Why is Grassfed Better
Author: Jo Robinson
meat, poultry, and dairy products are now available at most supermarkets,
which I think is a change for the better.
When you see the organic label, you know the food is going to be
free of pesticide residues, synthetic hormones, genetically modified
organisms, and a long list of questionable additives.
You also have the satisfaction of knowing that the farms that
produced that food are eco-friendly.
But organic is not enough. In
fact, if I had to choose between organic and grassfed animal products,
I’d choose grassfed every time. Why?
"The main reason is that non-organic grassfed meat, poultry,
eggs, and dairy products are nutritionally superior to their organic but
come as a surprise to those people who equate “organic” with “more
nutritious.” Alas, this is
not always true. For the most
part, the term “organic” is simply a guarantee of what the food does
not contain. You can be
reasonably assured it will not contain any of those six syllable
chemicals you can’t pronounce. But
organic food can still be deficient in nutrients or loaded with sugar and
“bad” fat. For example,
there are organic cereals on the market that are overly sweet. You may be consuming fewer pesticide residues when you choose
Organic Honey Oatios over Honey Nut Cheerios, but you’ll still be
consuming too many refined carbohydrates. An organic label does not
guarantee good nutrition.
The limitations of the “organic” designation are even more
evident when it comes to animal products.
"Organic meat may be free of unwanted chemicals, but it is
nutritionally inferior to grassfed meat."
When a ruminant is taken off
pasture and fattened on grain, it loses a number of valuable nutrients.
For example, compared with grassfed meat, grainfed meat has only
one quarter as much vitamin E, one-eighth as much beta-carotene, and
one-third as many omega-3 fatty acids. It doesn’t matter whether the
animal is fed ordinary grain, genetically modified grain, or organic
grain. Feeding large amounts
of any type of grain to a grazing animal will have this effect simply
because grain has fewer of these nutrients than fresh pasture. (For
references, please refer to "Pasture Perfect" or visit www.eatwild.com
with grassfed products, organic grainfed products are also
relatively deficient in a cancer-fighting fat called “CLA.”
When you feed a ruminant grain --- even as little as 2 pounds a day ---
its production of CLA plummets. CLA may be one of the most potent
cancer-fighting substances in our diet. In animal studies, as little as
one half of one percent CLA in the diet has reduced tumor burden by more
than 50 percent.
"There's yet another drawback with feeding grain to a ruminant --- you
increase the risk of E.coli infection."
The underlying problem is that grain makes the digestive tract of a
ruminant abnormally acid. This
acidic environment causes the E.coli to multiply and to become more
acid-resistant. According to
a recent study published in the journal Science, these altered bacteria
are much more likely to survive the cleansing acidity of your digestive
juices and make you ill.
"A final reason to choose grassfed meat over organic grainfed meat is that
most grassfarmers avoid the use of pesticides, herbicides, hormones,
and antibiotics even though they are not striving for full organic
What keeps most of the farmers from attaining the official
designation is that they use nitrogen fertilizers on their fields or treat
their animals with relatively benign medications to rid them of parasites. Pastured
poultry and pig producers face another barrier to going organic: the high
price of organic grain. They find that they cannot feed their
animals organically certified grain without raising their prices beyond
what the traffic will bear.
this said, I believe that the best choice of all is buying organically
certified grassfed products."
When ruminants are raised on organic
pasture and when pastured pigs and poultry are supplemented with organic
grain, you have the best of both worlds— food that is free of unwanted
chemicals that is also highly nutritious, just the way Nature made it.
If I have to pay more for the privilege, I’m willing to do it. But until more consumers come around to this point of view, there
will be many grassfarmers who cannot afford to go 100 percent organic and
stay in business. Until that time, I urge consumers to choose grassfed
over organic every time!
Note: The NY
Times best selling author, Jo Robinson, has an informative book "Pasture
Perfect" on the benefits of grassfed beef. She
has done a great service educating America about this healthy beef and her
book is a "must have" in your library of health books.
Please visit her web site at www.eatwild.com
to purchase the book and learn more about this healthy beef.