Why Grass-Fed Beef is Better?
Why Grass-Fed Beef is Better
Grass-fed beef is leading beef back to the American dinner plate. Beef got a bum rap over the last decades due to high levels of bad cholesterol, saturated fat, and ecological concerns. But grass-fed beef is free of these problems, giving this nutritious and delicious meat a renewed place in the American diet.
Beef was once the king of meats with Americans consuming an average of 94 pounds per year in 1976. That dropped to about 55 pounds by 2015 with chicken taking the lead in animal protein foods, but the advantages of grass-fed beef over conventionally raised, grain-fed beef are making this nutrient dense food increasingly popular once again.
Grass-fed beef is better for your health, better for the environment, better for the farmer, and better for the animals. Most people who try grass-fed beef also agree it has a delicious and complex flavor unmatched by its grain-fed counterpart, and grass-fed beef goes well with most any recipe calling for beef.
How Grass-Feeding Leads to a Better Beef Product
Grass-feeding means cows are notconfined and fattened withgrain. Grass-fed cows spend virtually their whole lives grazing on fast-growing, nutrient rich grass in an outdoor pasture, just as they are designed to do.
Farmers who grass feed their animals invest lots of time and effort into making sure their pastures are ready for the rotation of their livestock. But grass-feeding also produces healthier cows, and farmers spend less time treating diseases and less money on drugs and vet bills.
Animal feed lots where grain-fed cattle are raised are not a pretty site. They are also a concentrated source of pollution responsible for sending nitrogen runoff into waterways and oceans, causing ecological havoc.
When cows are grass-fed, there is no concentration of waste running off creating pollution. Instead, the waste is distributed evenly on the fields as the animals graze, actually providing beneficial fertilizer to the soil – and improving the quality of the grasses as they grow back!
Because the farmer rotates the cows from field to field, dangerous pollutants don’t have time to build-up in the soil. The waste has time to decompose, and the pasture grasses havetime to regrow, when the farmer moves the cowsto a fresh field for grazing.
Nutritional Advantages of Grass-Fed Beef
Grass-fed beef has far less saturated fat and bad LDL cholesterol than grain-fed beef, but it is also high in the good HDL cholesterol and up to six times higher in healthful omega 3 fats and congregated linoleic acids. Compared to conventionally raised beef, grass-fed beef also has significantly more vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E.
Another advantage is in calories. A grass-fed beef hamburger has about 100 calories less than a grain-fed beef burger from a feed-lot cow, due to the lower fat levels. If the average person in the U.S. does nothing more than switch to grass-fed beef in place of conventionally grown beef, they stand to lose about six pounds a year, without eating one mouthful less food.
Taste the Wholesomeness in Grass-Fed Beef
Grass-fed beef has more flavor than conventionally raised American prime beef. Because it has less fat, the flavor is packed in the dense and nutritious protein. The natural environment in the healthy pastures where the animals graze comes through in the complex flavors of the finished product, and you can taste differences from farm to farm and producer to producer.
If you are new to grass-fed beef, consider giving this flavorful, healthy, and environmentally friendly food a place on your family’s dinner plate.