Why is grassfed better?
Happy cows, happy… Us?
“Grass-fed is better!” We have been hearing this for quite a while now. But do you know what the term grass-fed really means? Do you know why eating grass-fed beef is better for your health and for the environment?
Let us take you through everything you need to know about grass-fed when it comes to meat, dairy and even collagen.
What does grass-fed really mean?
Grass-fed beef is a broad term that is a bit of a misnomer. Did you know that a product that is simply labeled “grass-fed” could mean that the cows were fed grass at some point in their diet? It does not guarantee that the cattle were pasture raised or fed mostly grass.
Most cows, even if pasture raised are “grain-finished”, which means they are fed grains that are often GMO for the last 60 to 90 days of their lives in order to fatten them up before slaughter.
A product that is labeled “Grass-fed, grass finished, and pasture raised” or “100% grass-fed” does guarantee that the cows were fed grass for all of their diet and raised on pastures.
What about certified organic?
Certified organic meat guarantees a few things. Here are some of the guidelines.
No use of medications or anti-biotics is permitted.
No use of supplemental hormones.
At least 60% of their daily feed must consist of hay, fresh/dried coarse plant material or silage.
All feed and pastures used for grazing must be certified organic.
Mature cattle must receive 30% or more of the forage in their diets from grazing on pasture.
Animals are treated humanely according the Animal Welfare Approved guidelines.
USDA certified organic beef labels works a little differently. To have a “USDA organic” label on beef guarantees that the cows have been fed organic feed and were humanely treated (which is already great news!) However, it does not ensure that they were pastured raised or grass-fed for most of their lives.
In most farming practices, the young cows will graze on fresh grass for the first little bit of their lives, until they reach a certain age. After which they are sold to a third-party feedlot system where they are fed grains. If the product is certified organic, this ensures they are fed organic grains. Do keep in mind, some farmers will certify organic their lands and raise grass-fed cows, but this is not guaranteed when you see the USDA organic seal.
Now, you might be asking yourself “That’s great! But how does grass-fed meat even benefit my health?”
Here is why:
Grass-fed beef has a much lower fat content than grain-fed beef and therefor is lower in calorie content. However, grass-fed meat contains anywhere from 200% to 500% higher omega 3 content than grain-fed! Yes, you did read that right!
Not only that but meat from grass-fed cows is also higher in the pre-cursor to vitamin A Beta-carotene, B vitamins riboflavin and thiamine, the most powerful anti-oxidants in the body: glutathione and super-oxide dismutase, contains an average of 250% more conjugated linoleic acid (also known as CLA) than meat from grain-fed cows, and the list GOES ON!
These nutrients bring a multitude of health benefits from cognitive health to cardio-vascular health to anti-oxidative benefits. Eating grass-fed meat promotes body fat loss while contributing to the gain of lean muscle mass and again, the list goes on.
Nature can not be cheated. Not only is the nutrient content higher and better but the cows are happier, live longer, and the meat simply tastes better!
Grass-fed cows actually benefit our eco-system in a number of ways. First things first, off-gassing is a large contributor to our planet’s increasing CO2 levels. Did you know? “Livestock are responsible for about 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions” States CBC news from a study conducted in 2018. Cows that are happily grazing on fresh grass produce much less gas than grain-fed cows that are confined to small spaces.
Furthermore, farmers rotate pasture use for the cows which increases bio-diversity and soil fertility!
Plus, getting grass-fed, pasture raised, grass finished meat supports ethically raised animals and better farming practices.
Confused about the labels? Don’t fret. Here at Amaranth, we only want the best quality products for your health and have done the research for you. Here are some of the best brands that we recommend:
Sunworks farms- The animals are 100% grass-fed (Meaning pasture raised and grass finished) certified organic and certified humane by the SPCA. The organic label includes humane guidelines, however the SPCA often goes above and beyond those guidelines.)
Top Grass- The animals are 100% grass fed from Alberta Ranches. Did you know? Alberta accounts for 41% of the national beef production yearly. Our land and climate with chinooks is optimal for livestock to have yearly access to the outdoors, making Alberta beef one of the top quality, best tasting beef out there. Alberta beef is sold to: Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Europe, United Sates and South East Asia.
TK Ranch- TK Ranch goes through third party testing for their grass-fed claims which makes their labels reliable and their products top quality.
Kiwi butter- Our kiwi butter comes straight from New Zealand where the cows are happy and 100% grass-fed. That’s what gives it its nice golden colour, as opposed to white which you might see in conventional butter.
Thornloe and Savor Grass Fed- Pastured raised cows in Ontario, grass-fed at about 70%, more pale in colour. Just as delicious.
New Earth Organics Collagen powder- This collagen comes from 100% grass-fed cows, which means grass-fed, grass-finished and pasture raised! New Earth Organics is a local company and their collagen has been flying off our shelves!
Eating grass-fed supports ethical farming practices and humanely raised animals.
Raising grass-fed cows is good for the environment and our eco-system. Less off-gassing is produced from grass-fed cows and pasture rotation increases bio-diversity and soil fertility.
Beef from grass-fed cows has 200 to 500% more omega 3 than grain-fed cows, is much higher in many vitamins and minerals as well as in two of the most powerful anti-oxidants in the body: Glutathione and super oxide dismutase.
Come in to one of our location and ask our friendly staff what their favourite brands and products are! We will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
See you soon!