Grass-fed beef refer to beef that came from cows that eat grass in pastures instead of corn- and grain-based feeds. Because grass-fed cows are not bombarded with antibiotics and hormones (most corn- and grain-based feeds are fortified with these chemicals), they produce meat that is more delicious and nutritious.
Grass-fed beef contains higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins than corn- or grain-fed beef.
If this is the case, then why did cow raisers make the shift from grass to corn or grain to begin with? The answer is simple: profit. 🙁
Several decades earlier, cow farmers and scientists discovered that feeding cows with a steady diet of corn or grain fortified with antibiotics and hormones made cows grow faster. It normally takes four to five years before a cow can become ready for market. But when fed with antibiotic- and hormone-rich corn- or grain-based feed, a cow can reach the appropriate size and weight for slaughter within just 14 to 16 months. More cows grown within a short period of time, in turn, means more profit for cow farmers.
Unfortunately, people who consume corn- or grain-fed beef are missing out of several health benefits that only grass-fed beef can offer. These benefits are as follows:
1. Reduced heart attack and cancer risk – Omega-3 has been proven to lower the risk of heart attack and cancer.
2. Lower levels of E. coli – Grain-fed beef has higher levels of E. coli. This is because grain render’s a cow’s stomach more hospitable to the growth of the said bacteria.3. Lowers energy consumption – Concerned about increasing greenhouse gases and energy consumption? Eat grass-fed beef! If looked upon closely, the generation of corn- or grain-based feeds (planting, harvesting, processing, packing, transport, etc.) takes up a lot of energy. Grass-fed beef, in sharp contrast, consumes less energy—they are just eating grass in the field, after all. It is only during their processing and transport to markets that energy is used.
4. Lower cholesterol level – Unlike corn- and grain-fed beef, grass-fed beef has lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and higher HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol).
5. Higher CLA content – Grass-fed beef contains 3 to 5 times higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than corn- and grain-fed beef. CLA is an amino acid that has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis.
6. Higher levels of beta-carotene – Grass-fed beef has more beta-carotene than corn- and grain-fed beef. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that prevents degenerative diseases like cancer.
7. High in vitamin E – Grass-fed beef is rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that ensures healthy skin, relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and prevents Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.
8. Rich in thiamin and riboflavin – Grass-fed beef is a good source of thiamin and riboflavin (also known as vitamins B1 and B2, respectively). Riboflavin facilities energy production in the body, as well as the breakdown of drugs and other toxins. Thiamin keeps the brain and the nervous system healthy.
9. High in calcium, magnesium and potassium – Grass-fed beef has high amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Calcium ensures strong teeth and bones. Magnesium relieves the symptoms of PMS and menopause, as well as treats osteoporosis. Potassium prevents heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol level.
10. High in vaccenic acid – The vaccenic acid in grass-fed beef lowers the total cholesterol, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
11. Maintains the body’s alkalinity – Eating corn- or grain-based beef increases the body’s acidity. This is because corn- and grain-based feeds inhibit a cow’s saliva production (cow saliva has the ability to neutralize acid). A grass-based diet, on the other hand, stimulates a cow’s saliva production. As a result, corn- or grain-fed beef is highly acidic, while grass-fed beef is highly alkaline.
12. Less risk of liver abscess – Due to fecal contamination in feedlots and on kill floors, corn- and grain-fed cows have high levels of harmful bacteria in their intestines. Grass-fed cows, in sharp contrast, have high levels of healthy bacteria in their intestines. That is why eating corn- or grain-fed beef makes a person more susceptible to live abscess.