for the quality of the product, the grass is definitely greener on this side.

Look for the grass-fed marked products (ground beef, rounds and steaks) in your grocery store, or even better, purchase from a local cattle company or farmer that follows these practices.  Make your focus this week to not only find these solutions but then to purchase and substitute for all beef-related products in your house hold and in your diet.   

Share thoughts and comments below.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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Reader Comments (5)

I think if you eat buffalo (bison), you will get the same benefits, because they are generally raised on a prarie. They also have higher protein and iron, and lower fat than beef. We buy our grass-fed beef and buffalo at Whole Foods.

Make sure to ask your butcher if the beef is also grass-finished. Some producers give their cows grain at the end of their lives to fatten them up a bit and make the meat more tender. That defeats the purpose of going with grass-fed!

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralg18

@alg18: Great point. It's always a good idea to ask, though. I was at a farmer's market last summer and asked one of the vendors selling bison what he fed them. Much to my surprise, he proudly said he fed them corn to make the meat taste better. Needless to say, I didn't buy any.

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

Hi! I agree for this info.. i always look for animals which have been fed naturally when it's possible!

November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterProgramma Per Dimagrire

This is old news to me but I am alarmed by how many continue to eat meat at all!

"All red meat is bad for you, new study says: A long-term study finds that eating any amount and any type increases the risk of premature death."

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-red-meat-20120313,0,565423.story

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjc

jc: I'll be covering this topic in the near future. The study discussed in the article you mention was quite misleading. There's not been a study yet to say eating real meat causes health problems. The only studies that make the news are correlation studies, showing that people who eat more meat also tend to be less active, take greater risks, sleep less or engage in other unhealthy habits. The media loves to exaggerate the findings of studies.

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Nikkola

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