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Eat Beef? Go Grass Fed

We all know by now that a diet high in red meat is just not good for us. So if you are going to indulge and eat a burger or a steak, go grass fed since grass fed beef is better for you.

According to recent studies, grass fed cattle produce meat higher in beta carotene, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids than meat produced from cattle raised by conventional ranching techniques. This is not that surprising to me since conventional ranching techniques means cows raised in lots and fed mostly corn and processed feed. Now from what I have read in Michale Pollan's superbly written, highly informative book The Omnivore's Dilemma, cows evolved to eat grass and roam around in pastures. When cows eat grass they are leaner animals and produce leaner meat, which translates into healthier protein for us. Corn creates fat marbled meat that has become familiar as modern beef, but the corn also upsets the cows four stomachs. Which in turn, leaves cattle more prone to infections, hence the increase in antibiotics given to cows. Historically speaking, corn was not the major feed for cows until after WW II, which is relatively recent in the grand scheme of things.

Unfortunately, the label/term grass fed is not currently regulated by the USDA. Ranchers and farmers raising grass fed animals are lobbying hard to have the term regulated. So your best bet is finding a ranch close by that raises grass fed cattle. If you are interested in finding grass fed beef produced close to you - check out Local Harvest. The website has a great search feature so you can find grass fed meat and organic produce raised in your area. You can also find restaurants that serve it!!!

Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 10 years
omg omg omg omg omg! I could go on and on and on and on about how much i loveeeeeeee grass-fed meats (beef & bison) holy crap! love them sooo much! i eat 12 oz of grassfed beef and or bison a day! Like today for instance: 12 oz of grassfed GROUND TOP ROUND BISON & than 8 oz of grass-fed GROUND CHUCK beef! YUMMY YUMMMY YUMMMY YUUMMYYY!!! I cannot live without this meat! I have been eating these foods for 5 years and I have nEVER felt better and my health: is great!!
muendy muendy 10 years
Another fantastic book that touches on the benefits of grass-fed beef is Nina Planck's book "Real Food" ( It's an amazing book that changed the way I look at food. Now I enjoy grass-fed beef, butter, and eggs without any of the guilt.
Desirella Desirella 10 years
Interesting article. My family only eats beef once a week if even and we usually buy it from Henry's. We buy the natural grass fed beef or so it's labeled but since it's not currently regulated, it makes me wonder.
KerryG KerryG 10 years
Great post! Another useful site for grassfed beef and animal products is Eat Wild. I also highly recommend bison meat, for those who want to eat healthier red meat. Bison is is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, pork, and even chicken, but has higher percentages of protein, iron, various other minerals, and some of the essential fatty acids. Bison are much more likely than cattle to be exclusively grassfed and less likely to be treated with hormones, antibiotics, etc. And because bison are native to the American West, they fit in with the ecosystem better than cattle. They rarely require supplemental feeding or watering in the winter, can survive winter storms that would kill entire herds of cattle, and, if provided with enough room to roam, can actually improve pasture quality, unlike cattle, which are contributing to the desertification of the West (though this is partly due to overcrowding, and overcrowded bison will also damage range.) Not only that, but bison is also really, really tasty. The only problem I've found with it (besides that it can be harder to find and pricier than beef) is that it's a little trickier to cook - it cooks faster than beef because it has less fat and if you're used to cooking beef, you're likely to overcook bison the first couple times, until you get used to it. You can find out more about the health and other benefits of bison at: I also like this organization, which is dedicating to making sure that bison continue to be exclusively grass-fed:
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 10 years
I just took beef out of my whole diet, since the U.S. puts all those hormones and unhealthy things into our meat, and I think that is why Americans are becoming obese, maybe it's something we put in our food. So I just eat chicken, and turkey since they are better for you.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
I just want to have a pet cow. I black and white Holstein to pet (especially its soft nose, take for walks and to annoy my cats. Stupid summer I spent on a farm, I love cows how they feel and how they taste.
Athena1 Athena1 10 years
Glad you're reading the book, and while corn fed beef is cheaper and easier to produce, it may be at the expense of our health and the environment. Quality grass-fed beef is now the minority compared to before. Bill Buford's Heat actually talks a bit about this too and how most good beef comes from "poorer" countries rather than the US, Canada or Europe. I keep encountering the beef topic in books, and I never really eat it. Thanks for posting this Fit.
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