Now I’ll be honest, I’m conflicted when I ask questions like this out in public. On one hand, I don’t want to be “that guy”, but on the other hand I truly believe that grain-feeding cattle is an unsustainable practice and the only way we’re truly going to change it is if the people demand it. On that note, I usually choose to inquire about the source of my beef at least to raise awareness that the public is indeed interested in that sort of thing.
So what’s the difference in “Grain-Fed” vs. “Grass-Fed” beef? Hold onto your knickers, its about to get a little sciencey… Let’s start with the nutritional differences. When a cow is truly “pasture-raised” it eats grass for its entire life and is never subject to grain feeding. Pasture-raised or “Grass-Fed” beef is higher in antioxidants, higher in CLA, it has up to 7x the amount of beta carotene, higher vitamin A and E content and the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is much more in line with the recommendations for an anti-inflammatory diet. Its not that Grass-Fed necessarily has that much less Omega 6, its that Grain-Fed has almost no Omega 3. (Think of Omega 3s as anti-inflammatory and Omega 6s as inflammatory). Your body needs both but it likes a ratio of about 4:1 (6:3). Some experts say we should try to get as close to 1:1 (6:3) as possible. In a nutshell, grass-fed beef is more nutrient dense.
Besides a few extra nutrients, are there any other reasons that we should buy Grass-Fed? You bet your sustainable arse there is! Lets go down the environmentally safe rabbit hole, shall we? In order to grow corn and soy, the fertilizers used contain fossil fuels. In order to process corn and soy we need fossil fuels. In order to transport corn and soy to farms across the country, we need fossil fuels. In order to feed cows grass, we need….grass. So not only are you saving the planet when you buy grass-fed, you’re also supporting a local business (That is of course if you can find a local farm that raises beef this way).
In summary, if you can find beef that has been truly, 100% grass-fed its entire life, that beef will be healthier for you, healthier for the environment and healthier for your local economy. Where can I get delicious, nutritious, planet-saving beef you ask?
Well, we’ve just partnered with a little place called Sun Prairie Beef that raises 100% Colorado Grass Fed Beef. If you’d like to order from their website you can receive 5% off by using the code: bushcraftcrossfit. Be sure to list in the “comments” box online that you would like to pick up your beef at our gym. The next delivery date will be January 18th at 11am. Until then, stand up and be “that guy” or “that girl” that questions the source of your beef. Let’s save the planet by eating tasty, ethically raised animals.