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The Health Benefits of Grass Farming

The Health Benefits of Grass Farming

Author: Jo Johnson
“Why Grassfed is Best!”

Consumers have been led to believe that meat is meat is meat. In other words, no matter what an animal is fed, the nutritional value of its products remains the same. This is not true. An animal’s diet can have a profound influence on the nutrient content of its products.

The difference between grainfed and grassfed animal products is dramatic.

First of all, grassfed products tend to be much lower in total fat than grainfed products. For example, a sirloin steak from a grassfed steer has about one half to one third the amount of fat as a similar cut from a grainfed steer.

In fact, grassfed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk.1 When meat is this lean, it actually lowers your LDL cholesterol levels.2
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Because grassfed meat is so lean, it is also lower in calories.

Fat has 9 calories per gram, compared with only 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates. The greater the fat content, the greater the number of calories.

A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished steer has almost 100 fewer calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grainfed steer.

If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to grassfed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year—without requiring any willpower or change in eating habits. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you’ll lose about six pounds a year. If all Americans switched to grassfed meat, our national epidemic of obesity would begin to diminish.

Extra Omega-3s

Although grassfed meat is low in “bad” fat (including saturated fat), it gives you from two to six times more of a type of “good” fat called “omega-3 fatty acids.”

Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. For example, of all the fats, they are the most “heart friendly.” People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to have a serious heart attack.3

Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to be afflicted with depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease.4

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer.

In animal studies, these essential fatty acids have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and kept them from spreading.5 Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer.6 They can also hasten recovery from cancer surgery.7

Furthermore, animal studies suggest that people with cancer who have high levels of omega-3s in their tissues may respond better to chemotherapy than people with low levels.8 Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in grassfed animal products.

The reason that grassfed animals have more omega-3s than grainfed animals is that omega-3s are formed in the green leaves (specifically the chloroplasts) of plants. Sixty percent of the fat content of grass is a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic or LNA.

When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they lose their valuable store of LNA as well as two other types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.9

The graph below illustrates this rapid decline.

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When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s.10

Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 20 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens.

Switching our livestock from their natural diet of grass to large amounts of grain is one of the reasons our modern diet is deficient in these essential fats. It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume a sufficient supply of these nutrients. Twenty percent have levels so low that they cannot be detected.11 Switching to grassfed animal products is one way to restore this vital nutrient to your diet.

The CLA Bonus The meat and milk from grassfed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.12

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.

In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA — a mere 0.1 percent of total calories —greatly reduced tumor growth.13 Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grassfed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grainfed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection.

There is new evidence suggesting that CLA does reduce cancer risk in humans.

In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA.

Switching from grainfed to grassfed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category.14 Vitamin E In addition to being higher in omega-3s and CLA, meat from grassfed animals is higher in vitamin E.

The graph below shows vitamin E levels in meat from: 1) feedlot cattle, 2) feedlot cattle given high doses of synthetic vitamin E (1,000 IU per day), and 3) cattle raised on fresh pasture with no added supplements. The meat from the pastured cattle is four times higher in vitamin E than the meat from the feedlot cattle and, interestingly, almost twice as high as the meat from the feedlot cattle given vitamin E supplements.15

In humans, vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This potent antioxidant may also have anti-aging properties. Most Americans are deficient in vitamin E.

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wb01512_  The NY Times best selling author, Jo Robinson, has an informative book “Why Grassfed is Best!” on the benefits of grassfed beef. She has done a great service educating America about this healthy beef and her book is a “must have” in your library of health books. Please visit her web site at www.eatwild.com to purchase the book and learn more about this healthy beef.

References

1. Fukumoto, G. K., Y.S. Kim, D. Oduda, H. Ako (1995). “Chemical composition and shear force requirement of loin eye muscle of young, forage-fed steers.” Research Extension Series 161: 1-5. Koizumi, I., Y. Suzuki, et al. (1991). “Studies on the fatty acid composition of intramuscular lipids of cattle, pigs and birds.” J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 37(6): 545-54.

2. Davidson, M. H., D. Hunninghake, et al. (1999). “Comparison of the effects of lean red meat vs lean white meat on serum lipid levels among free-living persons with hypercholesterolemia: a long-term, randomized clinical trial.” Arch Intern Med 159(12): 1331-8. The conclusion of this study: “… diets containing primarily lean red meat or lean white meat produced similar reductions in LDL cholesterol and elevations in HDL cholesterol, which were maintained throughout the 36 weeks of treatment.”

3. Siscovick, D. S., T. E. Raghunathan, et al. (1995). “Dietary Intake and Cell Membrane Levels of Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Risk of Primary Cardiac Arrest.” JAMA 274(17): 1363-1367.

4. Simopolous, A. P. and Jo Robinson (1999). The Omega Diet. New York, HarperCollins. My previous book, a collaboration with Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos, devotes an entire chapter to the vital role that omega-3s play in brain function.

5. Rose, D. P., J. M. Connolly, et al. (1995). “Influence of Diets Containing Eicosapentaenoic or Docasahexaenoic Acid on Growth and Metastasis of Breast Cancer Cells in Nude Mice.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 87(8): 587-92.

6. Tisdale, M. J. (1999). “Wasting in cancer.” J Nutr 129(1S Suppl): 243S-246S.

 

USDA Grassfed Labeling

On January 12, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service rescinded the standards for the grassfed marketing claim. These were the minimal standards behind the grassfed label found on meat sold wholesale or retail. The reasons for the rescission are somewhat unclear, but according to AMS representatives, they have reinterpreted their authority and decided that developing and maintaining marketing standards does not fit within their agency

 

The unfortunate thing for producers who have worked hard to build quality grassfed programs is that, with no common standards in place, they will be competing in the marketplace with the industrial meatpackers who can co-opt the grassfed label.

 

For Consumers

 

Once again, consumers lose out on transparency and an understanding of what they're buying. Grassfed has always been a source of some confusion, but now, with no common standards underpinning it, consumers will find it increasingly difficult to trust the grassfed label. Like other mostly meaningless label terms like natural, cage-free, and free-range, grassfed will become just another feel-good marketing ploy used by the major meatpackers to dupe consumers into buying mass-produced, grain-fed, feedlot meat.

 

For those who want to buy real grassfed with a label they can trust:

  • Buy from a farmer you know, and ask plenty of questions. Do you supplement with grain or grain by-products such as brewers and distillers grain or by-products from ethanol production? Where do you get your animals? Do you use antibiotics or hormones? Do you feed your animals in confinement?
  • If you don't have the luxury of knowing your producer personally, then look for the American Grassfed Approved logo. It's the first and only standard developed by producers, range scientists, veterinarians, animal nutritionists, and other experts that guarantees the meat comes from animals fed a 100-percent forage diet, never confined to a feedlot, never fed antibiotics or hormones, and born and raised on American family farms. No other certification offers those assurances, and no other grassfed program uses true third-party audits to ensure compliance.
  • Avoid buying inexpensive grocery store grassfed. Chances are good that it's imported-- although now that Congress has eliminated County of Origin Labeling, there's no way to be certain-and the animals were probably confined and supplemented with some form of grain.
  • Avoid buying meat with a grassfed percentage on the label. It's either grassfed or it's not. Studies have shown that even a small amount of grain in the animal's diet affects the nutritional profile of the meat. 

American Grassfed Association is the industry pioneer and leader, being the first organization to institute standards that most closely match what consumers want when they buy grassfed. The organization is led by American family farmers who have been in the business for decades, and who understand the unique challenges of producing products from healthy animals that are good for people, good for the planet, and good for rural communities.

 

Recent newsletter release by AGA. If you have questions, please email to aga@americangrassfed.org

 
Health Benefits of Grass Fed Beef

Health Benefits of Grass Fed Beef

  • Recent studies have uncovered the large difference in carotenoid content between grass-fed and conventionally fed beef. Grass-fed beef may contain more than twice the amount of beta-carotene and lutein present in conventionally fed beef.
  • The cholesterol content of grass-fed beef has repeatedly been shown to be lower than the cholesterol content in beef from conventionally fed animals.
  • You’ll find yourself getting 500-800 milligrams of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) from a 4-ounce serving of grass-fed beef. This amount is approximately two to three times greater than the amount found in non grass-fed beef. CLA is unique in its chemical structure, and this uniqueness is associated with an increasing list of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, reduced risk of heart attack, and maintenance of lean body mass.
  • Grass-fed beef also contains greater amounts of vaccenic acid than conventionally fed beef. Various bacteria in our digestive tract are able to convert vaccenic acid into CLA once we’ve consumed grass-fed beef, and this process can further increase the practical amount of CLA that we receive from grass-fed animals.
  • The omega-3 fat content of grass-fed beef varies, but is higher in grass fed cows. Some recent studies show up to 3.5 grams of total omega-3 fats in 4 ounces of grass-fed beef.

http://northamericanpharmacal.com/living/2015/04/health-benefits-of-grass-fed-beef/

 
New Spring Pricing on Arizona Raised Lamb

Spring Pricing (limited time)

Arizona Grass Fed Lambs are raised by the "old ranching methods," feeding them food that is as close as possible to their native diets. No corn, feed grains, animal or industrial feed by-products are used to finish the lambs. We do not implant the animals with hormones or feed them growth-promoting additives. Animals raised on pasture live very low-stress lives. As a result of their superb nutrition and lack of stress, they are superbly healthy. When eating Grass Fed Lamb you are eating food that is nutritious, wholesome, and delicious.


We have chosen Arizona breeds of lamb that yields a mild and tender flavor. These breeds of sheep are much different than a New Zealand or Australian breed of sheep. New Zealand and Australian sheep are typically found in the average grocery store. These lambs often taste very strong and gamy because they are bred for their wool not their meat.


We acquire the Arizona Grass Fed Lambs from ranchers that respect our belief in raising lambs in the most humane and natural methods. The average age of our grass fed lambs are 9 to 12 months old at the time of processing. Our Arizona product is available year round in limited quantities. We sell whole, half, quarter, or individual cuts of lamb at Farmers Markets,. See our website for more details. Prices per lb are on package weights. CURRENT PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Whole Lamb     40-50 lbs. $10.25 / lb.
Half Lamb         20-25 lbs. $10.50/ lb.
Quarter Lamb  10-12 lbs. $11.00 / lb.
Loin Chops 1"  4 chops in each package $21.50 / lb.
Shoulder Roasts or Chops $12.50 / lb.
Rib Roast (Rack of Lamb) $21.50 / lb.
Sirloin Chops and Kebobs $14.50 / lb.
Leg of Lamb Bone In (whole or split) $14.50 / lb.
Leg of Lamb Boneless (whole or split)        $18.50 / lb.
Stew Meat $11.95 / lb.
Ground Meat $11.95 / lb.
Ribs $8.00 / lb.
Shanks $9.95 / lb.
Organ Meats (heart, liver, kidney, tongue) $4.00 / lb.

 

 
Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Serving Grass Fed Beef
1. Beef the way nature intended

Unlike feedlots that bulk their animals up with grains that are unnatural to the bovine diet and laden with growth hormones, grass feeding ranches allow cows to consume the chemical free, grass diet nature intended for them.

2.  More Nutritious Bang for Your Buck

Grass fed beef has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. It also has more Vitamin E, beta-carotene, Vitamin C and health promoting fats, including Omega 3 Fatty Acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Ounce per ounce, that means more nutrition for your family dollar.

3.  We Raise Happy, Healthy Cows

Our animals are raised in an open, stress-free environment. They eat when they like, drink when they’re thirsty and find a bit of shade if they get too warm. They also receive daily care from our family to ensure that they stay healthy and happy. When they are finally harvested, it is done using the most humane, stress-reducing techniques available.

4.  Grass Fed is Environmentally Friendly

Manure is not a waste management issue for us. It stays where it is until it becomes fertilizer to grow more grass. No hauling, no storage, no treatment ponds. It’s that easy.

5.  JH Grass Fed Beef Values Our Happy Customers

More convenient and cost effective than the local butcher, we ship our beef directly to you which means that we are able to keep our overhead low and prices lower. If there is something special that you would like, or if you have an idea of how we might serve you better, give us a call. That is the advantage of buying local from JH Grass Fed Beef.