Grass Fed Beef – This type of beef is from cows that have been fed their normal diet consisting of grass. The only exception would be in winter where hay, root vegetables and silage are ok. Cows are termed ruminant animals, and have a really cool chamber in their stomach called a Rumen. Think of it as a big fermentation vat. This chamber is one of four chambers in the stomach that turns grass into high quality protein, and ensures a great Omega 3 to 6 ratio. This is all dependent on the PH of the rumen.
I cannot recommend “normal” store bought grain fed beef as these cows have been fed grain, and grain feeding depletes all of the things in the fat that make it healthy and magical – namely a perfect balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats, and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). The unhealthy Omega 3 to 6 ratio that is heavily skewed toward Omega 6 is very inflammatory to your body, and is thought to increase chances of heart disease and overall bodily inflammation. The PH of the rumen is heavily affected by grain, greatly increasing acidity, thus completely throwing off Omega 3, CLA, and other levels.
In case you are wondering what exactly happens to the cow fed their unnatural diet, www.eatwild.com states “when fed an unnatural diet of grain, acidosis can result and lead to a condition called “rumenitis,” which is an inflammation of the wall of the rumen. Rumenitis then leads to liver abscesses as the rumen wall becomes ulcerated, bacteria are able to pass through the walls and enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, the bacteria are transported to the liver where they cause abscesses. From 15 to 30 percent of feedlot cattle have liver abscesses, hence the need for antibiotics and such.” Not pretty.
Going back to Omega-3s, they are most abundant in seafood, but they are also found in animals raised on pasture, usually there is anywhere from two-six times more Omega 3’s in grass-fed meats. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. It’s interesting to me that sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are actually omega-3s. Some of the more hardcore farmers I’ve spent time and talked to believe in basically eating nothing but grass fed beef and vegetables due to the fact that you can source all your nutrients from the chloroplast in the leaf. For ultimate longevity, maybe they’re right?
I’ve been asked about cows that have been “finished” on grain. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat as one would suspect. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3 is diminished. There are some great graphical representations and more detailed info on this process on the very informative website www.eatwild.com that I referenced above.
This food is the No. 1 component of the diet, and doesn’t come out at all, even pre-contest.
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