Is grass fed beef really better?
The debate on whether one should eat grain fed or grass fed beef is apparently over. I’m told that we all should know that grass fed is superior but why exactly is that the case? Well, that is exactly what we’ll cover in this podcast with Gary Jackson, owner of Jackson’s Real Food Market.
The reason why the debate is no longer as relevant is that it essentially ends at what you can afford because honestly who can argue with that? For general health and well-being the commonly accepted dietary recommendation is one very low in, ideally free from, processed carbohydrates and sugars with moderate portions of meat and significant quantities of a variety of fresh vegetables, I believe the choice of fat: protein: carbohydrate ratio is a personal one based on goals you’d like to achieve. If you want to move beyond “general health and well-being” towards optimal health, that’s where adjusting this ratio as well as buying better quality food may motivate you to spend slightly more on your monthly grocery budget.
When it comes to beef the choice is so much more than hormonal content and grass-fed wins hands down when it comes to its fatty acid profile (it is higher in anti-inflammatory omega 3s as well as conjugated linoleic acid orCLA), the avoidance of antibiotic use to promote growth which increases the risk of foodborne illness due to an altered gut microbiome in the animal and its higher vitamin and mineral content over conventional beef.
Jackson’s alongside two other partners, Langside Meats and Bull & Bush Merchants, have formed a Beef triad, that promises to be fully transparent in terms of pricing, rearing and production information. Gary explains how at Langside Meats in the Eastern Cape, each animal is traceable to their place of birth and are not registered to any breeder society. We also talk about how they treat their cattle with respect, upholding humane and ethical standards, making every effort to keep them stress-free at all times.
Knowing what actually constitutes an animal being ‘grass fed’ is quite tricky or a “minefield” as Gary calls it so we discuss why that is and which questions you should ask your retailer or butcher to ensure that you are indeed eating grass-fed meat.
We touch on the environmental and ethical factors that many vegans and vegetarians rightly champion and how knowing where your meat comes from and how it is treated is of vital importance to the environment and humanity at large. I hope you become a more conscious eater after listening to this one!