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Is grass-fed meat really all that?

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  • Is grass-fed meat really all that?

    I was doing some surfing on grass-fed meat when I ran across this website Fanatic Cook: Omega-6 And Omega-3 Content Of Common Foods, with the following statement:

    Another thing I learned doing this - When it comes to omega-3 content, there's hardly a difference between grass-fed beef and conventional beef. And neither of them provide more than a few milligrams in the raw state, probably negligible amounts after being cooked.
    Unfortunately, she didn't back this up with any references. I'm doubting this is true, mostly because I've read a lot of sources that state grass-fed has more Omega 3's. OTOH, those are statements that I've just taken at face value. I've never researched those sources, either. Surely, the whole grass-fed-has-more-n3's has been scrutinized by the Paleo world? All the research I've done, though, just states it as a common fact, with no studies to back it up.

    Can anyone link me to a study on the subject, so that I can either happily pay double for my meat or happily reduce my grocery budget, lol?

  • #2
    Here's one---->Primal Wisdom: The Practically Primal Guide to Conventional Beef, Part 3: Nutritional composition

    There are plenty of reasons why we prefer organic, 100% grassfed meats (higher nutrients/anti-cancer properties, animal welfare, sustainability, etc). While it is true that omega 3 do increase in 100% grassfed Beef, Lamb, Goat, and Bison, in reality, there isn't that much omega 6 or total PUFA in all them (even in their CAFO counterparts) to really matter. If you want omega 3, go for wild caught fatty seafood. It is senseless to rely on any of these meats for your omega 3.
    Last edited by Zed; 06-05-2011, 04:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Oooh! Good one! Thanks for helping me to know I haven't been wasting my money, lol!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PokeyBug View Post
        Oooh! Good one! Thanks for helping me to know I haven't been wasting my money, lol!
        No problem. The most important thing about getting organic 100% grassfed meats is that you are getting a better omega 6:3 ratio.

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        • #5
          Well, you can be more confident that the animals whose bodies you are eating are being treated fairly and it's not contributing to the destruction of huge swaths of land, so I'd say it's 'all that'. Meat from ruminants is not a significant source of o-3 or o-6, but that doesn't mean you don't have to think about where the meat you're paying an artificially low price for is coming from.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by weird fish View Post
            Well, you can be more confident that the animals whose bodies you are eating are being treated fairly and it's not contributing to the destruction of huge swaths of land, so I'd say it's 'all that'. Meat from ruminants is not a significant source of o-3 or o-6, but that doesn't mean you don't have to think about where the meat you're paying an artificially low price for is coming from.
            +1000
            Robin
            ~primal mama to 3~

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            • #7
              There's already so much mistreatment of animals just so we can support the population explosion and spread of our own species, and it's only going to go downhill as china and india etc get wealthier and demand more meat. Instead of focusing on our stomachs and the minutiae of our health, the least we can do is support the farmers who treat their animals well and graze them.
              Meri bilong mi i belhot!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sambo View Post
                There's already so much mistreatment of animals just so we can support the population explosion and spread of our own species, and it's only going to go downhill as china and india etc get wealthier and demand more meat. Instead of focusing on our stomachs and the minutiae of our health, the least we can do is support the farmers who treat their animals well and graze them.
                +1 I totally agree. The main reason I choose grass fed organic is to support the local farmer and for the overall sustainability. Grain fed red meat do not have more n3 but do have less n6 which does help your ratio out. Local grass fed meat is probably a lot more fresh and has less distance to travel from the "farm" to the grocery store. Plus I don't have to worry about the meat coming from sick animals fed hormones and possibly passing off any of that to me or my family. I feel confident eating grass fed organic meat that is barely cooked and almost rare but I can't say the same for CAFO meats.
                "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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                • #9
                  I tastes better

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darwin17 View Post
                    I tastes better
                    That's the easy answer.

                    More complicated answer is that the animals are treated like animals and not lab test tubes. It's healthier for us too because we aren't eating the hormones and antibiotics and candies with the wrappers still on that are being fed to factory farmed animals. It's better for the soil to not be growing buttloads of corn and other grains (esp GMO) that are then fed to the livestock. It's just better all around.

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                    • #11
                      I don't know if there is any greater nutritional value.

                      But this is what I know:

                      - My farmer's name is Dale, his wife's name is Annette, and he has three kids, two of whom have graduate degrees in engineering, one who has a degree in animal husbandry.
                      - His farm is not certified organic, but he goes beyond the organic requirements and far beyond the free-range requirements.
                      - He rotates his crops and his animals and has turned a piece of land that was literally an old parking lot into a lush green pasture.
                      - I can visit his farm any time between normal working hours (sun up to sun down). I'm never told I need to call unless I want a particular cut.
                      - Dale will trade a dozen eggs and a whole chicken for my NY-style cheesecake.
                      Warning: I'm the most laid-back primal gal you'll ever meet.

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                      • #12
                        Can anyone provide a response that focuses purely on the bottom-line taste and known nutritional value of grass fed that doesn't go into the emotional and warm fuzzy value of happy animals singing kumbaya with their farmers?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wildwabbit View Post
                          Can anyone provide a response that focuses purely on the bottom-line taste and known nutritional value of grass fed that doesn't go into the emotional and warm fuzzy value of happy animals singing kumbaya with their farmers?
                          Grass-fed Beef: What Are the Heart-Health Benefits? (Mayo Clinic)

                          The Health Benefits of Grass Fed Farming

                          Grass is Greener: Buy Healthy Meat

                          Grass-Fed Beef (California State University)

                          Grass-Fed Meats: Health Benefits

                          The Truth About Grass-Fed Beef (NPR)



                          As for the 'warm and fuzzy'......the 'warm and fuzzy' + kumbaya means the animals are being treated properly and not being abused. They're not being crammed into tiny spaces, pumped full of antibiotics or growth hormones, and being fed corn/grain that their body is NOT made to consume. And THAT....is pretty darn important even if it is a little too touchy-feely for you.
                          Warning: I'm the most laid-back primal gal you'll ever meet.

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                          • #14
                            ..
                            Last edited by Rapunzel; 06-06-2011, 11:29 AM. Reason: double-post...sorry
                            Warning: I'm the most laid-back primal gal you'll ever meet.

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                            • #15
                              I am chewing grassfed beef for breakfast right now. I wasn't looking into Organic and grassfed stuff for added nutritional value, just less icky shit like pesticides/hormones/antibiotics.

                              I remember a year or two there was an article claiming no difference in nutritional value in organic vs conventional foods. I recall friends bragging with, "See? What a waste of money! You hippies!"

                              But the very last sentence of the article said that organics didn't have all that chemical crap in them, which is the point of organic in the first place.

                              And I like happy animals, too
                              -James
                              Just a n00b

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