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​The Superior Nutritional Value of Grass Fed Beef

A host of well-researched information is available regarding the superior benefits of grass fed beef. The general public has been made to believe that meat is meat, but that is simply not true. How animals are raised, fed, and processed makes a tremendous difference in their nutritional value. For example...

Grass fed beef has less fat than its grain fed counterparts, about as much fat as skinless chicken. Lower fat translates into fewer calories and lower cholesterol levels. Anyway you look at these two nutritional facts, you win.

Grass fed beef has a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, a fat abundantly found in sea foods. As you know, omega-3 fatty acids are "heart-friendly" and play an important role in every cell of your body. Unfortunately, omega-3 fatty acids almost disappear in cattle fed for a number of months on grains. Give cattle lots of grass and you get meat packed with omega-3s. Give them lots of grain and the omega-3s disappear. 

Grass fed beef is significantly higher in key vitamins and minerals. From Vitamins A and E, to critical minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, grass fed beef provides better nutritional building blocks. You win again.

To read more about the benefits that pasture raised/grass fed ranching practices provide, please see the follow articles and websites:

The Inferior Nutritional Value of Grain Fed Beef

​All cattle begin their life nourished by mama's milk and eventually grass, their natural diet. However, most cattle end up in feed lots called "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations," or CAFOs, where they are “finished” or fattened for harvest. The purpose of a CAFO is to produce large quantities of inexpensive meat by feeding them diets composed primarily of grain, corn, soy, and agricultural byproducts. 

Cattle by design are ruminant animals, meaning they have multi-compartmental stomachs intended to convert low quality plant protein into high quality muscle.  Ruminants have difficulty digesting grains because they lack critical enzymes needed to metabolize starch. The simple act of feeding grain to cattle loads their bodies with poorly digested food, robs the meat of much of its nutritional value, and increases the total fat of the animal. 

CAFO raised cattle that have spent a few months consuming significant amounts of grain have six times more fat than grass finished meat.  A six ounce steak from a grass-finished steer has 100 fewer calories than a six ounce steak from a grain-finished steer. By comparison, a grass-finished steer has nearly the same fat content as skinless chicken breast. That's significant!

Additionally, CAFO raised cattle are routinely given synthetic growth hormones to artificially increase their size. The reason behind this practice is simple: heavier cattle translate into higher profitability for the producer. Ironically, it is illegal to give humans synthetic growth hormones because of the obvious health risks, but it is legal to inject animals that humans eat. It makes good cents for the producer, but it does not make good sense for the consumer. 

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