Grass-fed Beefby John Meadows on April 18, 2014
First of all, I look at grass-fed beef as an extremely good source of protein and also fat, so you will see this superfood in both sections of this site. This type of beef is from cows that have been fed their natural diet consisting of green grass. The only exception would be in winter where hay, root vegetables, and silage are ok. Cows are termed ruminant animals, and have a really cool chamber in their stomach called a Rumen.
Think of it as a big fermentation vat. This chamber is one of 4 chambers in the stomach, which turns grass into high quality protein, and ensures a great Omega 3 to 6 ratio in the fat content of the meat. This is all dependent on the PH of the rumen. In case you are wondering what exactly happens to the cow fed their unnatural diet, www.eatwild.com states “when fed an unnatural diet of grain, acidosis can result and lead to a condition called “rumenitis,” which is an inflammation of the wall of the rumen. Rumenitis then leads to liver abscesses as the rumen wall becomes ulcerated, bacteria are able to pass through the walls and enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, the bacteria are transported to the liver where they cause abscesses. From 15 to 30 percent of feedlot cattle have liver abscesses, hence the need for antibiotics and such.” Not pretty. This is the kind of beef you are buying at the store 99.9% of the time!
Your best bet is to find a farmer via the www.eatwild.com website, purchase grass-fed meat from stores like Whole Foods, or simply request to your local grocer to find a source. Another great source of grass fed meats and other healthy foods is the US Wellness Meat website at www.grasslandbeef.com. Many of my clients are extremely happy with this company’s service and products.
In terms of protein, beef protein has long been known as one of the highest quality proteins for building muscle in the athletic community. In addition, it is loaded with B-vitamins, heme-iron, minerals like Zinc, and even Creatine.
So what about all the fat in beef?
Well you should know that grain feeding depletes all of the things in the fat that make it healthy and magical – namely a perfect balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats, and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). An unhealthy Omega 3 to 6 ratio that is heavily skewed toward Omega 6 is very inflammatory to your body, and is thought to increase chances of heart disease and overall bodily inflammation. A proper ratio means that Omega 3’s are doing more to relieve inflammation! Again, the PH of the rumen is heavily affected by grain, greatly increasing acidity, thus completely throwing off Omega 3, CLA, and other levels.
Going back to Omega-3s, they are most abundant in seafood, but they are also found in animals raised on pasture, usually there is anywhere from 2-6 times more Omega 3’s in grass fed meats. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. It’s interesting to me that sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are actually omega-3s. Some of the more hard-core farmers I have spent time and talked to believe in basically eating nothing but grass fed beef and vegetables due to the fact that you can source all your nutrients from the chloroplast in the leaf. For ultimate longevity, maybe they are right??
This is one of my top 10 Superfoods, it is number 1 actually.