Grass-fed or grain-fed meat? Is it hype?

01 December, 2017


Grass-fed knocks grain-fed out the park.

Not all meat is created equal, and it's easy to assume that grass-fed is the same as grain-fed. As Dave Asprey said, it looks similar, tastes (somewhat) similar, and smells the same, but the truth is: grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef are two completely different foods. And it's not just hype.

Factory meat has the wrong fatty acids, contains obesity-causing hormones, and usually has mycotoxins (very nasty biotoxins formed by mold in cattle food and meat processing) and all kinds of other junk like pesticides, GMOs, synthetic growth hormones.

On the other hand, grass-fed meat is in a league of its own. It has a prime nutritional profile: it contains more antioxidants, omega-3’s (three times as many), CLA, TVA, trace minerals, and vitamins. Grass-fed beef isn’t a luxury item – it’s real meat.

You are what you eat's eaten.

If animals aren't fed nutritious food, they won’t become nutritious food. Simple. Ruminant animals are meant to eat grass – not genetically modified grains, stale bread, cereal, and such like (did you know there's no restricted list of what can be fed to UK livestock?). Because factories want to fatten them up to get a quicker return on their investment, you get poor quality meat. In fact, one study showed that the omega-3 quantity in grain-fed meat was so low, it didn’t qualify as a meaningful dietary source. And you guessed it, the grass-fed meat had enough omega-3 to be considered a good source.

Watch out for sneaky labels

With the rise of carnivores opting for grass-fed meat, some companies are cashing in by selling meat that’s technically “grass-fed” but doesn’t meet the standards you might expect.

Technically, almost all cattle are "grass fed" and "free range" for a portion of their lives. However, the majority are "finished" in feedlots where they are raised in confinement and switched to a grain-based diet for fast weight gain. Most supermarket cattle are treated with feed additives and antibiotics to boost their productivity levels and to minimize the health problems that come from eating an unnatural diet in stressful conditions, and it's surprising how quickly animals lose their fat nutrient quality.

The take out: watch out for cleverly worded phrases like "finished with minimal grain", and ask where your meat is from (this is much easier when buying from a butcher!). 


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