Pasture Perfect: The Far-Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products from Grass-Fed Animals

We eat grass-fed beef and pastured chicken and eggs almost exclusively. In my post Corn Injustice, I mentioned the horrible effects of feeding corn to cows, and the injustice of corn subsidies as part of my reason.  In her book Pasture Perfect: The Far Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products from Grass-Fed Animals, Jo Robinson shows that products from animals raised on pasture are better for our health. I don’t want my basis for choosing food to just be that it does not contain anything bad such as hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.  I want to go much farther than that, and choose food that is nutritionally superior. Let me site just a few of the benefits that are mentioned in this book:

  • Most grass-fed beef is so lean that it has about the same amount of fat as a skinless chicken breast. A 6 ounce beef loin from a grass-fed cow may have 92 fewer calories than a 6 ounce loin from a grain-fed cow.
  • Meat, dairy and eggs from grass-fed animals has more omega-3 fatty acids than products from grain-fed animals. That’s because omega-3 originates in green plants. People who are low in omega-3 fatty acids have a higher risk of cancer, depression, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, asthma, high blood pressure and dementia. Grain is high in omega-6. Omega-3 and omega-6 have opposite effects on our body. For example, foods high in omega-6 promote blood clotting, while foods high in omega-3 slow it down.  Both properties are essential, but if your diet contains too many clot-promoting omega-6s and too few clot-busting omega-3s, there is a  risk of clots developing in your arteries increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Grass-fed animals have 2 – 5 times more conjugated linoleic acid than grain-fed animals. Studies have shown that linoleic acid may fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Cattle raised on pasture has more vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene than grain-fed cattle.
  • Milk from grass-fed cows has higher concentrations of conjugated linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E.  Cows get a set amount of vitamins from food and the more milk she produces, the fewer vitamins she has for each glass of milk. So, milk from high-producing grain-fed, hormone injected cows is a weaker version of milk.
  • Chickens cannot survive on pasture alone and need grain, but the meat and eggs from pastured chickens have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and E, folic acid and carotenoids than grain-fed poultry.
  • Pastured eggs have less fat, fewer calories and less cholesterol. The meat, too, has less fat and calories.
Eating grass-fed products has so many benefits.  It supports local farmers and it’s good for the animals and the environment, but I think the best reason of all is that it is good for us.

 

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11 Responses to Pasture Perfect: The Far-Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products from Grass-Fed Animals

  1. deborah Hamby says:

    Thanks so much for this post, Susan! It’s always good to summarize all the good reasons that we do what we do! Looking forward to hearing all about your garden!

  2. Pingback: Cooking Pastured Poultry | learningandyearning

  3. Pingback: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture | learningandyearning

  4. Elise says:

    Excellent post! We bought a dozen eggs from our local store earlier this winter when our chickens quick laying for a few weeks. The taste difference alone is amazing! It really brought home just how different healthily raised animal products are!

    • I’ll bet the color of the store bought egg yokes paled in comparison as well! Although we are not able to raise our own chickens, we are blessed with several great sources. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Shay says:

    My husband and I are about to get a new batch of meat chickens. My husband is currently building a new chicken coop in the pasture. Thanks for the post. I signed up to follow my email!

    Shay

  6. So true! It’s not just that it is better for the animals and environment, but that it is better for us humans, too.

  7. Pingback: My Clean Food Journey | learningandyearning

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