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Is Ground Lamb Healthy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 25, 2010 at 2:04 PM

After reading numerous comments saying commercial lamb is usually grass fed, with some grain, I went to the store to get some. Since I am only spending 35 bucks on meat per week (not counting other expenses, produce, fish, etc.), I am looking for the cheapest cuts.

The arm blade chops and shoulder blade chops were each $5/lb. BUT, the lamb breast and ground lamb were $2/lb. I bought a lot of ground lamb, and love it. Am I setting myself back by doing so? Will the ground lamb not be as good nutritionally? Should I get the lamb breast instead?

I really appreciate your help!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 13, 2013
at 12:54 PM

Just an asinine response, generic and unhelpful, that's his MO.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 13, 2013
at 11:12 AM

wtf? are you quoting the USDA or something? Saturated fat isn't "the enemy", it's quite good for us.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on August 12, 2013
at 03:10 PM

Where do you live that ground lamb is $2/lb???

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9 Answers

9
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 03, 2010
at 09:37 AM

As an Aussie, I have to jump up and down and encourage the consumption of grass-fed lamb, as it's the BEST meat in my book! I've gone off beef and pork, but my appetite is always ready to be excited by the thought of lamb.

Ground lamb is just as nutritious as any other cut, if not more so. As ground meat has a higher percentage of fat, on average, than other cuts, then you are more likely to be able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, amongst other benefits. It would be important to ensure that the lamb is organic and grass-fed, like all meat, as the toxins (and omega-6s) are carried primarily in the fat. If you have to go conventional and pesticides worry you, go for a leaner cut.

The only reason meat is ground is because it is either taken from areas of the animal which don't present well as individual muscles/cuts on the plate, or are typically difficult to prepare without resulting in tough steaks. It has nothing to do with how nutritious the meat may be. I love the flexibility of ground meats - taco salad, burgers, sausage patties, meatza... and on it goes! Enjoy!

3
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on July 25, 2010
at 02:51 PM

There's no intrinsic reason why ground meat ought to be worse than other meat, it's just a trend that lower quality meat will be ground, since it's cheaper. Apparently you can come across ground meat that contains additives or fillers, but in the UK I've never encountered this.

What might the downsides of cheaper meat be? If we're assuming that the likelihood the lamb was grassfed/conventionally finished is a separate factor, then the main characteristics of cheaper cuts just seem to be more fat and more connective tissue. Presumably from a paleo perspective these are both good things (connective tissue = gelatine) it just means that the meat might be a bit tougher. Breast of lamb, in my experience, is just an intensely fatty cut, so there shouldn't be much to choose between the two, other than based on how you want to cook it. I would guess that the ground lamb would contain more protein and less fat, but for all I know, the ground lamb in this case is just ground lamb breast.

Purely in terms of economics, it's probably worth noting that when buying meat it's the proteiny, nutrienty, meaty bit that you're paying for; while fatty meat might be more calorific, if you want a source of sheer fat then butter is often as cheap and more nutritious.

2
679b54b95233ac036e0cb666564becb6

on July 25, 2010
at 03:56 PM

Yes, you are correct, David, most people just think that it is "not as good" because it's ground up, and feel that they have lesser options to prepare it, which essentially is not true. I have loved ground lamb, all lamb :-) all my life, and find that it quite lean and has remarkable taste when grilled, or stuffed into jalapenos, etc. So memostotle, go forth :-) and enjoy that ground lamb, and live healthy.

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on August 13, 2013
at 04:31 PM

Oftimes I prefer ground meat because I know that the processor will slip in lots of fat. Everyone is always asking for lean cuts of beef or lamb or whatever. I welcome the cheaper fatty cuts.

1
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 13, 2013
at 01:53 AM

I doubt that saturated fat is a problem, even if beef is the only meat one ever eats (I think it is the highest in satfat). Satfat just isn't correlated with any of the diseases of civilization. 22,000 Kitavans and 100,000 Tokelauans can not be wrong.

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 25, 2010
at 02:09 PM

i love lamb personally, and many leaders of the paleoprimal way of living are big lamb-fans, too. Sisson comes to mind straight away. Nutrition wise i think its just another good red meat. And i do kind of think that lamb in general may be less a part of the industrial system than, say, cows. Generally speaking regarding us here in the US. Im sure there are lamb farms out there but i mean, its prolly easier to get a higher quality of lamb than it is beef. No?

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 13, 2013
at 11:20 AM

The only thing to be weary of when dealing with any ground meat is how clean the processor is.

If there's any bacteria at any point in the chain, it will spread to every bit of meat. So in order to prevent this, CAFO processors tend to use ammonia or other stuff to sterilize the meat.

Remember, when you have a hunk of meat, bacteria can only live on its surface. When you roast, or grill that meat, you kill off all the bacteria. Ground meat however, has exponentially more surface, so it shouldn't be eaten rare, as bacteria on the inner portion of the burger might survive.

If you get ground meat from a small farm, and it comes from a single animal, that is the meat isn't mixed up from several animals, and they clean their equipment properly, by all means, you should be fine cooking it rare. The odds of getting food poisoning are then, very low, but not zero.

Otherwise cook it thoroughly, and don't eat it rare.

Lamb is certainly an awesome meat, one of the better ones, and very healthy if it's fed the right stuff rather than GMO grains and soy.

0
229faa9f9cb551cbf9d1d766b84cf8f5

on August 12, 2013
at 04:50 PM

Lamb, like any other meat, should be included as part of a balanced diet, particularly in that it is lower in saturated fat than other meats and high in protein.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on August 13, 2013
at 11:12 AM

wtf? are you quoting the USDA or something? Saturated fat isn't "the enemy", it's quite good for us.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 13, 2013
at 12:54 PM

Just an asinine response, generic and unhelpful, that's his MO.

0
58165174b9474856c3e5886d0168f127

on August 12, 2013
at 01:59 PM

oddly in the US lamb has never taken off the way beef did.

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