7

votes

Anyone switch from grain to grass-fed meat and notice big health benefits?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 17, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Main Question:

Anyone switch from grain to grass-fed meat and notice big health benefits?

Why I am asking:

Been "paleo" for going on 3 years, finally can afford it and considering the switch. Will cost another 2000+/year for my situation (I've done the research on prices in my area).

So besides the ethical issues, It would be nice for it to have noticeable health benefits.

I suppose there are many shades of grain-fed meat, so to define that, I generally just buy whatever is cheap in the store. Probably terrible quality CAFO.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 26, 2013
at 12:35 PM

Slurp, slurp... lots of paleo koolaid drinkers here! ;)

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 26, 2013
at 11:54 AM

In fact one small beef manufacturer started testing and labeling for Mad Cow disease, and the industry bribed off politicians to ban them from doing that. That tells you everything right there.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on August 25, 2013
at 05:45 PM

Justin, I did that. Are you serious lol? Pull out a calculator and spend 10 seconds with the information I just gave you.

D930dfe6a55abdad1d93b0ff8d8bdf7b

(41)

on March 19, 2013
at 03:15 AM

right but you need to subrtract out the cost of what you are replacing the GF Beef with.. whether it be the conventional beef, chicken or what not.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 18, 2013
at 12:42 AM

visually my face was a bit swollen and puffy. I also had some edema and lost a bit of weight when I stopped eating the grain fed beefs. you have to know I am a very sensitive individual to begin with, but even so I was surprised by the difference. I am actually pretty thankful for the change, I was working in a mom and pop grocery at the time and was able to get grass fed from one of the oldest ranches in my state sold at the store. I know work on organic farms and spend a lot of time with organc/grass fedranchers, they are good people!

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:38 PM

cool, notice any other benefits?

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Curious, how did you know you had inflammation?

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 06:48 PM

I had no idea so many people switched straight to grass-fed. Was hoping to find people who made the switch later.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:42 PM

extra 2000 per year, as I said, I have done the math. I eat about a pound and a half of red meat a day on average. I pay on average a little over 3 dollars a pound for my meat (Costco). The cheapest grassfed meat I have been able to find here (looked eatwild, as well as in-store) is a little over $7/pound. Add it up!

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:40 PM

I think that was $2,000 per YEAR. Breaking that down it's about $166 per month, or roughly 27lbs of meat per month if you're paying $6/lb. (That's the price of grassfed ground beef in my neck of the woods. More expensive cuts are much more expensive). That all seems about right to me.

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13 Answers

7
Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:06 PM

honestly? no, not at all! the ethical arguments hold sway for me, but the health benefits are definitely what i'd consider marginal. i eat seafood, i'm not dying for the omegas. the CLA is nice, in theory, but practical difference? none.

6
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:31 PM

I would guess this will be hard for many people to answer definitively...like many, I made so many dietary changes after going paleo, and this was just one of them. Can say that most of my prior inflammatory markers (beginnings of arthritis, various skin issues, etc) were taken care of by my new diet, and I assume part of that was from switching to properly raised meats.

Beyond the ethical arguments AND the difference in CLA/omegas, at this point I'm just worried about basic quality & sanitary standards for industrial meat. I would have a hard time going back.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 06:48 PM

I had no idea so many people switched straight to grass-fed. Was hoping to find people who made the switch later.

4
C07939fb80c1f445cbb5b0469d665a8e

on March 17, 2013
at 10:27 PM

It helped with my acne significantly. Eliminating wheat, most dairy, polyunsaturated oils, and sugars cleared me about 70%. I was worried that it was a condition I would just have to "deal with".

Switching to grassfed Beef, pastured chicken, and wild fish, took the final blow and cleared up my skin.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:38 PM

cool, notice any other benefits?

3
Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 18, 2013
at 01:35 AM

CAFO meat makes my gums itch like mad, and inflamed. No idea why. I don't get that from small-farm beef. Other than that, no obvious difference.

However, in terms of long-term health, I do consider it more likely to pick up Mad Cow from CAFO beef; testing on US cattle is woefully inadequate. Also, CAFO beef is often needle-tenderized, which pushes feces and bacteria deep into the meat. Another reason to avoid if you can.

On mechanical tenderizing:

http://www.kansascity.com/beef/

http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2012/12/e-coli-mechanically-tenderized-beef

On Mad Cow:

http://www.foodwhistleblower.org/blog/23/379

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 26, 2013
at 11:54 AM

In fact one small beef manufacturer started testing and labeling for Mad Cow disease, and the industry bribed off politicians to ban them from doing that. That tells you everything right there.

3
Ddd45bb2f21c2709e60202850c12ba79

on March 18, 2013
at 12:03 AM

Yes...

I definitely notice much easier digestion of local grass fed meat versus supermarket CAFO meat.

Always feel satified with grass fed without feeling bloated. The meat is also very delicious.

Likely that I have a much higher nutrient diet now due to eating a lot more "innards" and bone broth soups, side benefit is I actually eat LESS meat with grass fed, probaby because the grass fed is nutrient rich and free of toxins. I really doubt I need to take much, if any, supplemental B vitamins and most minerals. Liver, heart, bones, etc from the mass market are not very appealing to prepare and eat. But the same parts from grass fed animals look pristine, and thus are easy to cook and eat.

Somehow the inside of my body feels more "clean" which is most likely a metaphysical placebo effect, but still of great health benefit...

Other effect is a sense of gratitude because I know that the animals I'm eating were raised and killed in a humane and very earth conscious fashion.

3
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on March 17, 2013
at 09:56 PM

yes! I was eating local natural hormone and antibiotic free but HEAVILY corn and other grain fed beef and it was making me inflamed and also kinda moody, it also was not very satiating, even at higher fat ratios. switching to grass fed made a huge difference, less inflammation, less appetite as well as stabilization of mood. you couldn't pay me to eat non grass fed these days, even though I am pretty sure I make less than anyone on this paleo hacks thing, I still manage.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Curious, how did you know you had inflammation?

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on March 18, 2013
at 12:42 AM

visually my face was a bit swollen and puffy. I also had some edema and lost a bit of weight when I stopped eating the grain fed beefs. you have to know I am a very sensitive individual to begin with, but even so I was surprised by the difference. I am actually pretty thankful for the change, I was working in a mom and pop grocery at the time and was able to get grass fed from one of the oldest ranches in my state sold at the store. I know work on organic farms and spend a lot of time with organc/grass fedranchers, they are good people!

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 26, 2013
at 12:22 PM

All I, or anyone else can tell you will come from n=1 experiments. The rest is all marketing.

I generally used to purchase the big tenderloins (which you can cut into fillet mignons) from Costco, and even though they're now double the price of what they were 2 years ago, the quality has gone way down.

The last time I bought one of those, I got sick each time I ate a slice, and my poop was very smelly in a metallic kind of way and sank - indicating toxic stuff in the meat. It's mostly lean or appeared to be lean, so it's not just in the fat.

I never had such a reaction from grassfed beef. I assume it's because they're cutting corners now and feeding the cattle crap like expired candy with the wrappers, and other stuff. Who knows what that cow ate.

Back then, I didn't trust ground meat either because it takes a single dirty piece of meat to infect many lots of meat that pass through the grinders, and a single burger would contain meat from who knows how many hundreds of cows. I saw many big packages of ground beef that looked red on the outside that had brownish meat on the inside when opened.

Bacteria only grows on the surfaces of meat, but ground beef is all surface, so you can't kill it by searing the meat, you must cook it until it's well done, and that damages the protein. So that's why CAFO ground meat is a very bad idea.

Small processors, such as those that produce grassfed animals generally will not mix meat from hundreds of cows together, so one burger comes from one cow, mostly. It's much safer and cleaner.

It doesn't mean you'll never get sick, it means the odds are much smaller. But, I like those odds and am willing to pay more for them. Plus, a better treated animal makes for a better quality meat. You aren't just what you eat, but also what you eat, eats. If your food eats GMOs, those proteins and fat and fat soluble toxins concentrate in your food, and you eat them too.

If your food eats grass, those proteins and fats are what you eat. Remember that gluten is a protein, and in celiacs, it's the fact that it isn't fully broken down that causes problems; I don't know enough about cow physiology to state whether it's broken down or not, but certainly cows fed grains (and candy with wrappers) have a different flavor and texture than those fed grass, so obviously there is some difference, and some over-sensitive celiacs have problems with CAFO beef, but not grassfed beef.

Most pesticides are fat soluble, which is why Robb Wolf recommends if you're going to eat CAFO meat, you eat lean cuts and make up the fat elsewhere.

If you look at GMOs, most are "Roundup Ready" and require tons more Roundup pesticide than normal grains, so whatever pesticide residue you'd normally get, is a much higher dose for GMOs. Some, such as corn, produce their own toxins throughout the entire plant, such as BT. You can be sure that when CAFO cows are fed grains and soy, it's of the GMO variety as the majority of those crops are GMO, and the rest is reserved for "organic."

So organic meat is still fed species inappropriate feedstock, but it has less pesticides and inherent toxins, but it's still not as beneficial as grassfed.

Further, each time you buy CAFO meat, you're voting with your dollars, and enriching a system that advocates, grain subsidies, GMOs, poor quality, bribes to politicians, species inappropriate foods, mistreatment of animals, and so forth.

1
26ac3e0c758ab5bd8748f2009791deb3

(85)

on March 19, 2013
at 12:22 PM

For me it tastes better and doesn't make me feel sluggish after. I will buy anything from a farmers market that I can, it helps local farmers and makes me feel healthier.

1
9215c97e4d3296f0de599ef9292cee15

on March 18, 2013
at 01:58 AM

Yes! The omega 6 and 3 ratio is really noticeable to me, I don't know if it's just cause I pay attention or cause I have inflammatory problems. Way less inflammation and STRESS on GRASS FED meat. I can't go back now.

1
Be803dcde63e3cf5e21cc121097b8158

on March 18, 2013
at 01:24 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoZtMKtUeME

After watching this talk on beef production, I don't think I'd pay extra for grass-fed. (I eat grass-fed beef because It's actually cheap where I live.)

0
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on August 26, 2013
at 02:17 PM

Excellent question. I haven't noticed any difference. Ethical concerns and hypothetical health benefits aside, I persist with grass fed because to me it tastes much better, and I've found buying a half a cow and having all those cuts in my freezer is way more convenient than going to the supermarket all the time. Yes, it does cost more, and I've not done the full analysis, but buying in bulk brings down the price to where I can manage it.

-2
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:17 PM

......................................

-3
D930dfe6a55abdad1d93b0ff8d8bdf7b

on March 17, 2013
at 04:31 PM

$2000... are you crazy... do you feed a family of 12 or something?

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:42 PM

extra 2000 per year, as I said, I have done the math. I eat about a pound and a half of red meat a day on average. I pay on average a little over 3 dollars a pound for my meat (Costco). The cheapest grassfed meat I have been able to find here (looked eatwild, as well as in-store) is a little over $7/pound. Add it up!

D930dfe6a55abdad1d93b0ff8d8bdf7b

(41)

on March 19, 2013
at 03:15 AM

right but you need to subrtract out the cost of what you are replacing the GF Beef with.. whether it be the conventional beef, chicken or what not.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:40 PM

I think that was $2,000 per YEAR. Breaking that down it's about $166 per month, or roughly 27lbs of meat per month if you're paying $6/lb. (That's the price of grassfed ground beef in my neck of the woods. More expensive cuts are much more expensive). That all seems about right to me.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on August 25, 2013
at 05:45 PM

Justin, I did that. Are you serious lol? Pull out a calculator and spend 10 seconds with the information I just gave you.

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