Article: Differences Between Grass-Fed, Grass Finished, & Grain-Fed

The article below provides a good overview of what you are faced with as consumers in a grocery store when selecting your meats.  As in most cases when the government is involved, the rules of engagement can be suspect to say the least.  Meat grading is no different.

I have been spreading my meat purchases out between both Whole Foods and Butcher Box.  I like the fact that Whole Foods has the 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating, which I can at least see what I am getting for each level.  My feelings toward this is that if other grocery outlets don’t go through any trouble in today’s day to highlight the positives to their animal welfare, then there’s probably not much to report on, which is cause for concern in my opinion.

I started back up with Butcher Box several months ago, but before that I was buying my grass-fed ground beef from Whole Foods.  I had asked the question in the store if it was both grass-fed and grass-finished.  The answer I received was that it was.  I sent a note to Whole Foods Corporate to ask the same question.  This is not meant to knock them, but more to point out that you really need to know the source of what you are buying to know if you are getting the best possible nutrients in the food you are eating.  Below is the response I received from Whole Foods, which is exactly in line with their stated program in-store:

Thank you for reaching out with your question. Our standards for fresh beef require that all cattle be raised on a pasture or range for at least 2/3 of their lives. Cattle may then be grain finished on a feedlot, grain finished on pasture, or 100% grass fed. Our grass-fed standards require that animals have “continuous access to pasture during the growing season, and cannot be fed grain or grain by-products.” This is a standard that is distinct from the 5 Step® Animal Welfare rating.  

Going back to my previous comment about other grocery outlets not calling anything out, this product is going to be better than the vast majority of what you will buy.  It’s pretty safe to assume that most of Whole Foods’ grass-fed beef will be 2/3 pasture raised with the final 1/3 being grain-fed under better animal welfare treatment than the standard CAFO (concentrated animal feedlot operation) meat you could buy.

My feelings toward all proteins for your diet is to focus on quality over quantity.  This is another reason I have justified paying a premium to have Butcher Box meats delivered to my home every month.  I know their ground beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, because this is what is stated on the package.  You are far better off cutting your portion from 8oz. to 5oz. if it means sacrificing quantity for quality!!

Enjoy the article below…

By the Dr. Perlmutter Team

As previously discussed, there are significant nutritional differences between the meat produced by cows that eat grass and those that subsist on grain. Beef from cows that eat only grass contains higher concentrations of essential nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid. It also has lower levels of hormones, antibiotics and other toxic remnants from the industrial production process, which can have significant ramifications on our health, ranging from the microbiome to cellular health. Additionally, grass-fed cows live out their lives more closely aligned with how nature intended—freely roaming pasture land and consuming grasses available to them in their immediate environment—which makes the process more humane and environmentally-friendly.

However, like many of the buzzwords surrounding healthy living, there’s a lot of confusion and outright deception that surrounds the “grass-fed” descriptor. While certain trade organizations do their best to impose uniform standards, the use of the term “grass-fed” is, unfortunately, not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture. This sadly leaves the label open to abuse by unscrupulous producers looking to harvest the benefit of the term without putting in the effort to truly raise grass-fed cattle. The process of getting the “grass-fed” label approved on packaging for a given farm’s beef is incredibly lax, and actually doesn’t even include a farm inspection! Essentially, the government takes farms at their word when determining whether or not their product should be labeled grass-fed.

What Does Grain-Fed Mean?
At the root of this issue is the fact that all cows begin their lives in the same way: for the first seven months, 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, 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. These cows are what we commonly call grain-fed and produce meat that is inferior to grass-fed beef in quality, nutritional value, and taste.

What Does Grass-Fed Mean?
As the advantages of grass-fed beef have become more and more apparent, farmers across the country have started to label their products grass-fed. Unfortunately, this label means very little because there is very little regulation surrounding its use. Producers can technically label meat produced by cows that transition to a grain-based diet at seven to nine months “grass-fed” because they started out their lives subsisting on grass. They can also supplement a grain-heavy diet with small amounts of dried grasses and call the cows “grass-fed,” even if the vast majority of their nutrients come from grains.

So how can you ensure the meat you are buying is truly grass-fed and has all the benefits we’ve outlined in our previous articles? Look for the “grass-finished” label!

What Does Grass-Finished Mean?
Meat that has been designated “grass-finished” is much more likely to come from cows that consumed only grass throughout their entire lives. While this term is still not tightly regulated, it is much harder for unscrupulous purveyors to develop workarounds for this label. In order to call meat “grass-finished,” the cow that it came from must have been “finished” with grass, meaning it ate only grass through to the end of its life. Given that all cows’ eat the same thing at the beginning of their lives, the critical information in determining the quality of the meat they will produce is what they ate at the end of it. Therefore, the “grass-finished” label is a much better indicator of quality because it directly answers that question.

Why Grass-Finished is a Healthful Choice
To summarize, meat sourced from grass-finished cows is far more nutritious, beneficial, and safe than meat sourced from grain-fed cattle, which has skewed nutrient profiles and contains harmful chemical by-products from the industrial cattle-rearing process. Grain-fed cows produce meat that is both dramatically higher in inflammatory omega-6 fats and deficient in healthful omega-3s. This is doubly harmful considering the ratio, or relative amount, of these compounds may be more important than their absolute levels in the blood. Furthermore, meat from grass-finished cows doesn’t contain toxic remnants of the antibiotics and hormones used to raise their grain-fed counterparts.

One study, published in the Journal Antibiotics in 2017, demonstrated just how readily remnants of the antibiotics used in industrial farming can be found in the food we eat. The study analyzed 150 samples of raw meat purchased from supermarkets in South Africa and found elevated levels of four common antibiotics—ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and sulphanilamide—in a significant portion of them. This transfer of antibiotics from the industrial farming process to our dinner plates has wide-ranging implications on global and individual health. When one considers that antibiotics are primarily used to shield livestock from diseases that are directly caused by their enclosure in industrial feedlots, it becomes readily apparent why grass-finished cattle that roam freely until the end of their lives produce higher quality beef.

Unfortunately, because the term “grass-fed” is not well-regulated, we need to be vigilant in our food choices. Shopping for grass-finished beef will help you ensure your meat is truly from cows that only consumed grass. Hopefully, this article has empowered you to be a more conscious consumer when it comes to shopping for grass-fed beef, so you can truly enjoy its benefits!

5 Hemp Oil Benefits For Health & Wellness

I was happy to see this article on Mark’s Daily Apple.  Mark has a way of laying things out in a way that is easy to follow and he doesn’t get too far off the beaten path to where most readers get lost.

I have been learning a lot about CBD/Hemp Oil products.  My research has led me to a company called CTFO.  One of the main reasons I landed on CTFO was the quality of their products.  The FDA does not regulate CBD/Hemp products today, so you have to be careful about what you are getting.  One of the most important things to look for is the absorption rate.  What good is the product you are buying if the absorption by your body is low.  CTFO has a patented 10X Pure CBD Oil product that dramatically increases the absorption rate, which will only provide your body with more of the healthy benefits outlined in the article below.

Link to Article: Mark’s Daily Apple – 5 Hemp Oil Benefits

I need to do a better job of drinking more myself!

I like my coffee in the morning, but I think I will start to put a couple of green tea bags in my water in the afternoon.

Here are just a few of the known benefits:

  • Effective for weight loss
  • Reducing risk of cancer
  • Protecting the brain from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
  • Helps a person live longer

Link To Article: Green Tea Offsets Worsening Human Diet

You Can Do It!!

The other day I met up with a good friend of mine for an early morning coffee.  He has been on a mission since the beginning of the year to shed some excess weight and to clean up his diet.  He has been doing this all on his own, which is awesome!  He has known about my interests and passion about becoming a Primal Health Coach, so he has been wanting to meet up to share some of what he has been doing in regards to his diet and see if he is on track, or if there are even more things he can be doing.

He is doing a great job with his exercise.  He is making the best of what he has available to him on a daily basis.  One thing he does often is swim.  He has access to a pool at his job and also at a local YMCA, so he has increased the amount of swimming versus chronic cardio and weights.  He is still hitting the weights, but not nearly as much as he once did in years past.  He has lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the year.  He looks and feels great and he has his diet dialed in to where he feels good about what he is eating.

The quote below is from Arthur Ash and is very fitting for the example of my friend and the advice I would like to give to you.  You don’t have to go from 0 to 100 mph to make a difference.  Start with baby steps and build from there.  Changing your habits will course correct your actions over time.

80% of our body composition comes from the foods and beverages we consume.  Torturing yourself on a treadmill or elliptical machine is not your best option out of the gate.  This is considered chronic cardio and can be counterproductive to achieving your health goals.  More on this topic at a later date!

I would strongly suggest you start with your diet first and foremost.  Evaluate what you are currently eating throughout the day.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it doesn’t hurt to use a calorie counting app like Chronometer to see exactly what your macros are.  I think many of you will be surprised at just how many carbs you consume throughout the day.  50-150g of carbs is an optimal target for losing weight when combined with consistent movement; walking, hiking, playing, etc.

What’s one thing you can do today, such that by doing it, will make a difference in your health in the future?

I welcome any questions you might have.  Just post them in the comment box below.

Good luck!!

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Broken Brain

I have been listening to Dr. Mark Hyman’s podcast, The Doctor’s Farmacy, for about a year now.  I have enjoyed the wide variety of guests he brings on the show.  It has expanded my scope of reference.  I also follow him on Twitter and Instagram, which is how I came across Broken Brain.

Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.  Dr. Hyman is a proponent of functional medicine, a controversial form of alternative medicine.  He is the board president of clinical affairs of the Institute for Functional Medicine.

Dr. Hyman has created a docu-series called Broken Brain.  The link below will take you to the free sign up page.  I watched the first episode last night and it piqued my interest enough to where I wanted to share it with you here.

The evidence, statistics, and experts presented in the first episode was overwhelming!  Don’t think this is just about severe brain issues for the minority of people.  On the contrary, this is about every day feelings you may be having like depression, anxiety, brain fog, memory loss, etc.  The path to better health, which will be laid out in the series, is aligned with the health coaching education I have been receiving.  It is not rocket science.  It’s about getting back to whole foods, proper movement, quality sleep, and a healthy gut.

Enjoy!!

Link to Broken Brain Docu-Series

CBD And How It Works In Our Bodies

The human body has what is called an endocannabinoid system inside our brains and nervous systems. According to Wikipedia, “The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulating a variety of physiological and cognitive processes including fertility, pregnancy during pre- and post-natal development, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis.”

That’s quite a mouthful of technical and medical jargon, isn’t it? Here’s what it means in plain English: your body and central nervous system are actually designed to work with cannabinoids. Because of that, hemp is a true wonder of nature. No, we probably don’t need the THC found in marijuana (although it may have some health benefits), but we do need the benefits of the many cannabinoids found in hemp, especially CBD!

While CTFO refrains from making any medical claims for CBD oil, there is a large body of medical and scientific research extolling the many benefits of this natural product. Some people are reporting relief and help for a wide variety of health issues. We say, it’s good for you! Try it and see if it helps with a problem you’re having. If it does, great. Tell your family and friends about it. We choose to let our CBD oil speak for itself. Our oils are of the highest purity and are independently tested for potency by an outside laboratory. We are even bold enough to post those lab results right on our website!

CTFO offers full spectrum oil (CBD plus all the other cannabinoids found in hemp, but with less than 0.2% THC (which means it is effectively THC free!). The full spectrum oil is taken orally under the tongue and comes in 300, 500, 750 and 1500 mg CBD strengths. We also have CBD isolate oil (completely free of all other cannabinoids other than CBD) in strengths of 500 and 1500 mg. These may be preferred by those who are required to take a drug test for employment. Please note that some drug tests do look for more than just THC, so CTFO cannot guarantee you will pass a drug test if using these products, including the Isolate products.

CBD oil is the hottest thing to hit the nutritional market in decades. According to Cannabis research firm Brightfield Group, the CBD market will be a $5.7 billion market by next year, and a $22 billion market by 2022. So not only is CBD good for your health… it’s good for your WEALTH!!

To learn more about CTFO and the more than 70 CBD based products they have to offer, CLICK HERE to go to the website.

* This blog post was taken from the CTFO business resource center