With so many chemically laddened foods available out there, it is no wonder many people are looking to return to nature and the simplicity of it. Plants and animals alike, we as humans are responsible for how we make use of these God given resources and if we choose to chemically and genetically alter God’s creations, then we are responsible for the consequences thereof. We can choose to be willing participants whether directly, in the name of science; or indirectly, as consumers of genetically or chemically modified foods. Nature is and always will be the best option we have to stay in good health. Disrupting the natural needs of any living creature is bound to cause discord within its body. If an animal created to eat grass is forced to eat grains or anything other than what its system is capable of handling, then the stress that results in the animal’s body will lead to disease and abnormalities that lessen the quality of life for that animal and its potential as quality food. The idea of grass-fed beef shouldn’t be something sought after, but should instead be the norm.
What is Grass-Fed Beef?
So if you are concerned with the foods you put in your body, then at some point in time, you may have asked, what is grass-fed beef and is it really worth it? You may have even gone a step further, wondering why isn’t the meat I buy grass-fed to begin with and what could these animals possibly have eaten besides grass? Well, with various talks of cows being fed candy it’s no wonder why these questions may have popped up at some point in time. Well, I intend to answer some of these questions.
As the name suggests, grass-fed beef comes from animals that were raised on grass. But that doesn’t always mean they were not fed grains at some point in their life. Unfortunately, there are meat products out there that may have the words, “grass-fed” on the package, but the animals may have been fed grains during the latter part of their lives and therefore, would not be classified as grass-finished, but could still carry the “grass-fed” label. So it is up to the consumer to be aware of such practices and be knowledgeable of where their meat is coming from by speaking with butcher, meat-counter employees, or by examining packaging to gather such information. Also, further research can be done on the farms local grocery stores source their meats from, in order to gain a better understanding of how the animals are kept or treated, as well as, what the animals are fed throughout their lifetime.
As the need for grass-fed meat increases, so does the possibility of loopholes being exploited. In order to avoid this, we as consumers must ensure beef sources are trusted and or certified as grass-fed beef by certifying associations (A Greener World or American Grassfed Association are such certification programs) that verify not only that animals are fed grass, but that they are also grass-finished – i.e. they were not given grains during the later part of their lives. Some grass-fed beef products now have 100% grass-fed and grass finished stated on the packaging, as well as, logo from a certifying company, to help reassure customers that they are getting truly grass-fed meat.
Is Grass-Fed Beef Really Worth It?
Yes, most definitely, grass-fed beef is worth it. Not only are you getting more nutritious meat (more iron, phosphorus, Vitamin A and E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid to list a few), but you are also getting meat that does not come from an animal that has been fed an unnatural diet, which often leads to the need for antibiotics to prevent or get rid of diseases.
Not only is grass-fed beef more nutritious, but it is also very tasty. But bare in mind that everyone is different and for some, the flavor may take getting use to especially so for those who prefer very little seasoning in their food. Also, do keep in mind that not all grass-fed beef will taste alike. Taste can and will vary depending on the type and quality of grass the animal grazes on which can depend on the location or region of the world in which the animal is pastured.
Grass-Fed Beef and Possible Disadvantages
There are plenty of advantages to buying grass-fed beef; however, there are disadvantages when it comes to the availability of grass-fed beef over feedlot beef. Also, rules and regulations that should be steadfastly enforced in governing what is labeled as grass-fed beef is currently limited. This makes it especially difficult on the consumer to trust whether they are truly getting what they are paying for when purchasing beef that is simply labeled as grass-fed beef without mandating further information on the processing or finishing of the animal. This, however, should not deter anyone from taking the steps necessary to obtain better, healthier meat products as opposed to choosing what is readily available that in the end may lead to poor health. Grass-fed beef is something that will definitely become more readily available if we as consumers decide to make it known that it is our preferred choice, by choosing to purchase it over feedlot varieties.
How to Get Grass-Fed Beef
You best source would be your local farms, next option would be a farmers market or a health food near you. And if neither of these options work for you, then there are online sources that may prove to be resourceful. You can always choose to do a bulk purchases whether from a local farm or an online source, just be sure to do your research, before ordering. It is even better to purchase in bulk from your local farm if you can find a group of people or friends to purchase half or even a whole animal to get a better deal per pound and reduce the cost and be sure to find out whether they can arrange for delivery or pickup. Check out this site for statewide and local farms.
Eating grass-fed meats can get expensive; but it is certainly worth it, especially when it comes to good health. So definitely give grass-fed beef a try and in the long run you will notice the difference in your body and in the way you feel overall. It is truly a good, healthy source of protein without the worries of chemicals, antibiotics, or any other foreign substances being added to your diet. And with so many points of contact when it comes to chemicals nowadays, our foods should not be one of them.