The Difference Between Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Cows
Most cows start out living similar lives.
The calves are born in the spring, drink milk from their mothers and are then allowed to roam free and eat grass, shrubs or whatever edible plants they find in their environment.
This continues for about 6 to 12 months. After that, the “conventionally” raised cows are moved to feedlots.
Large feedlots are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), which tend to be really nasty places, one of the few things the vegans and us agree on.
There, the cows are rapidly fattened up with grain-based feeds, usually made with a base of soy or corn.
The conventionally raised cows are often given drugs and hormones to grow faster, as well as antibiotics to survive the unsanitary living conditions. The cows live there for a few months and are then moved into the factory for slaughtering.
Compare that to grass-fed cows, which may continue to live on grassland for the remainder of their lives.
Of course, this isn’t really that simple and the different feeding practices are complicated and varied. The term “grass-fed” isn’t even clearly defined.
But generally speaking, grass-fed cows eat (mostly) grass, while grain-fed cows eat (mostly) an unnatural diet based on corn and soy during the latter part of their lives.
Simply African offer 100% naturally raised Grass fed Beef. Its just a lifestyle choice that we choose.
Differences in Fatty Acid Composition
“You are what you eat” applies to cows too…
What a cow eats can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef. This is particularly evident when it comes to the fatty acid composition.
Grass-fed usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories.
But the composition of the fatty acids is vastly different, which is where grass-fed really shines:
- Saturated and monounsaturated: Grass-fed beef has either similar, or slightly less, saturated and monounsaturated fats.
- Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats: Grass-fed and grain-fed beef contain very similar amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Omega-3s: This is where grass-fed really makes a major difference, containing up to 5 times as much Omega-3.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed beef. This fatty acid is associated with reduced body fat and some other beneficial effects.
Red Meat is Highly Nutritious, Grass-Fed Even More so
Humans have been eating meat throughout evolution and our bodies are well equipped to digest and absorb the nutrients from meat.
Traditional hunter-gatherer populations like the Masai and Inuit got most of their calories from meat and remained in excellent health.
This is possible because red meat, even conventional grain-fed meat, is incredibly nutritious.
Regular grain-fed beef is loaded with Vitamin B12, B3 and B6. It is also very rich in highly bioavailable Iron, Selenium and Zinc. Meat contains some amount of almost every nutrient that humans need to survive.
Meat also contains high quality protein and various lesser known nutrients like Creatine and Carnosine, which are very important for our muscles and brains.
However, grass-fed beef is even more nutritious than that:
- Vitamin A: Grass-fed beef contains carotenoid precursors to Vitamin A, such as beta-carotene.
- Vitamin E: This is an antioxidant that sits in your cell membranes and protects them from oxidation. Grass-fed beef contains more.
- Micronutrients: Grass-fed beef also contains more Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Sodium.
EAT HEALTHY AND CHOOSE OUR BILTONG IN A BALANCED DIET.......