Steak, hamburgers, beef ribs. All are popular choices in the American diet.
But when you order your cheeseburger or T-bone, do you think about where it came from? You should.
More and more information is coming to light about the difference between beef that comes from feedlots and beef that is grass fed and pasture raised.
Most people imagine cows munching on grass in green fields, but that isn’t the reality for most of our beef. All beef cattle start out eating grass on the range. But most of the meat at the market comes from cows that are moved from the pasture to the feedlot after a few months.
Instead of growing to full size naturally, they are fed corn, supplements, antibiotics and growth hormones. This makes them grow bigger faster. They go from 80 pounds to 1,200 pounds in just a little more than a year.
Not only is this hard on the cow, but it has a big impact on our health and on the quality of the meat that we eat. The antibiotics in our food have made the ones that we take when we’re sick less effective. And there are a lot of questions about whether the hormones in our food are having an impact on humans. Questions like: Is red meat really more dangerous than cigarettes?
Cows that are raised on feedlots are given 6 different hormones. Three are natural steroids, including testosterone, progesterone and estradiol. The other 3 are synthetic hormones.
Scientists testing groups that eat large amounts of corn fed beef have found links to lower sperm concentration in men.
Another study found that it may impact adolescent girls’ growth rate.
Cows that are raised in pastures for their entire lives provide what is known as grass fed beef. There are a LOT reasons to choose grass fed beef. These are just a few.
3 Reasons Grass Fed Beef is Better
1. Beef that comes from corn fed cows has TWICE as much total fat as beef from a grass fed cow.
2. Grass fed beef is also higher in omega-3 fats and has FOUR times the vitamin E of feedlot cattle.
3. It’s also much higher in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which has been linked to a lower risk of cancer.
When you go to the market to buy beef, it’s important to remember that grass fed cows can be given hormones and antibiotics too. You want to look for grass fed beef that is also organic and pasture raised.
You also need to take a different approach to cooking grass fed beef. Because the cows are allowed the freedom to walk around on pastures, they have less fat and are more muscular. That means that the beef can dry out if it is cooked too long.
When cooking grass fed beef:
- Use a lower temperature, as it will cook faster
- Cut about 30% off of your normal cooking time
- For grass fed ground beef mix in vegetables like chopped spinach or onions to add moisture and flavor
Yours in Health,
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