Ask your chiropractor: Why is it important to invest in grass-fed beef?
When it comes to choosing your foods, it can be confusing to sort through all the messages. Your chiropractor understands that the fuel you feed your body is the basis for good health, and will be able to give you sound nutrition advice. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, should you eat red meat? Red meat is often on the list of things you shouldn’t eat, and you’re left staring down yet another plate of chicken.
Red meat offers our bodies a high quality source of protein, with all essential amino acids. It offers the precursors for Vitamins A and E. It offers the most absorbable form of iron, and also zinc, vitamin B12, and antioxidants. It offers us both omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, and here is where the difference between conventional beef and grass-fed beef becomes apparent.
Grass-fed cows, grazing in a natural environment on the food they were created to eat, will produce meat with a healthy ratio of fatty acids, specifically with more omega 3s. Beef fattened with grain in order to get bigger more quickly has higher concentrations of omega 6s. Eating meat with unbalanced ratios can lead to an inflammatory response in YOUR body. And remember, inflammation is the root cause of all disease.
Grass-fed beef also offers more conjugated linoleolic acids, or CLA. This form of omega 6 has been shown to have positive effects on reducing fat and inflammation in the body, when it comes from a natural food source such as grass-fed beef. Supplements claiming to be CLA are often a chemically altered form derived from vegetable oils rather than the naturally occurring CLA in the meat and milk of grass-fed ruminants. This is why it’s better to source your CLA from grass-fed beef rather than from the supplement aisle.
Cows raised in their natural environments have more space and freedom to move around. They are able to disperse their waste rather than stand in it all day. As a result these animals are healthier over all, and do not need to have antibiotics mixed in with their food. There are no trace antibiotics to remain in their bodies when they are processed as food.
Conventional beef may also have hormone implants to stimulate rapid growth and efficient feed conversion. Grass-fed beef does not.
Grass-fed beef is more expensive than conventional beef because it takes more time and land to raise. The best way to think about this is to remember that your health is an investment, and by investing in excellent, high-quality food, you will be paying for fewer medical expenses. You’re going to pay either way: you can decide where your money is better spent. Reducing the amount of beef you eat will help keep costs down, all around.
You can find grass-fed beef in farmer’s markets, natural food co-ops, and even in some conventional grocery stores, but the best and most economical way might be to find a local farmer who loves their cows and honors organic practices and the natural lives of their animals. Often you can buy a quarter or half or whole beef to keep in the freezer at a significantly lower price than buying it piecemeal, and if you have a deep freeze to store it in, this might be your best option.