Have you ever questioned what your food may be eating…The old saying goes, “you are what you eat,” however, new studies show that you are also what your food eats. I’m a very strong believer that it is important to understand what we are putting into our bodies directly but also indirectly via what is being fed to our food. It’s also important to try to understand the industries we are supporting and the ethics involved in raising your meat. I know it can be so easy to just go to your local grocery store and pick up some beef but where is that beef coming from and how is it being raised?
So, you’ve possibly been hearing this term popping up a lot lately whether it be in your social circle or just everyday life…it’s the term “grass-fed”, referring to beef. And maybe it has you questioning if you need to start thinking about where you’re getting your meat. While the terminology and practices of grass-fed cattle raising has been around for ages, it has really been gaining ground in the past few decades. While it seems like a simple concept to understand, very few people understand the substantial health benefits of grass-fed beef over grain-fed.
First, let’s start with what being “grass-fed” means. Generally, all cattle being raised for beef spend their first few months of life on rangeland or pasture, where they eat crops such as alfalfa and grass. However, almost all are finished in feedlots where they are fed grains, corn, soy, and other supplements to fatten them up before slaughter. When a farmer markets their beef as “100% grass-fed” they’re referring to the fact that they don’t add grain into the equation at all. The grass-fed cattle are raised and finished completely on grass and other naturally foraged plants.
Now, you’re probably wondering why that even matters. Well, when cattle are sent to feedlots, the farmers are essentially speeding up the animals time to slaughter while also enhancing fat marbling. Boosting fat levels changes the nutrition within the meat making the meat less healthy. Farmers that choose the grass-fed route aren’t cutting those corners and as a result grass-fed beef is lower in calories, contains healthy omega-3 fats, more vitamin A and E, higher levels of antioxidants, and up to seven times the beta carotene. Numerous sources have even claimed grass-fed beef “is a potential cancer fighter, can reduce risk of heart disease, and can even improve blood sugar”.
While some are quick to jump on the grass-fed wagon, some have their doubts; a main one being the higher price point. While we can’t speak for every grass-fed farm, Sage Creek Permaculture offers grass-fed beef at highly competitive prices compared to our local grocery stores. More importantly, we take pride in how we raise our cattle. We always welcome walk-throughs so you can see the farm, see the animals being raised and feel comfortable choosing the healthier and happier meat.