Grain-Fed vs. Grass-Fed and Finished Beef – Why Does It Matter

This is an article posted by the Dr. Perlmutter Team at www.drperlmutter.com 

Americans eat a lot of meat. In 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture projected that the average person would consume over two hundred pounds of chicken, pork, and beef by year’s end. That’s more than half a pound daily per capita, every day of the year! While it is possible to consume an omnivorous diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle, we recommend viewing meat as a garnish or side dish rather than the focus of your meal. The perfect plate is full of colorful, above-ground leafy vegetables and healthy fats, and if you choose to eat meat, then a three-to-four ounce serving of meat. However, it’s very important to remember that not all meat is created equally.

One of the most important factors in determining the overall quality of meat—especially red meat—is the dietary patterns of the livestock that produced it. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense: the food an animal consumes is used by their body to grow and develop, and, ultimately, becomes the very food that we consume. Feeding cattle a nutrient-poor diet will, in turn, produce a nutrient-poor food source, compared to cattle fed a natural, nutritious diet.

As it turns out, the age-old adage “You are what you eat” applies to cattle, too!

Grass-Fed and Finished vs. Grain-Fed Cattle
A significant portion of meat consumed in Western countries comes from animals raised on unnatural, grain-based diets in massive industrial feedlots, with the aid of antibiotics and growth hormones. This approach to animal husbandry produces meat that is significantly higher in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Because inflammation underpins the pathogenesis of so many of the diseases we face, sourcing high quality protein is critical in the context of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Generally speaking, bovine dietary patterns can generally be split into two groups: grass-fed and grain-fed. It’s important to note that grass-fed does NOT necessarily mean that the cow is grass-finished. You should be wary of beef that can make the “grass-fed” claim, but not “grass-finished”. We explain the nuances of these definitions in this blog post.

In the United States, all calves generally begin their lives the same way, regardless of whether or not they will ultimately end up producing grain- or grass-finished meat. For the first seven months of their lives, they subsist on a combination of their mother’s milk and the grass and plants available to them in their immediate environment. Between seven and nine months old, however, industrially-raised cattle are moved to enormous feedlots, where they are kept in confined stalls and hastily fattened with soy- or corn-based feed. In dire straits, some farmers have even resorted to supplementing what grain they can afford with stale candy to lower their feed costs. Grain-fed cows are also usually pumped full of medications, including antibiotics and growth hormones, to maximize the profitability of their eventual slaughter.

On the other hand, grass-fed and finished cows spend their lives foraging for the grass, plants, and edible flowers that surround them in open-range pastures, as they did for centuries before the advent of industrial farming. Because these cows are eating and roaming as nature intended, they do not require growth hormones and antibiotics to thrive and survive like their grain-fed counterparts. Furthermore, these cows live far more humane and environmentally-friendly lives than their industrially-raised brethren. While many industrial farmers will challenge the notion that grass-fed cows have a lower environmental impact than their grain-fed counterparts, the reality is that raising grass-fed cows requires fewer antibiotics and harmful agricultural chemicals, and does not create the massive concentrations of waste that a feedlot produces. The fact that these cows live more humane and environmentally-friendly lives does not necessarily impact the nutritional value of their meat, but we believe that these factors should absolutely be considered in a decision about which type of beef to consume.

What Difference Does It Make?

Why does grass-fed and finished really matter?

In short, the meat sourced from grass-fed cows is far more nutritious, beneficial, and environmentally friendly than the meat sourced by grain-fed cattle, which has skewed nutrient profiles and is full of harmful chemical by-products from the industrial cattle-rearing process. Grain-fed cows produce meat that is both dramatically higher in inflammation-producing omega-6 fats and deficient in healthful omega-3s. This is doubly harmful considering the ratio of these compounds is actually more important than their absolute levels in the blood. Generally speaking, Americans consume a disproportionate amount of omega-6s, relative to omega-3s. Furthermore, because grass-fed and finished cows are not exposed to the suite of hormones and medications that their grain-fed counterparts are, the meat they produce doesn’t contain the toxic remnants of these unnatural components from the industrial, grain-based process.

One powerful study conducted in 2006 using Australian cattle, sought to determine the impact of three different feeding systems—grain-finished, long-term feedlot rations, and grass-finished—on the resulting meat’s omega-3 fatty acid and conjugated linoleic acid composition. Researchers ultimately found that the grass-finished cows had significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid when compared to either of the grain-based feeding systems. These two fatty acids play very important roles in brain health, metabolism, and the likelihood of developing cancer.

Another, more recent, study echoed and expanded on the earlier findings of the Australian team. Looking at beef specifically grown in the United States, researchers analyzed meat samples across multiple states and found that meat from grass-fed cows had significantly higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, mirroring the Australian study’s results. However, this team went one step further, determining that grass-finished beef also contained more carotenoids , trace nutrients, and saturated fat, while carrying no more cholesterol or polyunsaturated fats than grain-fed cows.

When it comes to choosing meat, it is critically important to consider the source. The food that livestock eat dictates their relative health, and this ultimately travels up the food chain and determines what health benefits—or detriments—we absorb when eating that meat. When it comes to choosing between grain- and grass-fed beef, the choice is clear!

Continue reading “Grain-Fed vs. Grass-Fed and Finished Beef – Why Does It Matter”

Drink wine for LIFE, it may change your LIFE

This post is for all of my wine lover friends out there!  I have been enjoying the weekly podcasts that Dr. Josh Handt puts out covering a wide variety of topics.

In this show, Josh interviews Todd White, who is the founder of Dry Farm Wines.  They cover a lot of ground in this show including how Todd founded the company and how he has been Keto for the last 5 years.  They then go deeper into what makes Dry Farm Wines so different than all of the other wines you are buying today.

One of the more interesting takeaways is the fact that wines produced in the U.S. are not regulated like all other foods and beverages.  Have you ever thought it was strange that wine doesn’t have an ingredient list?  You probably think it is just fermented grapes… think again!  There are some 75 toxins and chemicals that can show up in the typical wines you are buying today.  If a label was needed, many wine ingredient lists would look similar to highly processed foods!

Have a listen to the podcast by clicking on the link below.  If you would like to give Dry Farm Wines a try, follow this link – www.DryFarmWines.com

Lifestyle Locker Radio Podcast: Episode 125 – Todd White

4 Rosemary Essential Oil Uses

Link To Full Article: 4 Rosemary Essential Oil Uses

I am huge fan of using fresh rosemary when I cook.  I typically will use it when grilling or roasting meats.  In the article above, Dr. Z goes into great detail on the uses for rosemary essential oil.  I have some rosemary oil on hand that I use for a body lotion.  I combine rosemary with peppermint and orange essential oils.  I am going to try incorporating rosemary essential oil into an upcoming recipe.  I’m thinking at a minimum, I could put a few drops on roasted sweet potatoes along with olive oil, or on some meat I plan to grill or roast.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing like fresh rosemary, but I don’t always have it on hand.  It would be great to know I could go to my essential oil in a pinch.

Here’s a link to Dr. Z’s great book, The Healing Power of Essential Oils.  There are all kinds of simple tips, tricks, recipes, etc. on how you can use essential oils for just about everything around your house and for your health.

rosemary-essential-oil-infographic

 

 

 

 

Biohacking – Bulletproof Style

Dave Asprey, best-selling author and founder of Bulletproof Coffee, talks about his newest book Game Changers, his top longevity secrets, and the one food you should NEVER eat raw. He also discusses some simple ways to cut through brain fog, reduce your stress, and boost your performance.

Most of you have heard of Bulletproof the brand.  I have seen many of their products popping up on social media, and I have also tried their MCT Oil for putting in my morning coffee.  It wasn’t until recently that I started to learn more about the founder, David Asprey, through some different podcasts he’s been on.

I thought I would share this one, as it is one that challenges you to think differently.  David has a goal of living to 180.  Why not??  He has some logical thinking about how he can accomplish this.  It is worth a listen.  You just might learn something new.  One thing is for certain, we all have the ability to start making small changes in our diet and lifestyle that can have a profound impact on the quality of life in our later years!

Enjoy!

Link To Podcast: Biohacking – Bulletproof Style with David Asprey

Springtime Essential Oil Blend Ideas

If you are looking for non-toxic ways to freshen your home this spring, here are some blend ideas to consider.  I have had success in buying our essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils.  There are so many ways to incorporate essential oils into your personal care, home care, and even food recipes.  I haven’t explored this yet, but I plan to sooner than later.

Enjoy!

GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE!

  • 3 drops orange
  • 1 drop ylang ylang
  • 1 drop bergamot

CLOTHESLINE FRESH

  • 2 drops lemongrass
  • 2 drops cedarwood
  • 2 drops grapefruit

HAPPY GARDENER

  • 1 drop basil
  • 2 drops peppermint
  • 2 drops lime

RAINDROP LULLABY

  • 3 drops lemon
  • 3 drops vetiver

CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

  • 2 drops lemon
  • 2 drops lime
  • 1 drop rosemary
  • 1 drop lavender

TUTTI FRUTTI CANDY

  • 2 drops geranium
  • 2 drops lemongrass
  • 2 drops grapefruit

Workout of the Week (WOW)

One of the things you will keep hearing me talk about is not having to go and torture yourself multiple days of the week at the gym doing chronic cardio.  Over the last three years I’ve done a complete 180 from running most days to now walking and doing other resistance workouts, HIIT, etc.  The link below is a great archive article from Mark’s Daily Apple.  There are links to many other articles that will show you how to incorporate new and different movements into your routine.

I know that many of you are thinking that if you don’t go crank out 30-45 minutes at a high heart rate at the gym, you won’t see results, you have to trust me on this one.  I have seen more results by slowing down and focusing more on resistance workouts over the last three years, than I did previously doing my chronic cardio.

Good Luck!!

Link To Article: Mark’s Daily Apple – Workout of the Week