Q: Why Grassfed Beef?
A: We think it's healthier and tastes better.
Originally, all beef was "grassfed"- but as economic pressures encouraged faster production of fatter, highly marbleized meat more economically, people began to give hormones to stimulate growth, feed corn and grain to fatten, use antibiotics in the feed to prevent infections and even use cattle waste by-products to enhance the feeding process.
The result was, we believe, a less healthy food product, higher in saturated fats and cholesterol, lower in important food nutrients and in some cases, producers of disease conditions. Eating beef began to be looked upon as fostering development of heart disease and hardening of the arteries. Recognition that a new disease called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "Mad Cow Disease"), was most likely a result of these feeding practices brought into focus the dangers and resulted in major reforms, including a movement to return to the natural form of raising cattle. Grassfed beef, to us, means no feed except grass, never an exposure to antibiotics, artificial hormones or use of prophylactic antibiotics or chemical fertilizers on pastures. Grassfed beef has been shown to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fats and higher in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. (1) Recently, a research study has shown that eating lean beef every day can produce lowering of blood cholesterol and saturated fat levels in humans with high cholesterol who are on low fat diets, an effect most pronounced in those at highest risk of a heart attack.(2) The drive to eat healthier meat is growing and producers must accommodate the increasing demand. So far, BSE has not been known to occur in grassfed beef.
As a practicing cardiologist for over 40 years, I am acutely aware of the hazards and vagaries of nutritional advice, but I am convinced that grassfed beef is superior to traditional feed-lot beef in flavor and health effects, and that certification by the American Grassfed Association and Animal Welfare Approved means we have likely produced happy, healthy and hearty beef and we are happy to provide this for our customers. (Remember the story of the talking frog.)
- McAfee et al – Brit.J.Nutr. 105, 80-89 (2010)
- Roussell et al – Am. J. Clin.Nutr. 95,9-16 (Dec. 2011)
REASONS TO EAT GRASSFED BEEF
- Lower in total fat
- Higher in beta-carotene
- Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
- Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin & riboflavin
- Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium & potassium
- Higher in total omega-3's
- Better ratio of omega-6 to 3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
- Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
- Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
2009 study* conducted by the USDA & Clemson University
*S.K. Duckett et al, Journal of Animal Science, (published online) June 2009