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What do sheep eat?

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  • What do sheep eat?

    Aren't sheep mostly grass fed? Do they ever eat grain? What about lamb for sale in my local grocery store? Would it be grass fed -- or would I have to go somewhere special to get grass fed lamb like I do to get grass fed beef?
    Ruth

    See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.

  • #2
    In NZ they eat grass....
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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    • #3
      In the UK too.

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      • #4
        Whole Foods here marks all their grass-fed meats with a green label clearly indicating it as such. I noticed their ground lamb didn't have the green label.

        My assumption with all large companies is that unless something is labelled grass-fed, organic, bgh-free, non-GMO, or anything else with a specific legal definition, it's traditionally raised. I might be wrong, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.

        You could ask the grocery store for its source.
        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

        B*tch-lite

        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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        • #5
          They mostly eat grass here in Aus, but if grass is scarce farmers will supplement with grain... My FIL used to supp with oats I think. The sheep would still eat whatever grass they could get though.

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          • #6
            u.s. raised lamb is more and more often fed with grain. i've stopped buying it.
            As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

            Ernest Hemingway

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            • #7
              Lamb is a fairly safe bet as it will have been on milk for much of its life, should go onto grass, but even if grain fed, they don't usually have a long life on solids, poor, tasty things!

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              • #8
                Luckily it's all grass fed here in the uk, I buy mine from a local farm which is fab

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                • #9
                  What do sheep eat?

                  30 BANANAS A DAY!

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                  • #10
                    The guy at the meat counter at Whole Foods told me that lamb is always grass-fed. I'm not sure if he meant that lamb is always grass-fed everywhere or if it's just that the lamb at Whole Foods is always grass-fed.

                    My journal

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by diene View Post
                      The guy at the meat counter at Whole Foods told me that lamb is always grass-fed. I'm not sure if he meant that lamb is always grass-fed everywhere or if it's just that the lamb at Whole Foods is always grass-fed.
                      if it's u.s. lamb this is patently false. it's why american lamb now is much cheaper, milder and fattier than it was in the past.
                      As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                      Ernest Hemingway

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                      • #12
                        The good news is ruminants - cows and sheep - have such intricate digestive systems their fatty acid profiles don't really change based on feed. When you feed a pig or chicken lots of corn and soy, their fats change to the lipid profile of that of a vegetable oil (similar to humans). Ruminants aren't really affected. A grain-fed cow is almost the same as a grassfed cow in terms of fatty acid distribution - the PUFA doesn't change. Grain-fed ruminants, though, do tend to carry more fat, though.

                        The biggest benefit as I see it comes from no hormones. Going from CAFO to organic makes a lot of sense IMO, and the cost markup is small. Going from organic to grassfed, though, at supermarket prices is a massive jump. IMO, if you have a chest freezer and can afford a whole cow, grassfed is the way to go since you'll average $4-5/lb. Buying individual cuts is insane at $15+/lb though, so the organic/no added hormones for an extra $1-2/lb is the way to go IMO.
                        Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Terry H View Post
                          What do sheep eat?

                          30 BANANAS A DAY!
                          I was going to make the same joke for Paleo. Hah.

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                          • #14
                            My gawd Zach we thought alike on something....

                            Your avatar strongly suggests a lot of banana eating.
                            Last edited by Terry H; 08-16-2013, 03:05 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the replies. It seems to me, if I have to buy meat at a regular grocery store, lamb is probably a better choice than the beef. Maybe that's not saying much, but good to know.
                              Ruth

                              See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.

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