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100% Grass-Fed

RSS By: Randy Kuhn, Beef Today

Our family farming history began with my great-great-... (nine generations ago) grandfather Johannes. He, his wife and three children left Saxony, Germany, on April 20, 1734, aboard the ship St. Andrew, mastered by Capt. John Stedman. They landed at Philadelphia on Sept. 22 and eventually settled our family’s first "New World" farm near Society Run in Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 1743. Pig farming was our family’s specialty until the mid 1950s. A lot has changed since then. Our BQA cow–calf operation includes 100% grass-fed registered Red Angus, Hereford and purebred Beefalo; 30 to 35 pastured Duroc and Spot pigs; 100 Freedom Ranger broilers; and 90 Golden Comet and Buff Orpington layers. We organically maintain 80 acres, comprising 15 acres in rotational pastures, 15 acres in tillable cropland, and alfalfa/mixed grass hay on the balance. We have never used chemical pesticides or herbicides on our pastures or hay fields. We are not a "certified" organic farming operation, but we prefer the natural/organic approach to help promote sustainability.

Health Benefit's of Grass-fed Meats

Oct 22, 2011

Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products

   There are a number of nutritional differences between the meat of pasture-raised and feedlot-raised animals.  To begin with, meat from 100% Grass-fed cattle, sheep, and bison is lower in total fat. If the meat is very lean, and it will be if the animal is on a 100% Grass-fed diet, it can have one third as much fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed animal. In fact, 100% Grass-fed Beefalo can have the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast, wild deer, or elk without the "gamey" taste.  Of course the taste will have allot to do with what the animal’s diet consists of.  If all your cattle have access to is branches and berries, of course their going to be "gamey", not to mention malnourished! 

   Our Beefalo and Duroc Pig’s are on rotational pastures that consist of mostly orchard grass with alfalfa, red & white clovers, tall fescue and timothy.  We have found that this is the perfect combination of grasses and legumes to keep consistent weight gain’s of approx. 2.5/lbs. per day on our cattle and gives them the perfect amount of marbling for flavor and tenderness.  This combination of grasses and legumes also help’s reduce significantly the amount of grain we need to supplement our pig’s and chicken’s diet’s.  Research shows that lean beef actually lowers your "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.

   Because meat from Grass-fed animals is lower in fat than meat from grain-fed animals, it is also lower in calories. (Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates. The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.)  

   As an example, a 6-ounce steak from a "grass-finished" steer can have 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer.  If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to lean grass-fed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in your eating habits.  And with the holiday’s quickly approaching, willpower to eat the right things will be at a minimum for most of us!  For those of you with the ability to control yourself/diet at the holiday buffet’s, and stick to an all Grass-fed product diet, you could lose about six pounds a year. If all Americans switched to grass-fed meat, our national epidemic of obesity has a much better chance of diminishing.

   Meat from Grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain- fed animals. Omega-3s are called "good fats" because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body.

   For example, of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are also 50% less likely to suffer a heart attack. Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, ADD (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer's disease.

   Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.  Studies show that these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading.  Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer and also hasten recovery from surgery.

   Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts.  Unfortunately, there are allot of people that have extreme sometime fatal allergic reactions to these foods.  The good news for those folk’s, is that Omega-3’s are also found in animals raised on pasture. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the green leaves of grass/forages.  60% of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat.  Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.  

   When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 10 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens.

   It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids.  20% have blood levels so low that they can’t even be detected.  Switching to the meat, milk, and dairy products of Grass-fed animals is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.

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COMMENTS (8 Comments)

Rm - TX
When consumers educate themselves and understand the facts, they learn the primary differences between natural, grassfed and organic beef is the pre-harvest production system and cattle management. The 'statistical' differences in nutrient content are of little practical/biological significance.
The data would support the claim that beef fat from grassfed cattle contains a (statistically) greater percentage of omega-3 fatty acid when expressed as a percentage of total fatty acid. Grassfed beef producers tout their product as leaner, and justifiably so.
But this leanness also results in grassfed beef usually having a lower total omega-3 content when compared to a similar portion size of Se of Ch grain fed beef.
The beef industry needs traditional, natural, grassfed and organic products. But it cannot afford to promote or market one at the expense of the others.
Taking a quote from beef industry columnist John Maday: "If consumers want brown eggs, sell them brown eggs. But do not sell them anti-white eggs."
8:17 PM Nov 23rd
 

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12:01 PM Oct 29th
 

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