Where’s the Beef?

Red meat gets a bad rap, but I am here to inform you of the many benefits of eating a nice juicy steak or a burger this summer!

Here is what you need to know before you fire up the grill. The quality of the beef you consume will determine whether or not you are nourishing your body or making it sick! Are you ingesting beef full of grains, antibiotics, and hormones? Or is it derived from grass-fed cattle?

Maybe you’re rolling your eyes right now and thinking, “Who cares?” and “What difference does it make?” But you should care—and the difference is SIGNIFICANT!

Grass-fed cattle consume more micronutrients, which are transferred into the beef we eat. Grass-fed beef is loaded with immune-boosting linoleic acid, as well as antioxidants. It delivers a more balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This simply means it has more healthy fats which may reduce your risk for chronic disease associated with internal inflammation.

Grass-fed beef is also safer to eat. Consumer Reports tested 458 pounds of ground beef purchased from stores and found that ALL of it contained bacteria that signified fecal contamination, 20 % of contained bacteria that cause almost 1 million cases of food poisoning annually, 10% had a strain of bacteria that can produce a toxin that will make you sick, and 1% contained a salmonella. That may not sound like much. However, when we consider that we consume billions of pounds of ground beef every year, that’s a lot of burgers that can make you sick! Conventional beef is also more likely than sustainably and humanely raised beef to be contaminated with bacteria linked to food poisoning.

Ok. Now, maybe I have your attention. But what should you do?

When shopping in the supermarket, look for the green label from the American Grass-Fed Association that guarantees that the animals were grass-fed and grass-finished (some cattle start out on grass and are then switched to grains, antibiotics, or hormones). You can also try your local farmer’s market or buy directly from a farm specializing in grass-fed beef.

Want to take it up a notch? Go organic and you’ll get meat from cattle that are fed only organic grass and forage. Antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs are prohibited. Visit www.eatwild.com to find pasture-based farms.

Cows are “what they eat”, and what they eat, YOU eat! So, the next time you reach for the meat for your next cookout, check your label! When possible, the best choice is grass-fed and organic. Not only will you be fighting chronic disease, you will be amazed at how much better it tastes!

So, fire up that grill, toss on a steak or burger, and don’t forget to add a salad for a perfectly healthy meal!