The Health Benefits of Grass FarmingAuthor:
Jo Johnson “Why grass-fed is Best!”
We’ve heard it many times: You are what you eat. So it should come as no surprise that what you eat is what it eats, too.
It’s a remarkably simple concept: the nutritional value of an animal product is directly influenced by the animal’s diet.
Therefore, say advocates of the rapidly growing grass-fed movement, the animal’s diet should be as biologically natural and as packed full of nutrients as possible, right?
Apparently not, if you’re in the U.S. commercial meat business. The truth is that a vast majority of our country’s commercially raised ruminants like cattle are raised in feedlots, fed a grain-based diet and, typically, treated with hormones, feed additives and low-level antibiotics.
But the move toward grass-fed is about more than just animal welfare. It’s about human health.
Inappropriately feeding animals dry grain is a direct contributor to those animals developing pathogens such as Escherichia coli (E. coli in cattle) and salmonella (in poultry).
And if that isn’t convincing enough, consider that mad cow disease is unknown among cattle fed entirely on pasture and hay.
1. Because grass-fed meat is so lean, it is also lower in calories.
2. 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.
3. A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer has almost 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer.
4. If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to grass-fed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year without requiring any willpower or change in eating habits. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you’ll lose about six pounds a year. If all Americans switched to grass-fed meat, our national epidemic of obesity would begin to diminish.
5. Although grass-fed meat is low in “bad” fat (including saturated fat), it gives you from two to six times more of a type of “good” fat called “omega-3 fatty acids.”
6. Omega-3 fatty acids 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-3’s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to have a serious heart attack.
7. Another benefit of Omega-3s:is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.
8. Grass-fed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk. When meat is this lean, it actually lowers you LDL cholesterol levels.
9 There is new evidence suggesting that CLA does reduce cancer risk in humans. CLA is a newly discovered good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” that may be a potent cancer fighter.
10. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA.
11. Switching from grain-fed to grass-fed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category. Vitamin E In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grass-fed animals is higher in vitamin E.
12. In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E