Memorial Day is just around the corner and our favorite grill masters are getting ready to light it up. Before you head out to check off your grocery list, let’s talk about why you should opt to buy grass-fed burgers and steaks. While conventional beef may seem more appealing cost wise, it won’t seem as appealing when your medical bills add up and your health suddenly goes into a downward spiral. Let’s dig in:
Factory meat: Animals are raised in confined animal feeding operations and are treated poorly. They are fed a grain diet, which could include GMOs. It’s possible they are fed animal by-products. Do you realize what this means? Let’s paint a picture. You’re driving down the road or the highway and you see a dead animal laying on the side of the road. Where do you think that animal goes once it’s picked up? I’ll let that sink it. Side note: Check your dog food ingredients for “bypass protein.” Ick. The USDA has only banned the feeding of cows, sheep and goats back to cows, sheep and goats. All other practices of using any other dead animal is legal and downright unappealing. They are also given synthetic hormones and antibiotics to promote growth or prevent disease. If that little bit of information didn’t sway you to switch to grass fed at least opt for labels that have the claim of a “100% vegetarian diet” to ensure there were no animal by-products in their feed. Everything these animals eat is eventually passed on to us which means we’re inadvertently putting GMOs, synthetic hormones, antibiotics and who knows what else in our own and our loved ones bodies. The most probable common health problem linked to the chemicals and hormones used in commercial, factory meat is cancer. Hungry? Probably not. Keep reading….there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Grass-fed meat: Animals are fed grass, their natural diet. They are treated more humane. They may have been treated with antibiotics if an infection occurred, but there are strict requirements for the amount of time it must be free from antibiotics before….well you know…..before it’s slaughtered. Grass-fed labels don’t necessarily mean they ate grass their entire life. They are grass fed until prior to slaughtering where they briefly eat grain from a feedlot. This is why it’s even better when a label claims, “grass fed, grass finished.”
Organic: If you want extreme peace of mind. Go Organic, Grass Fed. This means the following guidelines are met.
Outdoor access and pasture for livestock. They’re happy!
Refrain from antibiotic and hormone use.
Avoid contamination during processing of organic products.
Records of all operations are kept.
The use of hydrogenation and trans fat (an unnatural chemical process) are prohibited.
Let me leave you with some additional helpful insight:
Grass-fed cows produce more short-chain fatty acids than commercial cattle. Short chain fatty acids may provide immediate, short-term energy, are good for healing leaky gut, contain higher levels of antioxidants and conjugated linoleic acid which provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies show CLA in the diet could reduce tumors by over 50%! It can also decrease body fat and improve insulin resistance.
Animal meat is an excellent source of protein, but grass fed is a clean protein and contains all eight essential amino acids and facilitates better overall health and hormone function.
Remember. It’s all about moderation. Most of us think of meat on our plates as the main attraction with a few sides, but meat should actually be considered the side. A good rule of thumb when it comes to portions is the size of one palm for women, two palms for men. Give or take depending on YOU.