Why Mary’s Little Lamb Should Be At Pasture: Grass Fed Meat

You’ve probably come across someone in your life who’s particularly persnickety about the food they eat. They want to make sure all of their food is organic, gluten-free, fat-free – essentially, it all has to be “just so”, and they often desire to share their passions with everyone they know, hoping to convince them to change their eating habits.

However, despite the over-exhuberance of some health food proponents, have you ever wondered if these people were on to something? Do phrases like “organic” and “gluten-free” really matter for the average consumer, or are they simply labels that allow corporations to sell their products to an entirely new demographic?

Let’s take a look at one of these increasingly-popular phrases, “grass-fed” and see not only what it means, but whether or not it has a dramatic impact on the quality of meat you’re eating.

Grass-Fed: A Definition of Superior Meat

The truth is, a lot of the meat you find at the store does differ from grass-fed meat for a very simple reason: many animals are fed cheaper diets in order to save money.  Good care of animals requires time and attention, land and nature.

It’s more expensive to use land to allow animals like cows and lamb to eat a natural grass-fed diet because more land has to be maintained in order to do so. But when the animal is meant to eat a grass-based diet, it means that they’re receiving the nutrition they were meant to received – and that nutrition is passed on to the consumer. According to the National Journal, meat from grass-fed animals comes out astonishingly better in the following areas:

  • Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Lower levels of dietary cholesterol
  • More vitamin A
  • More vitamin E
  • More antioxidants

In other words, meat from cows that have been grass-fed is more nutritious and lacks the harmful drawbacks of mass produced, unnatural meats. Not only does it have a better overall fat profile, but the vitamins and antioxidants present in the meat are in greater abundance when the animal was grass-fed.

Other Reasons to Find Grass-Fed Meat Products

Although there are some health benefits to eating grass-fed meat, many people believe that eating other types of meat is not necessarily hazardous to your health. For that reason, many people move to grass-fed meat for a more human reason: out of respect to the treatment of animals.

Pasture-fed beef, for example, means that cows are allowed to move around on grass and interact with each other in a natural way as opposed to being left in their own bins in a farm all day. This often makes for stronger cows, of course, but it also makes for better treatment of the animals themselves. Other animals, like chickens, turkeys, and lamb, can also be reared in more natural environments both for the health effects and for the superior treatment they receive. Many customers are willing to pay a little bit extra as long as they know that their money is not contributing to a poor standard for animal treatment.

The song “Mary had a little lamb” takes on a little more meaning when you consider how animals raised for meat should be treated. Perhaps Mary’s little lamb should not be at school, but out on the pasture.

Attached Images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://bigstockphoto.com

Meg Jones works with a great company that offers organic leg of lamb to their very happy clients.  Stop by and see what delectable meats are available for your family.