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There really is a difference Between Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed beef, both for animal welfare and our health!
Most cows start out drinking milk from their mothers and are then allowed to roam free for 6 -12 months to eat grass, shrubs or whatever edible plants they find.
Many are then moved in to big sheds to fattened up with grain-based feeds, usually made with a base of soy or corn with added drugs, hormones and antibiotics to grow faster.
Compare that to grass-fed cows, which may continue to live on grassland for the remainder of their lives. In the UK many cows may graze on grass in the winter but brought in to sheds for the winter. As long as the winter feed is silage or hay they are true grass fed.
What cattle eat can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef. This is particularly with calories and fatty acid composition.
Grass-fed usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that grass-fed beef contains fewer calories.
The composition of the fatty acids, however is vastly different. Grass fed contains up to 5 times as much Omega-3 and twice the Conjugated Linoleic Acid associated with reduced body fat and other beneficial effects.
Grass-fed beef also contains;
– carotenoid precursors to Vitamin A, such as beta-carotene.
– Vitamin E, an antioxidant that sits in your cell membranes and protects them from oxidation.
– Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Sodium.
It is no wonder that body builders take great care to make sure all the beef they eat is true grass fed. Luckily in the UK we do not have many vast feedlots like America, but watch out, the EEC seems to be far more interested in cheap food than animal welfare.
We still have real farmers in this country and many on Bigbarn.co.uk selling their produce, including grass fed beef, direct. And by cutting out the middle men can offer real quality at a great price. Why not find your local farmer and ask him about what he produces. He may even change what he does to sell direct and get some regular, local, customers instead of put up with the aggressive, price squeezing, buyers from the supermarkets.
The real message to come from this is: Buy direct and make sure you eat real food that has eaten real food.