These days the purchase of meat products generally involves a quick check of the price, but how many people take the time to consider what happens to that meat before it arrives in your local supermarket. A couple of years ago cows would graze on grass and other fodder all day, constantly moving and eating food that its body was designed to process. In today’s error cows are no longer roaming large grassy meadows, they are now kept in small fenced off fields and fed growth hormones and antibiotics.
For cows, this means that they are fed a toxic blend of growth hormones and antibiotics for them to grow as fast as possible and in turn a higher profit for the farmer. The part that people do not consider, is that whatever the cow consumes, eventually passes into their digestive system and then filters through the tonsils into the lymphatic system. When this happens, it can cause all sorts of different ailments, because of the “growth hormone” factor. Ailments such as Lymphatic disorders, Glue ear in babies, IBS, Skin allergies, Tonsillitis, and any other type of bacterial related infection. When the body gets exposed to the Sun, the heat activates the growth hormone factor in the body.
Fortunately, there is now a movement towards grass-fed beef because more and more people are starting to investigate the Health benefits that this type of beef offers when compared to regular store purchased meat.
Beef from cows that are farmed on organic pastures is vastly different from the beef from cows that are raised in concentrated animal feeding operations.
Cows are designed to eat only one thing, grass. When cows are fed foods that are not what they are designed to eat, they become sick with an assortment of medical conditions. Most cows are fed a diet that consists of corn, soy, and other heavily pesticide-sprayed GMO feed. To prevent the premature death in cows, they are then given various antibiotics and pumped with hormones, which damages proper gut flora in the cows. This, in turn, is passed onto humans when they consume the meat.
Grass-fed cows, on the other hand, go to pasture and eat grass all day. This means they are getting all the natural nutrients from organic grass and getting the proper amount of exercise, which means that they are not as prone to get sick like cows that are farmed in concentrated feed operations. Therefore, the cows do not require as many antibiotics.
Grass-fed cows are grown in much more humane conditions and therefore the meat’s quality is far superior to that found in conventional feed farmed beef. It is for this reason that the meat from grass-fed cows is generally higher in nutrients.
The positive long-term effects of grass-fed beef farming on the environment should also be noted. Many researchers have started looking into the effects that farming cows in a natural environment offer. Some of the facts are very interesting and may leave you wondering why more farmers do not choose to go the natural route.
One of the most startling facts that I discovered, was that cows that go to pasture in a stress-free and natural environment offers farmers more return on their money than mainstream feed farming. The data showed an increase of between 22% – 35% in profits for farming cows the natural way.
When cows are able to eat their natural diet, which consists of grass and foraging, they are not only healthier for the person consuming them, but also healthier for the environment. By cows eating their natural diet, they naturally convert sun energy into nutrient-dense protein and fat. When they are properly raised, grass-fed cows can help to keep pastures fertilized and keep them from becoming arid grasslands. They also increase the biodiversity of the pastures ecosystem and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
When cows are feed raised, they also deposit large amounts of manure in a small amount of space. The manure then must then be collected and transported away, which can be quite a costly exercise. This results in feed farms dumping the manure near where the cows graze. As a result, the surrounding soil is often overloaded with nutrients, which can cause water and ground pollution. When animals are raised outdoors on pasture, their manure is spread over a wide area of land, making it a welcome source of organic fertilizer, not an overload of fertilizer that the ground cannot handle. All the above improve the quality of the run-off water that is produced from grazing.
The fact of the matter is that cows that eat grass from a well-managed pasture produce more nutrients per acre than that produced per acre by cows that are feed farmed.
Grass-fed beef is also rich in nutrients such as bioavailable vitamin A, which is critical for well-functioning immune system, general growth, reproduction, and good vision. It also contains vitamin B12 which is necessary for healthy nerves, blood cells, and DNA. Grass-fed beef also contains an easily absorbable form of iron for the human body. Grass-fed beef also contains zinc which is a vital mineral involved in the production of enough stomach acid, a strong immune system as well as good sexual function, Zinc is very good to avoid prostate cancer in Men.
Another interesting nutrient that can be found in cows is Conjugated Linoleic Acid which is a polyunsaturated fatty acid and a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent many chronic degenerative diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Research shows that grass-fed beef contains 2 to 3 times more CLA than grain-fed beef. Certain kinds of saturated fat, like palmitic and myristic acid, can raise blood cholesterol levels more than others, like stearic acid.
While grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fats, it actually contains between 2 and 6 times more omega 3 than grain-fed beef. The reason for this is that omega 3 is formed in the green leaves of plants. Omega 3 is a good type of fat and is vital for good heart health. People who have more of it in their diet are less likely to have conditions such as high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. They are also 50 percent less likely to have a heart attack. Omega 3 can also reduce your risk of cancer, EPA, and DHA are the crucial components of omega and stimulates the brain, nerve damage, and function.
It’s estimated that about 70% of antibiotics that are used around the world are used on animals rather than humans. In my opinion, the most startling fact about the antibiotics that are fed to cows is to prevent illness and not actually to treat an illness.
There is certainly a cause for concern when you think that excessive antibiotic use can lead to the so-called “super-strains” of bacteria. These super bacteria are often more harmful and resistant to treatment.
It is still unclear as to how antibiotics in beef can affect the human body. Many of the expert’s concerns revolve largely around the fact that bacteria perform many beneficial functions in the human body, and eating cows fed with antibiotics must likely have at least a minimal effect on their internal bacteria. However, the science on this is still far from settled.
Obviously, grass-fed cows do get treated with antibiotics from time to time, just like any other cow. The difference is that grass-fed cows are only given antibiotics to treat sickness. Not like feed raised cows that are given antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick.
Another factor to consider is the use of pesticides that are used on the grains that are fed to grain-fed cows. Some of these pesticides will unquestionably be trapped in the bodies of cows and therefore in the beef that we eat.
The science is fairly inconclusive on this issue with respect to the actual effects on humans, but I am convinced that there isn’t anyone that would argue that the pesticides that we find in our food are any good for you.
For those of us that are worried about our cholesterol levels, meat from grass-fed cows can have benefits here too. Surprisingly, grass-fed cows help lower LDL cholesterol levels with the bonus of lower calories. In fact, a 170 gram / 6-ounce steak from a 100% grass-fed animal has about 100 fewer calories than a grain-finished animal.
When you choose to eat meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals raised on a green pasture, you are improving the welfare of the animals, helping to put an end to environmental degradation, helping small-scale ranchers and farmers make a living from the land, helping to sustain rural communities, and giving your family the healthiest alternative. How can the food be healthy if it is breed or grown in an environment where it is abnormally forced to grow faster?
In closing, the benefits to grass-fed cows over conventional grain-fed cows is enormous and people all over the world are becoming a lot more health-conscious and realizing this for themselves.