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For those of you who thing organic food is bogus, do you also think grass fed is bogus?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I have a very low opinion of Organic food. I think it's mostly a way to convince us affluent sorts to pay more money for food by taking advantage of our eco-guilt.

So if you share my view of organic food, what do you think of grass fed meat? Is it just more of the same, or is there really worth to it?

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 14, 2012
at 12:13 PM

Awww are you buthurt that you don't have a PhD too?

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on September 14, 2012
at 04:48 AM

"Us affluent sorts?" LOL. "We computer scientists are PhDs too!" LOL. "Dr. Mitchell J Morris PhD" LOL. Your insecurity is showing, snowflake.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:35 AM

"Evolution will eventually weed them and you out" -- Awesome

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 11, 2012
at 11:24 AM

Not a problem. Do you mean filling out my profile?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 11, 2012
at 04:16 AM

Howdy Dr. Mitch, this is unrelated to the question, but one of the paleohacks rules states (listed in the FAQ section) that using a "Dr." prefix in your name requires that you publicly identify yourself. Just thought I'd let let you know, since you appear to have just registered.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:26 AM

No, Matt, there is a discernible taste difference. And, BTW, I tend to like cheap wine. My favorite? Beringer's White Zin. $18 for a case of 6 at Costco.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 10, 2012
at 09:18 PM

"If Paleo/Primal is better for you it stands to reason it is also better for the animals you eat." For the ideological purity of the answer. If I believe its good for me, I should believe its good for my food.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:03 PM

And, if you get yourself a freezer and buy in bulk, grass fed can be as cheap as conventional. C'mon, cowshare people!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:01 PM

+1 - Only because I can't figure out how to **2 it.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 10, 2012
at 05:58 PM

Interesting question. Is organic more healthy? Perhaps. Grass fed is clearly superior in fatty acid composition, but does it really matter? Maybe a little bit. We almost always say around here that you can do paleo on a budget with conventional meat and not to worry about it too much. I really only buy ground beef that is grass fed. All my other meat is conventional. Ground beef is maybe 1/3 of my meals. I also try to get pastured eggs (from the farmer I trust), which are superior in nutrients and still pretty cheap. Also, it may depend on how sick you are as to what food you can tolerate.

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on September 10, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Call me crazy but the fat has a different taste. I don't know how to describe it exactly but I really can detect a difference. I'm super lucky that the farm I get it from is barely more expensive than store bought CAFO.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 10, 2012
at 04:20 PM

With all you and other folks in this thread raving they can tell the difference between the different types of beef by production practice, I'd love to see you guys do so in a double blind environment. Most folks after paying 2-3 times what they normally pay for meat claim it tastes better. But likely like wine, unless you know the price it doesn't taste nearly as good.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 10, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Organic Farmers use pesticides too. FYI. Just organic pesticides if that makes any sense.

1296732e87fbf070566afe641ca0c089

on September 10, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Organic farming is not a sham...

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on September 10, 2012
at 01:58 PM

BTW, dry aged organic grassfed beef is FAR superior in flavor than anything else I've ever had. Just wish I didn't have to pay 15 dollars a pound for some steaks.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 10, 2012
at 01:53 PM

"If you care about the environment and sustainability" I don't, like i said in my question, I think it's a sham. The same companies who do factory farming, also have organic farming. "It's only affordable today because of massive grain subsidies." This i care about, damn government subsidies.

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8 Answers

best answer

16
E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on September 10, 2012
at 03:29 PM

I find your question impressively ironic to be honest. You want the food you were genetically adapted to eat through evolution and yet you question feeding animals the food they are genetically adapted to eat? Apply a little common sense here. If Paleo/Primal is better for you it stands to reason it is also better for the animals you eat. And if you want optimal nutritional value from the foods you eat then you absolutely want wild game and grass fed animals and eggs.

As for the rest I am going to take a wild guess here that you are not a farmer? If you were and you farmed organically and you raised all of your animals on the food they were naturally adapted to eat you would know that organic and grass fed are absolutely better for you and your farm and everyone around it. I highly recommend you spend some time studying why organic is better all around. As a farmer who has raised all their own food for a decade I happen to have seen the benefits up close. It's obvious everywhere from the soil, to the animals, to the plants who are all stronger, healthier and more vigorous. If you prefer genetically altered, sickly plants and animals who have antibiotic resistant diseases by all means eat conventional. Evolution will eventually weed them and you out.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 10, 2012
at 09:18 PM

"If Paleo/Primal is better for you it stands to reason it is also better for the animals you eat." For the ideological purity of the answer. If I believe its good for me, I should believe its good for my food.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 14, 2012
at 01:35 AM

"Evolution will eventually weed them and you out" -- Awesome

best answer

1
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I agree that grassfed can be better in terms of sustainability and minimizing animal cruelty. However, for those touting the health benefits of grass fed beef I'd encourage you to read these two blog posts:

1st on whether grass fed beef is really ???Rich in Omega 3s???. http://grassbasedhealth.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-grass-fed-beef-really-rich-in-omega.html

2nd on the presence of Hormones and Nitrites and Antibiotics in grass fed beef, conventional beef and other foods. http://grassbasedhealth.blogspot.com/2011/06/hormones-and-nitrites-and-antibiotics.html

The author, Peter Ballerstedt, is a forage product manager. He was a presenter at this years Ancestral Health Symposium. His presentation and writings have definitely given me a new perspective on the grass fed/grain fed debate. The short story is that while there are ostensibly some health benefits to grass fed over grain fed, the differences are minor to non-existent when compared to other foods in the diet or substances naturally produced in the body.

Don't get me wrong, I belong to a local meat CSA and have a freezer full of grass fed beef and pastured chicken/pork in my basement. I love it. But the idea that unless you eat grass fed beef you cannot be healthy or that evolution will "weed you out" is laughable.

9
6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on September 10, 2012
at 01:57 PM

I say buy what you can afford and move up the ladder from there. And yes, organic is "up the ladder". It has a lot more to it than just the immediate health impact of you eating the food. Personally I take into account the plight of the farmers and workers who get very high doses of these pesticides. It isn't talked about much but cancers and birth defects are very prevalent in farmers and workers who work with and use these pesticides.

It doesn't stop with them though. When it rains these chemicals go on to wash into our water supplies and eventually into the ocean. We don't need a lesson on how polluted our oceans are do we Mr. Anti-Eco Guilt? Pesticides are not the only or even the largest contributor. But they are part of it.

Another way it matters is political. Canada and America don't label GMO. Most other industrialized nations do. I'm not saying they are bad or good...but why can't we label them? Organics can't have GMO dna (or they shouldn't). Buying and supporting local organic produce is an easy way to opt out of a system that ultimately undermines your own health and the health of others around you.

No man is an island. Sooner or later it will come back to you....it already has.

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on September 10, 2012
at 01:58 PM

BTW, dry aged organic grassfed beef is FAR superior in flavor than anything else I've ever had. Just wish I didn't have to pay 15 dollars a pound for some steaks.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 10, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Organic Farmers use pesticides too. FYI. Just organic pesticides if that makes any sense.

5
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 10, 2012
at 02:07 PM

I prefer the taste of grass-fed meats. I will also continue to make sure my fruits and veggies are non-GMO. Until studies have been done to determine the long-term effects of genetically modifying our food, I will not purchase nor eat GMO produce. I don't trust the FDA or USDA, and I certainly don't trust Monsanto.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:01 PM

+1 - Only because I can't figure out how to **2 it.

1296732e87fbf070566afe641ca0c089

on September 10, 2012
at 03:14 PM

Organic farming is not a sham...

5
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on September 10, 2012
at 01:50 PM

If you care about the welfare of the animals, definitely worth it. Animals were not meant to be jammed into confined spaces, living in their own excrement, eating lots and lots of grains.

If you care about the environment and sustainability, definitely worth it. It is a huge waste of resources to grow lots of grain to feed it to animals. It destroys top soil and requires lots of oil. It's only affordable today because of massive grain subsidies.

If you care about your health, then I'd still say, but maybe it's debatable how much the incremental benefit is. I personally think it's beneficial to get the extra omega 3 fats from grass fed ruminants, as well as CLA and vitamin A.

For all these reasons, I prefer grass fed meat. Though, if choosing between eating grain fed meat and becoming a vegetarian, I'd personally eat grain fed meat.


UPDATE: I agree with you on the subsidies, but I'm not sure I follow your logic on the same companies owning both pastured and factory farms. If an existing pastured ruminant farm is purchased by an "evil" company, but the pastured ruminant practices are maintained, does that change the food they're producing? There may be a separate question on if you're comfortable having any of your money go to any company that does something you don't like, but I honestly don't really agree with that either. All these companies will focus their investment on areas that are profitable. If everyone demands pastured ruminants, then the "evil" companies should over time divest from factory farming and invest in pastured farming, which to me, is a good thing.

Ce2968ab71119c736ba9d83841c5718a

on September 10, 2012
at 01:53 PM

"If you care about the environment and sustainability" I don't, like i said in my question, I think it's a sham. The same companies who do factory farming, also have organic farming. "It's only affordable today because of massive grain subsidies." This i care about, damn government subsidies.

3
A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on September 10, 2012
at 01:47 PM

I prefer the taste of grass fed meat over CAFO meat any day...so for me that makes it worth it. I also like the idea of being able to see that the animals are raised humanely. I buy my beef from a local farmer so I have a pretty good idea of what goes on at the farm.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 10, 2012
at 04:20 PM

With all you and other folks in this thread raving they can tell the difference between the different types of beef by production practice, I'd love to see you guys do so in a double blind environment. Most folks after paying 2-3 times what they normally pay for meat claim it tastes better. But likely like wine, unless you know the price it doesn't taste nearly as good.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 11, 2012
at 03:26 AM

No, Matt, there is a discernible taste difference. And, BTW, I tend to like cheap wine. My favorite? Beringer's White Zin. $18 for a case of 6 at Costco.

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on September 10, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Call me crazy but the fat has a different taste. I don't know how to describe it exactly but I really can detect a difference. I'm super lucky that the farm I get it from is barely more expensive than store bought CAFO.

1
5bc9ad5738ad8417d1e735b6ead201ca

(160)

on September 10, 2012
at 03:34 PM

In addition to the animal welfare and sustainability arguments, grassfed animals have a better composition of fatty acids than their soy, grain, candy??! fed counterparts.

I like animals to be as happy as possible until it's time to eat them.

It's important to eat as well as you can afford to. Try to at least buy organic for the dirty dozen veggies, grass fed if you can, lean standard fed if you can't afford that. No one is asking you to go into debt to eat free range icelandic lamb.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:03 PM

And, if you get yourself a freezer and buy in bulk, grass fed can be as cheap as conventional. C'mon, cowshare people!

0
Ee2c03bbe9c17e4b2e4a0f99457e279a

(120)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:59 PM

Totally agree about buying local. Most supermarkets will do the minimum possible to be able to label their food as free range, organic etc. If I do buy something from there then organic gives me some hope that the animals may have had a half decent life outside with natural feed.

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