Understanding Meat Quality: Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed
When it comes to eating meat, quality matters! You are what you eat, eats! So how can you make the best choices for you and your family?
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed
Many people who are opposed to meat consumption base their claims on observational studies. These studies disregard whether or not the meat consumed was pasture-raised and disregards other foods consumed, typically with highly inflammatory seed oils and processed grains.
For example, a JAMA Internal medicine study claims an increase in red meat consumption increases a person’s risk of having type 2 diabetes. In this study, people were sent questionnaires about what they ate, and conclusions were drawn from this, not considering meat quality or other foods consumed.
Many health issues pertaining to meat consumption are due to how cattle are treated and what they eat.
Meat Quality: What is the difference?
Humans have been consuming meat, based on seasonal availability. Native Americans, for example, primarily consumed buffalo during the winter months because it was too cold to grow and cultivate crops. They had no choice but to eat meat during the freezing winter months. If they didn’t eat meat, they starved. This was true of most cold-weather societies around the world.
These meat-eaters did not experience the health issues we experience today.
Even though cows are herbivores, most farm-raised cattle of today are grain-fed. This affects our health in several ways:
Grass-fed vs. grain-fed cattle.
Cattle are fed corn and soy, high in genetically modified chemicals and fertilizers, like glyphosate found in Roundup. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer recently concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Glyphosate contributes to a leaky gut or intestinal permeability.
This increased permeability contributes to poor immune health, autoimmunity, and a host of other conditions. Glyphosate has been linked to autism, cancer, and many autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, gluten intolerance, and Crohn’s disease.
Glyphosate is not included in the U.S. government’s testing of food for pesticide, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers glyphosate safe. However, the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released a statement in 2015 saying glyphosate “probably raises the risk of cancer in people exposed.”
Poor meat quality:
Cows fed grains that have been sprayed with glyphosate and other chemicals are often given antibiotics to strengthen their immune systems. As a result, the milk has high levels of antibiotics and chemicals from the grains they’ve consumed, which are often passed on to humans.
Grains can accumulate in an animal’s intestines because they lack the enzymes to digest it. As a result, they may develop Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria linked to sudden death in cattle. Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed: Grain-fed cattle are on low-fat diets, leading to ulcers, acid buildup, and abscesses in the liver.
The Health Benefits of Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Meat
While many assume there are no differences between grass-fed vs. grain-fed cattle, many studies say otherwise:
Findings suggest cows fed a grass-based diet “elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries.”9
High nutritional value. Meat is an excellent source of the following nutrients: iron, protein, and B12. Other benefits of consuming meat include the following:
Stabilize blood sugar. Protein helps to keep blood sugar levels stable, thus decreasing the risk of energy “crashes.”
Aids in muscle repair. Meat contains high levels of zinc, which aids in muscle repair.
Higher amounts of omega-3’s. When comparing grain-fed and grass-fed vs. grain-fed, grass-fed varieties may have 4 times more omega-3 linoleic acid and 66% less omega-6 linoleic acid.
Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed: Higher omega-3’s are important for several reasons:
Most Americans consume too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. In addition to grain-fed beef, corn oil and vegetable oils are also high in omega-6. Omega-3 and omega-6 are two essential fatty acids needed to maintain good health. But, too much omega-6 has been linked to higher inflammation.
Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids helps cardiovascular health, reduces heart disease risk and some cancers. Even though man has been eating meat safely for centuries, people have been urged to stop eating it altogether to maintain good health.
Stick with Grass-Fed FTW!
Studies indicate eating grain-fed cattle can be hazardous to a person’s health, not grass-fed. Grass-fed beef has a completely different nutritional profile. However, by avoiding grain-fed beef and eating grass-fed varieties; instead, a person can decrease their likelihood of becoming ill and maintain good health.
Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed: The reason I fell in love with these Paleo Valley beef sticks (and their Turkey sticks, too!) is for a few reasons. They’re made of 100% grass-fed & grass-finished beef (aka no grains EVER!). The cows are raised responsibly using rotational grazing practices and are never given antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.
Remember, you are what you eat eats.
- No artificial nitrites & nitrates
The absolute BEST part? Paleovalley beef sticks are naturally fermented using old-world methods.
This makes them shelf-stable without the use of chemicals, and it causes each stick to be loaded with gut-healthy probiotics! On top of enjoying a super healthy (and easy) high-protein snack, you also reap all the benefits of grass-fed beef in every stick:
- Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- Optimal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio
- Rich source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
- More life-sustaining minerals
- Increased vitamins
- A higher concentration of the master antioxidant, Glutathione
Meat Quality: Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed: I know you’re wondering about the taste, so let me say this: These grass-fed beef sticks were named one of the top snacks of the year by Paleo Magazine! So yes, they’re GOOD.
The best thing?
The team at Paleovalley is allowing me to give you V.I.P Access to their Black Friday Sale.
So you can get 20% off Every. Single. Paleovalley Product. This is not a discount they ever offer, and getting early access is essential because their products are known to sell out, especially on black Friday.
An Pan, Ph.D.; Qi Sun, MD, ScD; Adam M. Bernstein, MD, ScD; (et al). Changes in Red Meat Consumption and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Published online. 2013;173(14):1328–1335. [doi:10.1001/JAMA internmed.2013.6633] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1697785
Jose V. Tarazona, Daniele Court-Marques, Manuela Tiramani, Glyphosate Toxicity, And Carcinogenicity: A Review Of The Scientific Basis Of The European Union Assessment And Its Differences With IARC.
Published online 2017 Apr 3. [doi: 10.1007/s00204-017-1962-5] Arch Toxicol. 2017; 91(8): 2723–2743. PMCID: PMC5515989 PMID: 28374158
Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff Glyphosate, Pathways To Modern Diseases II: Celiac Sprue And Gluten Intolerance. Interdiscip Toxicol. Published online [2013 Dec; 6(4): 159–184. doi: 10.2478/intox-2013-0026] PMCID: PMC3945755 PMID: 24678255
National Geographic. What Do We Really Know About Roundup? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150422-glyphosate-roundup-herbicide-weeds/
M. J. Van Baale, J. M. Sargeant, D. P. Gnad, (et al.) Effect of Forage or Grain Diets with or without Monensin on Ruminal Persistence and Fecal Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Cattle. Appl Environ Microbiol. Published 2004 Sep; 70(9): 5336–5342. [doi: 10.1128/AEM.70.9.5336-5342.2004] PMCID: PMC520928 PMID: 15345418. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC520928/#!po=0.632911-
American Association For The Advancement Of Science. “Diet And Disease In Cattle: High-Grain Feed May Promote Illness And Harmful Bacteria.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010511074623.htm
Cynthia A Daley, Amber Abbott, Patrick S Doyle, (et al.) A Review Of Fatty Acid Profiles And Antioxidant Content In Grass-Fed And Grain-Fed Beef. Nutr J. 2010; 9: 10. Published online 2010 Mar 10. [doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10] PMCID: PMC2846864 PMID: 20219103 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846864/
Azin Mohebi-Nejad and Behnood Bikdelicorresponding Omega-3 Supplements and Cardiovascular Diseases. Tanaffos. Published online. 2014; 13(1): 6–14. PMCID: PMC4153275 PMID: 25191488 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153275/