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Grain-Fed vs. Grass-fed, confusion.

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  • #16
    1



    Pikala, yes, I do agree, optimizing that Omega 3/6 ratio is worth the effort. Much to consider, and I'd always rather get it naturally (grass fed meats, wild fish, etc) than needing to supplement. (Same goes for Vit D! But the reality of winter in the north means I need to supplement D3 in the winter.)


    musajen, I'm in Rapid City. I've bought from these folks:


    http://www.green-beef.com/


    He's a great guy to deal with, and now he's also a co-owner of Crow Peak Brewery in Spearfish. So at least he's figured out what to do with all that grain that he is NOT feeding to his cattle! He's feeding it to college kids through beer kegs!


    Another great local source for dairy and meat is:


    www.blackhillsmilk.com they come to Rapid every Saturday. And Hogen Beef (not sure of a website) is in Belle Fourche, I think.


    Plus my pal, Beau Bendigo has a few cattle each year he holds back from the feed and keeps them on the pasture to sell for local processing to folks that want the natural meats. I can put you in touch with him if you like.


    Damn cold here today, eh musajen?! You in West River?

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    • #17
      1



      Damn cold is right! I'm in Pierre. I get out to Rapid about once every 6 months so I'll check into the resources you provided and plan to stock up the next time I'm out that way. Thanks!! Stay warm!

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      • #18
        1



        Quality restaurants will only consider buying grain-fed or grain finished steaks because of the taste quality. They are considered more tender and flavorful than grass-fed.

        The fact that all of your meat was previously frozen may be the reason for you liking grain-fed beef more as well.

        I, however, really can taste the difference betweent he two kinds and to me grass-fed tastes much better.

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        • #19
          1



          @Pikaia


          Haha! If you are getting 100g of fat in a steak that is about a 24oz steak!


          @musajen


          I found a great resource back in August but now I can't find it. I will look a little harder (might be bookmarked) at home.

          Don't be a paleotard...

          http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...oxidation.html

          http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...torage-qa.html

          http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...rn-fat-qa.html

          http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...-you-need.html

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          • #20
            1



            I can't taste the difference in the steaks too much but the grass fed steaks I make are great. I do, however, notice a huge difference in the ground beef. My burgers are more like bison burgers, which I love.

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            • #21
              1



              @chima_p: Is that a challenge? ;-) I love steak. I can out-steak my husband. I could be a steakavore. However, I rarely eat more than 14oz at a time.

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              • #22
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                Aside from the difference in PUFAs I think that a major component of buying grass-fed is that the animals are much healthier being fed grass, eliminating the need for antibiotics, and a true pasture will have less chemicals and pesticides than grain feeding (unless the grain was organic but that never happens). I really wouldn't worry about smallert animals like chicken who would not bioaccumulate as much, but a cow is a huge animal who will eat a lot of grain over its life and bioaccumulate many more toxins. This is the same reason we eat salmon and sardines and shy away from tuna.

                Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                • #23
                  1



                  Saying there is no difference between grass-fed and grain-fed is simply incorrect. The omega-3/6 balanace, as other already pointed out is one difference. An animal will replace it's omega-3 fat with omega-6 fat almost completely over a period of about 6 months, but you really don't want more than 6 weeks of grain finishing maximum. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is another big difference between grain-fed and grass-fed, from Wikipedia, "meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals can produce 300-500% more CLA than those of cattle fed the usual diet of 50% hay and silage, and 50% grain". It is hypothesized that this large difference in CLA is why some epidimological studies showed an increase in colon cancer from meat consumption, versus other studies which showed a decline: the difference in nutrients such as CLA from grass-fed vs grain-fed may make a significant difference.


                  As for taste, I've heard that in Argentinia, the beef is all grass-fed (as grass-fed is cheaper to produce over grain-fed), and people will rave about it's taste. Maybe this is because of the very rich type of grasslands they range on, or maybe they have better preparation and cooking techniques, I don't know. Personally, I think buffalo tastes much better than cow, so grain-fed cow or grass-fed cow, it doesn't matter, it's still not as tasty as buffalo.


                  However, the real reason to seek out and spend more on grass-fed animals is because agriculture is an incredibly destructive process. It is heavily dependant upon fossil fuel. In North America the top soil is being depleted 10 times faster than it's replenished. Fertilizer needs to be produced from natural gas, which is in limited supply. It requires massive amounts of water, and drains rivers, leaving only polluted water. The marshlands and ocean of the Gulf Coast used to be one of the most productive food ecosystems on the planet. Now there are massive dead zones where nothing lives, a direct result of the wastes products of agriculture flowing into the area. The erosion of top soil has been responsible for the destruction of civilizations in the past. Already in many parts of the world, modern industrial agriculture has created vast areas of desert from once fertile land. For example, Pakistan has lost 25% of it's arable land. Agriculture is many areas is also dependant upon fossil water: these are massive underground water supplies that are being drained to irrigate the land. These water supplies refill very slowly, so once they've been drained, they won't be usable again for millenia. Grain-fed animals produce methane gas, grass-fed animals are a net methane sink. If North America converted all of it's agricultural land back into natural state, it would become a net carbon sink ... even with all of our existing fossil fuel usage. Industrial agriculture is simply not sustainable, and while the wheels of modern agriculture appear to be chugging along producing ample food today, this system is one that will break down. We will run out of fuel, water, topsoil and negatively impact climate change in the coming years.


                  If you are following the primal blueprint, then you may be thinking, "Hey, this is pretty awesome now that I can look forward to another 20-50 years of healthy life". But the reality is that you will likely outlive the sustainable run of modern industrial agriculture, and may end up dieing of starvation or worse once these systems deplete the resources that they are consuming.

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                  • #24
                    1



                    For a nice primer on why grass-fed is better than grain-fed, listen to a recent interview with Joel Salatin on UndergroundWellness radio:


                    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/undergr...ith-joel-salat

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                    • #25
                      1



                      I buy only grass fed for my health and for the animal's well being. I try to avoid feedlot meat all the time.


                      I enjoy bison as well as beef.

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