There is a lot of talk these days about grass-fed beef vs your traditional supermarket beef. With grass-fed beef often being more expensive than your traditional options, you might be wondering if the craze has any truth to it, or if those grass-fed beef-buyers are just being taken for fools. This article will explore the merits of grass-fed beef versus non-grass-fed beef, and you will be able to make a well-informed decision for yourself.
Mounting evidence is being revealed that highlights the benefits of grass-fed beef over any other choice. First of all, if it is not grass-fed, then it is likely corn-fed (or fed some sort of grain or grain mixture). The truth that nobody can get around, however, is that cows are ruminants, meaning their stomachs are built to digest mainly grass. Most cows, however, are fed a cheap mixture of grains, and these grains are not only difficult for them to digest, but are usually genetically modified to some extent or another. This food mixture is easier to obtain quickly (as opposed to waiting for a field of grass to grow again) and can maximize space in a way that open pasture can’t. For these two main reasons, cows are forced to eat grain so that they take up less space for a shorter period of time.
Because it is all about saving money, and thus time, feedlot cows are also given hormones, to help them grow quickly, and antibiotics, to prevent them from getting sick due to either contaminated feed or the close quarters of a feedlot. Although the corn-laden feed gives feedlot beef the marbled texture that many people crave, it also inserts into the beef pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones.
So how is grass-fed beef different? Obviously, these cows are fed grass and allowed to roam on pasture where grass grows. Not only is the life of a grass-fed cow much better than its feedlot brethren, but the meat that it produces is also healthier for the humans that eat it. Beef from grass-fed cows is leaner, richer in omega-3s, and void of many of the antibiotics and hormones found in feedlot beef.
So this brings us back to our original question: is grass-fed beef healthier than ordinary beef? The answer, plain and simple, is yes. Not only is grass-fed beef missing many of the harmful ingredients already mentioned above, but the omega-3 content of grass-fed beef provides additional health benefits. For example, foods high in omega-3s can help treat and prevent coronary artery disease, hypertension, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and possibly even cancer.
Although that grass-fed beef in your grocery store will often have a higher price tag, it truly is worth it, as can be seen from all the evidence mentioned above. However, since grass-fed can entail cows feeding on grass that is treated with herbicides and synthetic fertilizers, the best option is to go for organic and grass-fed beef, as this completely eliminates any risk of GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, herbicides, or pesticides in your meat.