Is Grass Fed Beef REALLY Better?
The Beef on GRASS FED BEEF
A popular trend grazing the supermarket aisles lately is the abundance of grass fed beef. It is specially labeled and packaged as such so consumers are not confused with the regular grain fed beef that has dominated the dinner plates of Americans’ for decades. Grass fed beef is just as simple as it sounds: the cows were fed grass. That may not necessarily sound impressive to the average consumer, its just grass right…well not exactly.
Grass fed beef is the most pure form of beef you can buy because the cows are raised to exclusively graze on pastures (weather permitting of course!) the way nature intended them to. In some parts of the country, specifically around wintertime, there might not be any grass for the cows to graze on or it might be too cold to go outside. In these instances, the cows are fed natural vegetarian diets of hay, kept inside to shelter from the harsh elements outside (aka being treated humanely) but NEVER fed corn, soy or any type of growth hormones.
Grass fed cows are free roaming alongside their herds to go about their business to enjoy life, socialize and eat; in other words they are left to their own devices and are happy. This translates into a better product for the consumer because animals that are stressed do not taste as good and moreover can actually cause detriment to BOTH animal AND human.
Cows, along with sheep, goats, buffalos, elk, deer and others are ruminant animals. The main distinction about these animals is that they have 4 compartments in their stomach as opposed to just one like humans. The rumen is the main part of the largest digestive center that houses billions of microorganisms that breakdown the grass and vegetation cows naturally consume. To give a little bit of a science lesson, cows guts’ are pH-neural and do best with breaking down cellulosic grasses. Although they CAN eat other things such as corn and soy it’s not optimal and subsequently leads to a myriad of heath issues.
Commercialized or grain fed cows are fed diets that are high in starch and low in calcium and magnesium which can lead to acidity and cause bovine heartburn. Nobody likes heartburn—but if that wasn’t bad enough, these cows are highly susceptible to E. coli and other parasitic bacteria. Farmer’s are conscientious about this so are proactive and administer antibiotics to virtually ALL animals. According to the FDA, a whooping 83% of all antibiotics are given to HEALTHY cows not to treat illness to hypothetically prevent an outbreak. Sounds delicious right?
That is why grass fed beef is wholeheartedly a superior product. Grass fed beef may seem trendy and only in higher end grocery stores, but do not be fooled, it is how nature intended beef to be.