Hi there! Going strong on the Paleo diet and loving it. I've discovered great local markets for purchasing meat, veggies & fruits, etc...
But let's face it, I'm still on a budget and can't break the bank all on food. Need to live a little right?
I don't purchase grass-fed animals, I just simply buy the meat at my local meat market. Are non grass-fad animals really THAT bad for you? When I have more flexibility with a budget I'll be buying grass-fed animals but for now the alternative is going to have to do!
So again, is eating non grass-fed animals really that bad for you??
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If I had to save money, I would buy grass fed livers, organ meats and bones for bone broth. Those bits are the cheapest and, in my book, best if they come from a grass fed animal. Check out this article on the problems with conventionally raised beef.
Also check out these:
Bottom line, no, they aren't necessarily all that bad for you, but they're definitely not optimal. If you can't afford to buy grass fed, then just do the best that you can (aka buying cheaper grass fed cuts). You'll still be much healthier eating whole foods vs someone eating processed garbage. You could also consider looking into a cow share that could give you the option of splitting a larger purchase of meat with some locals.
I agree with Linds, if you can't afford to buy all your meat grass fed, try your local farmer's market for offal and bones from grass fed animals to supplement the conventional meat. Even Whole Foods has bags of frozen beef and chicken bones for $3 that will make a LOT of soup--sometimes with some meat still on them.
Buy lean cuts of conventionally raised meat and supplement with good fats (real butter, coconut oil).
Pastured eggs are not cheap, but you get a lot of meals from a dozen. So consider buying those.
I stopped eating CAFO meat when we passed the feed lots at Kettleman City, California on our way from SF to LA. Thousands of cows crowded together and standing knee deep in their own manure at the feeding troughs--the smell is unbelievable. When I got to pick up a package of CAFO meat in the store, the memory of that smell reminds me why it's a bad idea.
Grass fed meat is lean and it's hard to cook it so it's tender. And it costs a lot. But still worth it, IMHO.