You may find some of these benefits of grass-fed and pasture-raised beef fascinating!
In the meat industry, there are so many choices to how you can buy your beef — there is grain-fed, grass finished; grass-fed cattle in confinement; pasture-raised and grass-fed — among a variety of certifications to look for such as non-GMO, organic, and humanely raised. So, where do you even begin?
At Keller Crafted Meats, our bread and butter is cultivated in pasture-raised, organic, and non-GMO meats — and there is a difference in taste and quality. Not only are our animals raised humanely on wide-open pastures — our entire process makes an impact socially, ethically, and environmentally. Follow along in today’s post as we explore the benefits of pasture-raised and grass-fed cattle.
The Beef of it All
Conventional beef you find in the grocery store, unless labeled, are from confinement farms where the cattle are raised on grain (among other things) to promote quick growth and weight-gain to be ready for slaughter sooner. Not only are these animals raised in poor conditions, but they are also often fed a cocktail of drugs to curtail the disease and infection as a result of the close quarters they are kept in.
Pasture-raised and grass-fed cattle differ dramatically. These cattle are allowed to roam and consume natural grasses of the area, living in humane and open conditions. Below are some of the health benefits of pasture-raised and grass-fed cows.
- High amounts of healthy fats - Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids are among the key beneficial fats. CLA is known to help build muscle and balance and maintain a healthy weight and omega-3’s are great for inflammation balance and heart health. CLA occurs naturally in pasture-raised beef and butter and is one of the best sources. CLA is also heart protective and has been shown to reduce heart disease in people — which is only true in this variety and not conventionally-raised beef.
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels - Healthy fats are crucial in supporting healthy blood sugar levels. A study looking at CLA and insulin sensitivity in obese children found that those who supplemented with CLA had a better response to insulin sensitivity by 37 percent. This also translates to adults with unruly blood sugar levels and as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome continue to rise, grass-fed beef and the healthy fats it provides could prove helpful.
- Fewer hormones and antibiotics are used - Confinement cows are grain fed and are often given hormones to increase their weight to yield more meat, thus gain a higher profit. Antibiotics are then used because as more cattle can be crammed into every nook and cranny of a confinement farm, the spread of disease increases dramatically. This may not inherently seem insidious, but the antibiotics used in factory farming cause antibiotic resistance in humans — this is why it is crucial to consider what is consumed by the animals you consume.
Pasture-raised and grass-fed beef are the healthier and safer beef option. Not only are you supporting your health with beneficial fats and helping to better balance your blood sugar, but you’re also avoiding food poisoning and anti-resistant-bacteria.