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Grassfed VS. Conventional

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Conventionally, 100% grass-fed and finished beef is known to be a much more healthier option than feedlot beef. However, to what extent is this beef much better for you or worth the high prices? As I understand, they have "more Omega-3's" but to what extent does that make it worth the high prices of grass-fed? A trivial amount of more vitamin A and omega-3's for instance would seem to not translate to a wiser expenditure of money.

Consider this article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/29/grass.grain.beef.cookinglight/index.html

All bias aside, does it make good points? It is noticeable that the writer does not understand nutriton as he follows traditional and false wisdom about fat and calories; despite this, could there be a benefit to this reduction of fat content in comparison to feedlot beef (i.e. less of the "bad fats")

What are your thoughts on this? I'm essentially asking: Do the nutritional benefits of 100% grassfed and finished outweigh the price in comparison to feedlot beef?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 25, 2013
at 05:17 AM

Yeah, that's the word on the street. Except there's rarely any references to back it up.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:13 AM

But how does it compare? Superior... but how superior?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:12 AM

Seen King Corn lol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:12 AM

I figured something similar, however other uses make good points about the potential for some of the damaging effects of grains to be stored in the adipose tissue

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 24, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Jillian Michaels is hardly an authoritative source... And your link... completely void of references, just fanatical ranting. I'm not saying CAFOs are unicorns and rainbows, but seriously, exaggeration and hyperbole do not help your case.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on January 24, 2013
at 05:37 PM

Roadkill is preferable to HFCS! http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/10/news/economy/farmers-cows-candy-feed/index.html

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8 Answers

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on January 24, 2013
at 09:31 PM

For me, it's not just nutrition, there's the whole support the small good guy over the factory farm side of it. I'm voting with my dollars. Now would I give a college student or a single mom making minimum wage a hard time for buying conventional? No. Any meat is better than grains and other filler food. But I'm done being a poor grad student, I have a good job and can afford the good stuff, so I do it.

2
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on January 24, 2013
at 07:19 PM

we often talk about the inflammatory response we humans have to eating food we were not genetically evolved to consume. it stands to reason that a cow on a diet that it is not evolved to eat, living in conditions that stress its systems would have poor quality flesh.

2
D2c2027f4456b61627d5241cc15be67c

(70)

on January 24, 2013
at 07:12 PM

When thinking about the higher prices of grass fed beef vs. feedlot or grain fed beef, you also have to consider the "real" cost. The actual price tag in the store is more expensive but when you factor in the farm subsidies for grain and corn in the United States, the cost of transporting the feed, the antibiotics and hormones to counter the unnatural diet, etc. it is probably more expensive overall. Not to mention the environmental impact. Also consider your personal health care costs in the future if you develop any problems from eating the less healthy meat. I live in Oregon and I can buy half of a grass fed cow (including all cuts of meat) for $3.50 per pound. Storing it in a freezer for up to a year doesn't degrade the quality either. Where can you find ANY rib eye steak for $3.50 a lbs.?

As far as health studies comparing grass fed beef to other beef I found a good one here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18641180

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 24, 2013
at 05:57 PM

The common paleo arguement for grass-fed versus grain-fed is the PUFA ratio. Shifting from a high >10:1 to something around 4:1... But if you take into account the amount of PUFA in beef (around 4%), the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed is tiny. 0.4% omega-3 in grain-fed versus 0.8% omega-3 in grass-fed. To add up to 1 gram of difference in omega-3s, you need 2.5 pounds of 80% lean ground beef. You end up paying double for your beef to get what is in a couple capsules of fish oil. No good. And that extra omega-3 in grass-fed beef, it's run-of-the-mill ALA, not in-demand DHA/EPA. Heck, you can be even cheaper and take a couple flax seed oil capsules!

So no, nutritional benefits, particularly the oft-touted omega-3s, are not worth the additional cost. Not a justification of CAFO production though. Best bet... consume grass-fed and just eat less. You don't need pounds of meat daily.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:12 AM

I figured something similar, however other uses make good points about the potential for some of the damaging effects of grains to be stored in the adipose tissue

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 25, 2013
at 05:17 AM

Yeah, that's the word on the street. Except there's rarely any references to back it up.

1
Ded4b971a447ccd65864ddfacae5458a

on January 24, 2013
at 05:34 PM

Last week I heard Jillian Michaels quoting someone on her podcast about what cows in factory farms are fed. I can't remember the entire quote or where it came from, but it was pretty horrifying- what stuck with me was 'plastic pellets, rendered roadkill, and euthanized cats and dogs.'

Ew. Based on that alone, I myself am willing to pay more for the grass-fed. I know that most of the toxins are stored in the fat tissues of the cow, but I don't think I want the toxins from the roadkill and poor little kitties and doggies in even 1% of my meat.

I did find this website that seems to substantiate the JM quote. http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/industrial-agriculture/they-eat-what-the-reality-of.html

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 24, 2013
at 05:48 PM

Jillian Michaels is hardly an authoritative source... And your link... completely void of references, just fanatical ranting. I'm not saying CAFOs are unicorns and rainbows, but seriously, exaggeration and hyperbole do not help your case.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11048)

on January 24, 2013
at 05:37 PM

Roadkill is preferable to HFCS! http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/10/news/economy/farmers-cows-candy-feed/index.html

1
84d4b987df825b96f06b2ec0aa3c181d

on January 24, 2013
at 05:07 PM

I wish there was more information on this. I struggle with it too. However, I think it's important to think about the food chain. You have producers, primary consumers (the cow) and secondary consumers (us). If you want to follow the proper food chain, you want to be eating a cow that eats its intended producer.

I've heard before that whatever bad effects come from grain-feeding, will most likely be contained in the fat of the meat. Adipocytes can be a storage of a host of toxins and chemicals (although I hate the word "toxin"). So, if you can't afford it, try to buy yourself the leanest meat possible, and slather the meat in Kerrygold (grassfed butter with healthy fats).

^^I don't want to perpetuate a misconception but that's what I've heard. But grass-fed whey products are on the market and supported by Robb Wolf and the like so who knows.

0
9c4ac9d902498a3158dbeee8aed6bbe4

(211)

on January 25, 2013
at 12:22 AM

Sally Fallon of Weston A. Price Foundation says that we should eat grass fed beef because of its superior micronutrient content. Like higher levels of vitamin A from the cow eating grass, and greater amounts of Vitamin D from eating it outside.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:13 AM

But how does it compare? Superior... but how superior?

0
C0ddf5f88d3d0cfab0c5d875b0eae9ec

on January 24, 2013
at 06:34 PM

A great documentary on our food chain, including how beef is finished in the USA is called KING CORN. Another one is Farmaggedon.

Netflix has them both.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 25, 2013
at 04:12 AM

Seen King Corn lol

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