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What’s old is new again. Across the U.S. farmers are turning back to a traditional method of cattle raising: feeding cows on natural nutrient-rich organically-grown grassy pastures, like nature intended and has been the practice for thousands and thousands of years, instead of troughs filled with genetically-modified (GMOs) unhealthy and fattening corn or grains full of additives like growth hormones, antibiotics, and others harmful substances like PCB’s. More on that shortly.
Keep in mind, that the foods we will recommend meets the U.S. Government Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020, offering healthy nutrient-dense meats, fish, and other foods typically found in the Mediterranean Diet, per a 2018 Journal of Gerontol A Biology Science Medical (NIH) study.
For more in depth information on the Mediterranean Diet read this article “Brain Food For Memory”. Whenever we refer to grass-fed cows or beef, we are also including other grass-fed animals such as swine (pork), sheep (lamb), bison, dairy products of milk, butter, and cheese (milk cows) and any wild game, in A List Of Healthy Foods To Eat.
It also includes free-range, which is the proper term, poultry such as chicken, turkey, duck, and brown eggs (cage-free eggs). When you compare grass-fed beef to grain-fed beef, it may just seem like beef with a higher price tag. After all, does it really matter what the cow was fed throughout its lifetime?
Turns out, as you will learn, the short answer is YES, it absolutely does matters to you and your family’s health and well being! The food you eat is important, but the food your food eats can be just as important. Many studies have shown that the nutrients in foods humans eat can vary depending on what foods humans’ food eats.
Unfortunately, where beef is mass produced, such as in the US, cattle are usually corn or grain-fed in feedlots and not naturally grass-fed. Not only are there key nutritional differences between organic grass-fed and grain-fed beef, but there are also significant differences in the safety of the meat, not to mention the taste, and the effect on the environment, as well.
“You are what you eat”, applies to what you eat also eats! This is particularly evident when it comes to the fatty acid composition of the meats. How well food animals are nurtured also effects how well you are nurtured too.
Generally, grass-fed beef usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories and the type of fat in grass-fed is a much healthier monounsaturated fat found a 2013 Meat Science study reviewed by the NIH.
Healthy monounsaturated omega 3 fatty acids are where grass-fed foods really makes a major difference, containing up to five times as much omega-3 found a 2011 British Journal of Nutrition (NIH) study. Grass-fed foods also contain twice as much Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is associated with many human health benefits according to 2 studies:
Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain or corn-fed meats and rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially iron and zinc found a 2009 Circulation study reviewed by the NIH. Therefore, moderate intake of lean beef can be recommended as part of a healthy diet.
Consider using lean grass-fed meat which research shows reduces cholesterol levels according to 1994 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH). In another 2000 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study found consumption of lean red meat or lean white meat, as part of an NCEP Step I diet, is similarly effective for reducing LDL cholesterol and elevating HDL cholesterol concentrations in free-living persons.
It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent have blood levels so low that omega 3s cannot be detected according to a 2016 NIH and University of Minnesota Clinical Trials study.
According to the 2015 F.D.A. “FDA Ensures Your Foods From Animals are Safe”, sick food-producing animals such as pigs, cows, and chickens can be given antibiotics or other drugs to treat diseases. Some farming operations also give animals antibiotics and hormones to help them grow faster, which the F.D.A.is working really hard by implementing restrictions to control their use better by promoting the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals.
A 2010 Toxicol Research (NIH) study “Risk Assessment of Growth Hormones and Antimicrobial Residues in Meat”, warns of the dangers of the industries’ overuse of antibiotics in food animals, and the harmful effects of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the disruption of normal intestinal flora in humans. There’s even a significant nutritional differences between grass-fed and grass-fed finished.
Let’s take a closer look at how grass-fed beef, grain-fed beef, and grass-finished beef are different, and why this matters to your health. And when you include the “certified organic” requirement, it gets even more complicated, and the benefits are even more profound not only for more healthy foods but also the positive effect it has on the worldly environment!
A decade ago, there were only about 50 grass-fed-cattle operations left in the United States. They were a dying breed. Now, there are thousands and the numbers are growing because of a renewed demand for healthy nutritious meats, per a 2013 AgFunder Network Partners (AFN) “Report: US Grass-Fed Beef Market Doubling Every Year, But Scaling Challenges Remain” study .
It’s much easier now to get your hands on both certified organic, and 100 percent “finished” grass-fed beef, as officially described in a 2008 Cattlemen’s Beef Board “Understanding the Different Kinds of Beef in the Marketplace” reference, from farms where cows spend their days out on pasture happily grazing on all sorts of grasses, from clover to wild onions to different types of tufted grasses called fescue and even occasional healthy high protein bugs and insects. 100 percent grass-fed finished means the cows eat nothing but grasses throughout their life, even in Wintertime, when they are feed on hay or alfafa.
To delve deeper into it, in general, for the first 6 months or so, all calves start out with a similar diet, which is their mother’s milk and the greenery in their environment. Once they’re weaned off milk, grass-fed and grass-finished calves, also known as “pasture raised” cows, will continue to roam green fields.
They’ll enjoy chowing down on lush plants, shrubs, and the occasional bug for the remainder of their lives, including, eating alfafa or hay in the Winter. Above we looked at a few general nutrition differences of conventional grain-fed foods and traditional grass-fed foods. Now, lets dissect the differences between conventionally grown, or grain-fed cows, grass-fed cows, certified organic grass-fed cows, and finished, certified organic, grass-fed cows:
Grain-Fed- Grain-fed cows are fed grains their entire life, also known as “conventionally raised” cows, are moved to a feedlot once they’re weaned from their mother’s milk at approximately 8 months. It’s in these lots that they’re fed distiller grains, GMO-corn, and soy to fatten them up and although this industry practices produce higher yields of beef, it’s less healthy for not only the calves, but also consumers of their meats.
The cattle are confined in very small spaces, and in most cases, not even enough space to move, which puts the animal under severe distress. Not to mention, they are also fed a diet mainly made up of corn which wreaks havoc on the digestive systems of these feed animals.
Cows are ruminants and designed for grass not grain, which in turn, makes them ill, and to treat their illnesses they are fed daily rations of antibiotics. According to a study Department of Biology and Environmental Studies Program Lake Forest College feeding food animals like cattle corn or grains is detrimental to these animals. Quoting the study:
The addition of corn to the diet of a steer changes the chemistry of its digestive system and leads to serious illnesses, including bloat and acidosis. This illness, which is extremely painful for cattle, brings into question the ethics of feeding cattle a corn-based diet and the ethics of the policies surrounding corn production.
High stress levels lead to fatter animals. This is because cortisol is a fat storage hormone that’s part of the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, or stress response, and is explained very well in this Harvard Medical School 2018 “Understanding the Stress Response” review, summing up that chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health.
Since the cow has been removed from its natural environment and experienced a dramatic change in living conditions and diet, there will undoubtedly be a certain level of stress endured by the cow, which results in elevated cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are consistently elevated, the body is more likely to store fat as a protective mechanism, found a University of New Mexico study.
These calves are also given antibiotics and hormones such as testosterone and estrogen (implanting) to boost up growth by 15 percent per a 2017 University of Georgia Extension “Implanting Beef Cattle” research.
The conventional feedlot calves and cows spend most of their lives indoors in a very small pens or feed lots, with no room to move much less exercise, standing in a mixture of mud, liter, and feces, making for very unhealthy conditions, stressing the animals beyond belief and causing the likely spread of disease and sickness, as documented in a 2014 Penn State Extension “Feeding Beef Cattle” study. Unfortunately, synthetic hormones and antibiotics are transferred to the meat, as well.
The United Nations University has an exceptional article, “The Shame of Concentrated Animal Feedlots”, on the deplorable conditions these feed animals have to endure for their entire life. A new Frontiers In Nutrition study released earlier this year (2019) reviewed by NIH found that grass-fed meat and dairy is better for human and environmental health. Quoting the study:
Society will have to learn we are members of nature’s communities. What we do to them (food animals), we do to ourselves. Only by nurturing them can we nurture ourselves.
While there’s limited research to show the impact that synthetic hormones that are specifically sourced from grain-fed meat and what impact they have on our health, it may not be ideal for those who are already susceptible to certain cancers or are suffering from hormonal imbalances to be ingesting grain-fed meats. The NIH in reviewing a 2010 Toxicol Pathology study addressed the connection of breast cancer and the hormone estrogen, and said,
The elevated incidence of breast cancer in women has been associated with prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogens…
Another 2012 BMC Environmental Health (NIH) study looked at “o”estrogen and “exno” estrogen and reproductive system, breast, lung, kidney, pancreas, and brain cancers. Yet another 2015 Iranian Journal of Public Health (NIH) study voices the concerns of hormones in dairy products as a possible negative impact in human health and development of various cancers in humans.
As mentioned earlier, the same holds true for antibiotics. However, the European Union (EU) in 1989 banned the importation of meat that contained artificial beef growth hormones approved for use and administered in the United States, so apparently, European scientists and researchers are being more proactive in their concern between the connection of growth hormones and cancer, as confirmed in a Wikipedia review “Beef Hormone Controversy”.
The danger of consuming antibiotics through meat is becoming more prevalent, as antibiotic use in livestock has recently been discovered as a leading cause of the rise in antimicrobial-resistant infections, leading to antibiotic resistance infections and disease, and increased mortality rates, determined a 2012 Public Health Reports (NIH) study.
Early in 2017 the F.D.A. enacted rules banning the use of human antibiotics purely for growth promotion in animals by requiring ranchers and farmers to get a prescription from a veterinarian for antibiotics that once could be purchased over the counter. According to a 2018 New York Times “Antibiotics In Meat Could Be Damaging Our Guts” article, the F.D.A. enacted the restrictions out of growing concern about the breeding of drug-resistant bacteria from antibiotic overuse, and their conclusion is summed up here,
Those resistant bacterial strains can be transferred to humans by contact with animals or raw meat and possibly through the consumption of under cooked meat.
The CDC, in a 2020 “Antibiotic Resistance, Food, and Food-Producing Animals” study estimates that more than 400,000 United States residents become ill with infections caused by antibiotic-resistant food-borne bacteria every year, with about one in five resistant infections caused by germs from food and animals.
Grass-Fed Versus Grass-Fed Finished
As you see, the term just grass-fed doesn’t necessarily mean the cow was fed a grass diet their entire lives. It’s highly unlikely they were! It means they were started on a grass-fed diet, and then moved to pens and fed grains and corn to fatten them up for the remainder of their lives, and legally, their meats can be labeled grass-fed although these meats don’t meet true grass-fed meat requirements and their health benefits, which is being grass-fed their entire life, and correctly labeled “grass-fed finished”.
For a good explanation of the difference between grain-fed and true grass-fed from a dietician’s point of view, read this 2015 article by David Yeager, “Grass-Fed Vs Conventional Beef”. Labeled certified grass-fed “finished beef”, is actually a true grass-fed because they are fed grass from natural fields their entire lives and no grains or corn are involved. Note the distinguishing “finished” qualifier added to the labels.
Grass-Fed Finished Beef-On the other hand, grass-fed finished beef means the cow was fed grass and nothing but natural grass and plants for the duration of its life. Grass-fed beef usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories, found a 2014 Meat Science (NIH) study. So while grain-fed/grass-fed cows will still contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, CLAs and other beneficial nutrients, the ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s is totally different and so is CLAs ratios.
In one 2002 Biomedical Pharmacotherapy (NIH) study they discuss the modern Western diet where the ratio of “fatty” omega 6s to healthy omega 3s is as high as 16 to 1, and as low as 5 to 1. Fresh meat produced on pasture (grass-fed) had higher total ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) levels than meat from grain fed-animals and meat from pasture-fed animals presented a higher glutathione antioxidant redox potential compared to grain-fed animals, found a 2007 Meat Science (NIH) study.
Quoting the study:,
Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established.
The NIH concluded that eating foods that had lower ratio of omega 6s to 3s, or even more omega 3s, like what’s found in grass-fed finished beef, which has a higher ratio of omega 3s to 6s (as much as 9 times more), is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies.
This is where grass-fed meats makes a major difference, containing up to five times as much omega-3, confirmed in a 2011 British Journal of Nutrition (NIH) study.
Grass-fed finished beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed beef, as well, per a 2010 Journal of Nutrition (NIH) study. This fatty acid is associated with many health benefits
In grass-fed finished beef, there are at least 50 percent more (2 to 4 times more) omega 3s to omega 6s, making grass-fed much more desirable from a health standpoint, found a 2010 BMC Nutrition Journal (NIH) study. The reason this ratio between 3s and 6s is significant to your health is because the higher the omega 3s are, the less unhealthy saturated fatty omega 6s are, and the less weight gain.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with one out of every two adults are burdened by excess weight, and much of it is to do with eating foods high in fatty omega 6s, according to a 2016 Nutrition (NIH) study. Omega 6s have an important role to play in the proper function of the human body, but too much of a good thing, then becomes a bad thing. The National Institutes Of Health found in reviewing a 2016 Nutrition study that,
An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity.
Nature has given us a healthier alternative to weight control, which is to eat meat from animals raised on fresh pasture all the time, the way nature intended it to be. Meat from grass-fed animals has about half the fat and higher omega 3s, as meat from grain-fed animals and significantly fewer calories. Being nutrient-dense, it also gives you a bonus supply of vitamins E, A, D, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants, per a 2007 Meat Science (NIH) study.
The fat from grass-finished beef may have a yellowish appearance from the elevated carotenoid content, precursor to Vitamin A, and grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase per a 2010 Nutrition Journal (NIH) study.
In another 2004 Meat Science (NIH) study Vitamin E content was higher in meat from pasture-finished animals than from mixed diet-finished animals and had also an important effect on antioxidant enzyme activity.
While there’s no guarantee that a grass-fed cow won’t get sick and need a round of antibiotics in their lifetime, the living conditions of a pasture are far less of a threat to the cow’s health than a feedlot. For one thing, they are happier, grazing around, not under stress, and they are able to remain healthier than their counterparts.
Research has also shown that their meat is also tenderer because of the reduced stress levels of not being in a confined space, which was confirmed in a 2008 ResearchGate Meat Science study. That’s not to mention the greater amount of immune-boosting nutrients in a grass-fed diet versus a grain-fed diet, in which case, fewer, if any, antibiotics should be needed.
According to another 2002 Biomedical Pharmacotherapy (NIH) study, food animals, when allowed to get all their food from grasses, plants and insects, remain much healthier. Animals have the innate ability to graze on certain medicinal plants that prevent infections or fungus or other health issues developing according to a the Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B 2011 study reviewed by the NIH. If you add certified organic, meaning the cows grazed on natural organic grass, to grass-fed finished beef, you have the healthiest meats you can buy for your table on the entire planet.
Certified Organic Grass-Fed Finished Beef-Certified organic beef, found in the List Of Healthy Foods To Eat, means the cows or other animals are grazing on grass and plants that have grown in totally organic soil. That means the soil has not been treated with synthetic fertilizers, chemical additives, or pesticides, nor are the food animals given antibiotics or growth hormones, making its meats not only healthy and nutrient-rich, but also safer for human consumption than the meats from the cows or animals that grazed on chemically-fertilized fields and pastures and sprayed with pesticides.
Wikipedia, in it’s “Organic Beef” research, is a good official reference on what “organic” truly represents. Briefly, to meet organic criteria, food animals have to have continuous access to organic grasses and plants (restricted from corn and grains), produced without genetic engineering (non-GMOs), never receive antibiotics or hormones, and managed from last third of gestation onward.
A 2017 BMC Environmental Health (NIH) study, confirms this. Here is another 2009 Interdisciplinary Toxicity (NIH) study of the overuse of chemical pesticides and being exposed to them ,
Pesticide contamination poses significant risks to the environment and non-target organisms ranging from beneficial soil microorganisms, to insects, plants, fish, and birds. Contrary to common misconceptions, even herbicides can cause harm to the environment.
According to a 2018 World Health Association (WHO) “Pesticides Residuals In Food” research, pesticides are potentially toxic to humans and can have both acute and chronic health effects, depending on the quantity and ways in which a person is exposed, particularly over exposed. Caution should be taken in it’s use and insecticides tend to be more toxic to humans than herbicides.
According to Agricultural University, Peshawar, in response to the question “Does fertilizer utilization in crops affect human health ? iIf yes how its use affect human health ?”, said:
Our experience shows that plants forced with fertilizers (the big 3 NPK, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) are less resistant, less nutritiously balanced, and rot more rapidly than those which are not receiving fertilizers. Our experience has shown that the addition of these fertilizers is destroying the presence and balance of the microbiome responsible for the production of nutrients in the soil…thus making the farmer more and more dependent on synthetic fertilizers.
In addition, that’s not to mention what chemical ferlilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, are doing to our lands, our lakes and waterways, and oceans, in polluting ground water supplies and avoid runoff of chemicals that can cause dead zones and poisoned aquatic life, according to a 2008 SeaWeb “Chemicals In Our Waters Are Affecting Humans And Aquatic Life In Unanticipated Ways” research.
A study this year (2019) from PLOS|ONE (NIH) study found that the long-term recovery of many Pacific salmon populations is inextricably linked to freshwater habitat quality. Industrial activities from the past century have left a legacy of pollutants that persist, particularly near working waterfronts.
A 2007 Indiana University study (ScienceDaily) found that a variety of corn genetically engineered (GMOs) to produce the insecticide Bt is having toxic effects on non-target aquatic insects, including caddis flies, a major food source for fish and frogs. Can you now see the need to buy certified organic foods for not only for better health but also protecting the environment?
How does a cow get all the nutrients to live healthy by just eating grass? Not surprising, cattle are very smart grazers. Researchers compared the nutrient value of randomly selected grass clippings with the grass the cattle themselves selected.
Invariably, the cattle instinctively selected grass that was higher in protein and mineral content, according to a 2017 study out of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (ResearchGate). As mentioned above, what’s even more amazing, is cows’ ability to find specifics medicinal plants to eat(maybe even wild herbs) to keep them healthy according to a 2005 Animal Behavior study (Elserier).
The study revealed that animals, wild and domestic, actually use 2 types of natural herbs to maintain their health, a preventive herb to control infections from parasites and a therapeutic mode to actively treat and remove a pathogen, usually a bacteria. In animals, the prevention-mode is by far the most frequently seen and documented by data-based empirical studies. Any pet owner know this is true, especially with a cat or dog, they eat grass too if they’re are allowed to go outside.
As researchers concluded and cautioned above that a standard analysis of pasture grasses is likely to underestimate the actual amount of nutrients that cattle glean from the pasture when they’re grazing. Now there is some evidence that grazing on organic pasture may boost healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Now, a new 2013 PLOS|ONE study evaluating organic milk produced in the U.S. finds that organic milk has about 62 percent more omega-3s, compared to milk produced by cows on conventional dairy farms. More research is needed, however.
This also seems to hold true for domestically-raised turkeys which are grass-fed. Research has shown, like a 2013 12 Reasons You May Never Want To Eat Turkey Again study, domestic turkeys raised on pasture have a diet that resembles their wild counterparts. Zoologists studying wild turkeys found that the youngsters instinctively peck at moving things, which are usually protein-rich bugs or larvae.
While adult turkeys prefer grass and other plant leaves, along with berries and bugs. Turkeys also have higher amount of healthy CLAs than chicken or pigs. Domestic turkeys, as their wild counterparts, are selective feeders too, when they are allowed to forage in nature for their own food, and are much happier and healthier too. As is also their meats.
Organic grass farmers have a refreshingly different approach to encouraging healthy growth in their livestock through nature alone. Rather than implant their animals with hormones, or use chemical fertilizers and pesticides, they organically-plant their fields with high quality forage, found a 2017 Harvard Health “Health Benefits Of Organic Food, Farming Outlined In New Report” study.
This allows the cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and ducks, to forage and graze at will selecting what they prefer to eat, and, at the same time, re-fertilize the pasture land themselves restoring the nutrients. It’s called “Regenerative Agriculture”, which is farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity by the animals themselves re-fertilization, resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.
A 2019 Frontiers In Nutrition study goes in into depth concerning grass fed meat and dairy and how much better it is for human and environmental health. Do you think this Holstein cow is enjoying chewing her “cud”? (1) You can bet she is! Or, this chicken foraging in the tall grass? (2) They seem pretty happy, don’t they? As in nature, the richness of the environment, not drugs or chemicals, determines the growth rate and health of all grass-fed animals.
So, your absolute best and healthiest choice of meats for your table is certified organic, grass-fed, finished beef, pork, lamb, bison, and wild game, dairy, and free-range finished poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and duck, and brown eggs.
Third Party Verification On Meat Labels
Keep in mind that while the USDA Organic seal is a stamp that means the producer is being regularly checked to make sure they meet the standard, grass-fed is a term that isn’t subject to a federal standard. This means there may be cheaters using the term on packaging dishonestly.
Look for trusted third-party verification like the “PCO 100% Grass-Fed Certification“, per a 2020 PCO Certified Organic certification, or “the American Grass-Fed Seal“, per a 2019 American Grassfed Association certification, on meat labels, which verifies the cattle were raised on organic pastures, eating only grass and plants, and were never given antibiotics or hormones.
All the foods recommended in a List Of Healthy Foods To Eat, have verification.
Health Benefits Of Certified Organic Grass-Fed Finished Meats, Dairy, and Eggs
(Compared to grain-fed and/or grass-fed-grain-fed beef)
Cows are healthier and happier and live a better quality of life as was shown above in research.
Grass-fed cows are also less stressed and disease prone per a 2019 Frontiers In Nutrition study reviewed by NIH.
Grass-fed or free-range meats are lean as wild game meat such as deer and elk, according to a 2002 Journal of Animal Science study reviewed by NIH.
Lower in total fat and saturated fats and calories (6 oz. steak 100 fewer calories)
Higher in beta-carotene (vitamin A) and lutein
Higher in the B-vitamins thiamine and riboflavin, B12, B3, B6 from a 2016 Nutrients study reviewed by NIH.
Higher in all vitamins and minerals’ calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, selenium, zinc
50 percent higher in total omega-3s and less unhealthy omega 6s which research has shown 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, per a 2015 Jama (NIH) study; or less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease, per a “The Omega Diet (Mediterranean)” publication; or each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished which is very important, per a 1993 Journal of Animal Science (NIH) study.
At least 2 to 4 times more omega 3 fatty acid ratio to omega 6 fatty acid (* see below)
3 to 5 times higher in CLA, a potential cancer fighter per Marathon research.
Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA) per a 2010 BMJ Nutrition Journal reviewed by the NIH.
Less antibiotic-resistent strains of bacteria, such as E coli, and viruses in meats passed on to consumers because there’s no need to give grass-fed animals antibiotics, per a 2011 Clinical Microbiology Reviews (NIH) study.
Free-range eggs have 3 to 6 times more vitamin D, 2 times more omega 3s, 7 times more beta carotene, 30 percent more Vitamin E per a 2010 Nutrition Journal reviewed by NIH.
Butter from grass-fed finished dairy cows has more cancer-fighting CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids per same 2010 Nutrition Journal reviewed by NIH.
Grass-fed butter is softer and more spreadable because of the lower ratio of fatty omega 6s to 3s (less in-soluble fat), per a 2019 Foods (NIH) study.
Cheese from grass-fed dairy cows has 4 times more CLAs, per a 2019 Frontiers “Is Grassfed Meat and Dairy Better for Human and Environmental Health?” research.
Grass-fed sheep have 2 times more lutein (carotene) than conventional grain-fed beef.
Pigs raised on organic pasture have 300 percent more vitamin E and 74 percent more selenium according to a Ohio State University Animal Science study.
Lower bacterial count in milk than in grain-fed milk and has 5 times more CLAs per a 2019 Utah State University study reviewed by Frontiers.
Natural free-roaming organic grass-fed animals return rich nutrients into the soil sustaining soil in a natural way (their manure is rich in nutrients) as it re-fertilizes the soil which is known as Regeneration Agriculture, confirmed in a 2018 University of Washington “Regenerative Agriculture: Solid Principles, Extraordinary Claims” research.
(*)The typical western diet is overloaded with less healthy inflammatory-causing omega-6 fatty acids and deficient in omega-3s, upsetting a critical balance. 20 percent of Americans have blood levels so low in omega 3s that they cannot be detected, confirmed in a 1991 ResearchGate “World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics” study.
With grass-fed cows, omega-3s are abundant in their meat because they’re eating grasses and clover rich (over 60 percent in their leaves) in these heart-healthy fatty acids. According to a 2010 BMC Nutrition Journal study, this results in a better omega-6:omega-3 ratio that is preferred by the nutritional community.
Eating a balanced ratio of essential fatty acids (omega 3s)is linked with a lower risk of heart disease, per a 2013 Harvard Health “Omega 3s: Good For Your Heart” study; preventing cancer, per a 2009 Cancer Letter (NIH) study; diabetes, obesity, per a 2016 Nutrients (NIH) study; mental disorders, per a 2014 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (NIH) study; and other inflammatory issues, per a 2012 Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (NIH) study.
Grass-fed beef is also higher in precursors for Vitamin A and E, amino acids, anti-inflammatory properties, and cancer fighting antioxidants such as GT and SOD activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries per a 2010 Nutrition Journal study reviewed by NIH.
When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 10 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens, according to a 1997 Elsevier “Animal Feed, Science and Technology” study.
Let’s look at A List Of Healthy Foods To Eat consisting of certified organic lean grass-fed or free-range meats, eggs, and dairy.
Suggestions on Where To Purchase Certified Organic Grass-Fed Or Free-Range Finished Meats, Eggs, and Dairy (Follow the authorized affiliate links)
Certified Organic Free-Range Finished Poultry including Chicken, Turkey, and Duck
Unhealthy Processed and Convenience Foods to Avoid
The global shift to highly processed diets has enabled 2.1 billion people to become overweight or obese and increased incidence of type II diabetes, heart disease, and cancer per a 2012 Nutrition Review study confirmed by the NIH. A 2019 JAMA International Medicine reviewed by the NIH found that an increase in ultra processed foods consumption appears to be associated with an overall higher mortality risk among this adult French population.
These trends have been amplified by primary health strategies focused on treating symptoms rather than preventing disease by promoting healthy diets and lifestyles found a 2010 Institute of Medicine Roundtable discussion reviewed by the NIH. Unimpeded, these trends will add substantially to a projected 80 percent increase by 2050 in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) from food production found a 2014 Nature study (NIH). Not only are convenience or processed foods destroying our health, the production of these foods, are destroying our environment and our natural world, as well.
Changing your buying habits and purchasing certified organic, lean, grass-fed finished or free-range finished meats, eggs, and dairy products, as shown in this article “A List Of Healthy Foods To Eat”, will not only be tremendously beneficial to you and your family’s health and well being, but also very beneficial to the animals we consume for our survival and our entire natural world.
By buying these types of natural products you will be supporting grassland farmers and ranchers using healthy and humane natural farming practices, the way nature intended, but also not supporting the inhumane treatment of these food animals.
You will be supporting a better quality of life for these food animals where they are able to roam freely grazing, happily, and contently, each and every day of their lives. Don’t you think they deserve it? After all, they are one of our food sources, and that’s the least we can do for them and our own good! Right?
What are your thoughts? Your comments are welcomed and should you have questions, please leave them below.
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(1) Holstein Cowboy Video
(2) Jim O’Donnell Video