Health Benefits

Eating fresh healthy beefGrass-fed beef has been demonstrated to be more healthful than grain-fed beef from feedlots. Much information comes from a literature review and study by C.A. Daley, et. al. from the California State University at Chico. The following are some of the benefits found in grass-fed and grass-finished beef.

Grass-fed beef contains 10 times more beta-carotene than beef not raised on grass. Studies have shown that beta-carotene is important for stimulating the immune system and maintaining healthy vision, skin and bones.

Grass-fed beef contains three times more vitamin E than beef not raised on grass, and research suggests that it contributes to the fight against cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to contribute to the prevention of arthritis, to the reduction in blood pressure, to the fight against cardiovascular diseases, to maintaining healthy brain function, to the slowing of the growth of many cancers, and the effort to remedy depression. Grass-fed beef contains 3 times more Omega-3 fatty acids as grain finished beef.

When looking at Omega-3 fatty acids, the relationship of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids should be understood. In its People’s Health Series, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, page 7, Vibrant Life Publishing states:

“The body needs Omega-6 and Omega 3 fatty acids – but for peak well-being, these essential nutrients must be consumed in the right proportions. Some experts believe that a 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is the best for balanced eicosanoid performance. Unfortunately, the average American diet is estimated at a 20:1 ratio. Experts believe that this wildly unbalanced ratio may be the reason for escalating chronic disease in America. [Simopoulos, A. Omega 3 fatty acids in wild plants, nuts, and seeds. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr (2002) 11(S6) S163-S173] “

The People’s Health Series goes on to explain in greater detail the great benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.
In her book, The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, Shannon Hayes relates that grass-fed beef contains an Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio of approximately 2:1. A decided improvement over estimated current dietary habits of 20:1.
Grass-fed beef contains three times more CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is another of the healthy fats and has been shown to be good at lowering LDL cholesterol, the risk of diabetes, the risk of heart disease, and the risk of many cancers.

If you want to read more go to http://www.johnrobbins.info/blog/grass-fed-beef/ for another narrative on the problems with beef production in the U.S. today.

Cooking

Grass-fed beef is a different kind of beef. Because the fat comes from conversion of forages (i.e. grasses and legumes such as alfalfa), its melting point is lower. Traditional higher cooking temperatures for grain-fed beef will make grass-fed beef dry and tough. We recommend The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, by Shannon Hayes, which describes some of the considerations for cooking grass finished beef. Also, her book, The Farmer and the Grill, opens the world of grilling grass-fed beef. Her books are very good.

If you would like to share your cooking experiences with other Red Beef consumers, send us your successes, and those less than successful experiences, and we will provide your comments on our Red River Beef blog. Others can learn from your experience.

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