When you see the words ‘grass fed’ typed in bold lettering on a package of red meat, you may conjure up images of ‘happy cows’ lazily lounging in a wide-open pasture, grazing on pesticide-free grass and living their lives like livestock royalty.
Grass-fed beef has been marketed to the general population in the time of cancer studies, PETA videos and global warming as not only better for the cows, but better for you, your family and the environment.
So, is it really?
First things first, grass-fed beef is likely 100% a healthier option than grain-fed cows in your diet. According to a study at California State University’s College of Agriculture, grass-fed beef nutrition includes significantly more omega-3 fatty acids and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef.
If you haven’t heard of CLA yet, it’s a powerful polyunsaturated fatty acid we must obtain from our diets that’s been shown to help fight cancer, discourage weight gain and build muscle. High-quality grass-fed beef and butter from healthy, grass-fed cows are known as the top sources of CLA.
Grass-fed beef is also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. Antibiotic and hormone free, it’s less likely to contain “superbugs”—bacteria that have become resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics.
Furthermore, no hormones typically means that consuming grass-fed beef won’t mess with your own hormones or disrupt your gut health. Overall, beef from grass-fed cows is WAY less likely to make you sick and reigns superior over grain-fed from a food-safety perspective as well.
FOR THE WORLD.
According to the Environmental Working Group, well-managed grazing and grass-fed operations are also better for the environment. They use fewer energy-intensive inputs and, by regularly moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping them away from streambeds, they spread the manure more evenly and improve the quality and quantity of forage growth.
This helps to conserve soil, reduce erosion and water pollution, increase carbon sequestration and preserve biodiversity and wildlife.
In turn, organic feed production and grazing practices are also better for the environment. They reduce fertilizer and pesticide runoff into waterways, and the use of compost and rotational grazing helps build healthy, productive and water-conserving soils.
Organic methods also enhance pest and weed resistance without the use of chemicals and ultimately foster greater resiliency in the face of extreme weather and climate change.
FOR THE ANIMAL.
And if you’re worried about that cow, grass-fed cattle lead much more humane lives. The animals themselves are not forced to live in confinement like their grain-fed counterparts. The cruelties of modern factory farming can be so severe that you don’t have to be a vegetarian or an animal rights activist to find the conditions to be intolerable, and a violation of the human-animal bond. These are the kinds of cruelty that groups like PETA have been raising public awareness on.
Pastured livestock are not forced to endure the miseries of factory farming. They are not cooped up in cages barely larger than their own bodies, or packed together like sardines for months on end.
Ready to make the switch? Always committed to providing the highest quality ingredients, our NEW Hydrolyzed Collagen is 100% derived from Grass-Fed cows AND you have the option to choose grass-fed whey in your custom protein mix.