11

votes

Grass fed beef hype: just cut the nuts and dark meat poultry and save $$$$

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Based on the following two points, I'm about to change my diet:

  1. In a Robb Wolf / Chris Kresser podcast:

http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/the-paleo-solution-episode-69.pdf

Chriss Kresser made the point that to balance out the Omega 6:3 ratios from eating 100g of walnuts each day, you would need to eat 34 pounds of salmon a week. Also, dark meat chicken with skin as 16-18 times the omega 6 as corn fed cow.

  1. Mark Sisson made the point that grass fed beef isn't particularly lower in omega 6, it just has omega 3 whereas corn fed cows have virtually none:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-differences-between-grass-fed-beef-and-grain-fed-beef/#axzz1uhiR8GwN

Since it's all about the ratio, and since it's impossible to balance out too much omega 6 by eating grass fed beef, I'm considering stopping spending my disposable food budget on grass fed beef, and instead cut dark meat poultry, and nuts - two thinks I like very much :-(

One of the most compelling things to me was that you can't eat your way out of an omega 6 excess by consuming grass fed beef because it still has more omega 6 than omega 3.

It's like trying to cut the size of the federal government simply by trying to reduce it's rate of growth - you can't do it that way!

So, before I change my diet, and form new paleo habits which will likely shape my way of eating for years to come, please give me a reality check: does this make sense?

Did I too quickly hop on the grass fed beef band-wagon?

Thanks, Mike

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on June 01, 2013
at 08:53 PM

there is a clear cut difference between the fat of a grain fed animal IMO

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:50 PM

In contrast @hhsuey, you would only need to eat 3.5oz of wild salmon to get that same combined 7:1 ratio because the salmon has soo much more omega 3 than 6. So, in all practical terms, I stand by my statement: "Again: you can't correct an excess of omega 6 by slathering on grass fed beef fat because it contains more omega 6 than omega 3."

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:47 PM

Actually @hhsuey, if you wanted counteract the effect of eating 3 ounces of peanut butter, you would need to eat 6 pounds of RAW grass fed ground beef, and even then, your ratio would be 7:1 (omega 6:3).

4cbc4488855b0421943b57de0a9018c2

(212)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:11 AM

"Again: you can't correct an excess of omega 6 by slathering on grass fed beef fat because it contains more omega 6 than omega 3." you can if it's the ratios that matter. grass fed beef has 6/3 ratio of 1.65 and grain fed beef has 4.84. so as long as you eat enough, you're guaranteed to have a 3:1 ratio in your diet. i'd recommend just taking some fish oil. it's cheap too.

4cbc4488855b0421943b57de0a9018c2

(212)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:05 AM

Despite their downgrade for fish oil, I still believe a big plus is their absence of contaminants, especially mercury. I would also think that oxidation risk is limited if you take capsules rather than the liquid from bottles. Just make sure you get a high quality brand and refridgerate it. Fish oil is obviously a very easy way to get your omega 3's and if that is your goal, a significantly cheaper alternative than grass fed beef or fish.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 16, 2012
at 10:54 AM

I'm all-in on the pastured butter (kerrygold) - YUM!!!

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on May 16, 2012
at 12:46 AM

I live in FL and buy my poultry from SC, my beef from TX, and my pork from a farm over 300 miles away-- even WITH shipping, it's still far less expensive than anything local to me, farm or store. Use the directory on eatwild.com and spend a few hours shopping around, you will likely be able to get beef for far less than $7.50/lb, it just might have to be from a few states over ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 10:37 PM

I think their recommendation has shrunk from assloads of fish oil to a few grams daily. It's not that no amount of fish oil supplementation is good and necessary, but that 2-8 grams daily isn't that bad.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 10:34 PM

Poor nutrition scientists, so many variables to control!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 10:34 PM

The problem with CAFO is that it's a diet that's so far removed from their natural diet. Feeding essentially all grain to an animal designed to eat nearly all grass is the problem. Supplementing some grain to grass-fed cattle is hardly the same as CAFO beef. And certainly your source of beef sounds just as good as any grass-fed cow!

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on May 15, 2012
at 06:33 PM

I sincerely do think it tastes better! I <3 my grass-fed bison and I am sure I can tell the difference between grain-fed beef in a blind-folded test ANYTIME! :)

Fb031dfd6b79e5617da593a2bf9b23cd

(120)

on May 15, 2012
at 06:07 PM

Ha. I thought we were the only ones that used the term "beasties" for beef. I asked the farmer at the farmers market this weekend if she had any "roast beasties" & she looked at me as if I had 3 eyes.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 15, 2012
at 04:57 PM

there are some studies, but we need more, and we need them done with whole foods rather than refined oils

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 15, 2012
at 04:55 PM

THe studies on ratio are pretty inconclusive as far as I've seen. My own self-experiments suggests it doesn't matter very much.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 15, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Yeah, we had an issue with my family's cow, which is that they were fed SOME supplemental grain in the winter by a well-meaning watcher, which means we can never sell them as "grass fed." Otherwise, they are raised the same way as any other grass-fed cow, but they are much cheaper.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on May 15, 2012
at 02:34 PM

I don't think grass fed tastes better, but upvote for the other reasons!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:51 PM

Good point. I will ask it as a separate question (I want to get the link before I post). However, recently, Chriss Kresser & Robb Wolf have dramatically reduced their recommendation for fish oil. I think because of oxidation risk (I want to confirm all that later)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:45 PM

I think a variety of academics guessed that a paleolithic diet was close to 1:1 in PUFAs, thus paleo broscience decided that was ideal. I've not read the papers that make that assertion, but it doesn't make logical sense to me as a layperson. Small animals (which paleo peoples would have eaten a lot of) are all PUFA-laden. Even grass-fed ruminants aren't 1:1 so it makes little sense that they'd ever achieve that ratio of PUFAs. I don't doubt, however, that there's too much omega-6s in industrial diets.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:40 PM

Local is not always the answer, sometimes bringing in produce from where it is best grown is the answer. I surely don't buy my avocados from Indiana in mid-December! ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Who says ALA is not used except for the production of DHA/EPA? It is the essential O3FA, not DHA or EPA.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:17 PM

I've always felt some cognitive dissonance about the concept of humane treatment that includes the deliberate death of the animal. That being said, I eat meat, although I prefer game shot by my spouse. Maybe a better way to express the concept is to say that the treatment did not make the animals suffer unnecessarily.

Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:26 PM

I agree with the advice to get a freezer. I bought this one at Lowes. Only $160 and works like a charm. http://www.lowes.com/pd_75729-33112-LCM050LC_4294735501_4294933768_?productId=3042385&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl_Freezers%2BIce%2BMakers_4294735501_4294933768_%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on May 15, 2012
at 09:41 AM

Now, if someone just could show me why the ratio matters... It's been mentioned a lot, but it's becoming broscience.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 15, 2012
at 07:57 AM

Bring back the days when animals were quite happy to be chased to death by stone age hunters.

8de9776490016df60d49e03f23d656af

(596)

on May 15, 2012
at 05:16 AM

"If you buy grassfed, pastured beef and pastured chicken directly from a farmer, you can often get it for close to the price of conventional options at the grocery store." This really depends upon where you live. I bought a side of beef for $7.50 per pound--the least expensive I could find here.

1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on May 15, 2012
at 04:15 AM

"taste like happy" that is awesome! During my vegan days I heard from someone else who read it somewhere (totally don't know if it is really true but it made sense to me at the time) that when cows become highly stressed that their muscles are flooded with acid (fight or flight related maybe?) and so the meat is literally "filled with fear". May be just vegan propaganda but it sort of makes sense I guess.

1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on May 15, 2012
at 04:12 AM

Before I discovered paleo I was a vegan and not necessarily for health benefits, though I suppose I figured they had to be there, I was vegan for crying out loud (; I was pretty much into that lifestyle just because I'm a big softie and have a HUGE dislike for the feed animal industry, it just gets to me, and even though I eat LOTS of meat now it still bothers me. I can't afford humanely treated animal products most of the time right now and it does bother me. If I could afford it I would only eat meat from animals I knew were treated humanely.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 15, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Yes. And factory farmed animals are generally sicker too. Grain is unhealthy for cows just as it is unhealthy for humans. I don't want to eat sick, unhappy animals.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:48 AM

+1 The slight pang of cognitive dissonance I felt every time I bought CAFO meat probably had more of an impact on my health than any ridiculous n6/n3 juggling act.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:38 AM

1 ounce of walnuts = 10 grams omega-6 (2.5 grams omega-3) (4:1, nearly ideal). 1 ounce of salmon = 0.5 grams omega-3. 1 ounce of walnuts needs 1 pound of salmon to reach 1:1 (which is a little too obcessive in terms of PUFA ratio in my opinion.)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:36 AM

First of all, almond butter is a hyperpalatable food. Second, I don't know if your math is correct. 3 ounces of almond butter is 10 grams of omega-6, (0.3 grams omega-3.). It would take some in the ballpark of 5 ounces salmon to get your ratio down to 4:1, a very realistic ratio. 34 pounds of salmon is some 270+ grams of omega-3!

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Yes, hormones aren't used in either poultry or pork (as per USDA regulations) and the term "all natural" is also abused as it means nothing. But, again, by shopping around you can and will find grass fed, pasture raised pork/chicken/beef for close to the price of the conventional stuff-- I'd rather simultaneously spend less and get more money into the hands of farmers.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:21 AM

+1 for taking a close look and raising the question.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:20 AM

That's just the thing, there is no magic solution. General health and nutrition can't be reduced to simple formulas that fit everyone. For example, grass-fed beef is healthier than CAFO-raised / corn-fed, but eating grass-fed is not the only path to good health.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:12 AM

ok, ok, ok. Everyone's jumping on "it's all about the ratios". Fine: I take that back. From a health and budgeting standpoint, specifically as it relates to the omega 6:3 ratio, it doesn't seem like grass fed cow fat is the magic solution.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:10 AM

as to "hard to overeat": I can enjoy 3oz of Justin's almond / choc nut butter without any difficulty at all. If I had to balance that with 34 pounds / 7 days = 4.85 pounds of salmon, I don't think I could!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Chickens are never fed hormones. A hormone-free label is just there for marketing purposes to fool folks into thinking the product is more wholesome than it actually is.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:06 AM

I could really go for some dark meat chicken and walnuts right now. Seriously, is anyone holding?

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:04 AM

In other words, beware reductionist thinking. When you consider only one aspect of one set of factors, you miss a whole lot more of the big picture. I wish I could be more specific in this case, but I'm afraid that I'm a generalist :)

Ed4b1d1f6a22f40d1cac48523b1cfbc9

(124)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Even Walmart carries antibiotic and hormone-free chicken. It's how I have stayed as close to Paleo possible as a college student.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:00 AM

+1000 if I could.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:40 AM

Good point. During my first 3 months of Paleo, I found myself buying grass fed beef but conventional chicken because I bought into the magical properties of the grass fed cow fat. If we are to think of it in ethical terms, is a cow's suffering more important than a chicken's? How 'bout insects or rodents (which get killed by organic pest control methods)?

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17 Answers

best answer

21
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on May 15, 2012
at 07:18 AM

Reasons to buy grass-fed meat, other than its higher omega-3 content (2-4 times more compared to regular meat):

  • it is more ethical
  • no hormones/antibiotics
  • 3-5 times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid; anti-cancer)
  • 4 times more vitamin E
  • more of many other nutrients (beta-carotene, vitamin A, etc)
  • helps preserve the topsoil / more sustainable for the environment
  • does not use grain and does not promote large-scale monocultures
  • decreased contamination risk
  • the taste is better!

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on May 15, 2012
at 06:33 PM

I sincerely do think it tastes better! I <3 my grass-fed bison and I am sure I can tell the difference between grain-fed beef in a blind-folded test ANYTIME! :)

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on May 15, 2012
at 02:34 PM

I don't think grass fed tastes better, but upvote for the other reasons!

E9140ef0ca0a76ea14b9ebccad234608

(615)

on June 01, 2013
at 08:53 PM

there is a clear cut difference between the fat of a grain fed animal IMO

28
A1a7413b99e03bc77f02d95c4170ea43

on May 15, 2012
at 12:31 AM

It's not ALL about the ratio. It's also about the animals living as good a life as possible, and getting killed humanely. At least for me it is.

1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on May 15, 2012
at 04:12 AM

Before I discovered paleo I was a vegan and not necessarily for health benefits, though I suppose I figured they had to be there, I was vegan for crying out loud (; I was pretty much into that lifestyle just because I'm a big softie and have a HUGE dislike for the feed animal industry, it just gets to me, and even though I eat LOTS of meat now it still bothers me. I can't afford humanely treated animal products most of the time right now and it does bother me. If I could afford it I would only eat meat from animals I knew were treated humanely.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:00 AM

+1000 if I could.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:48 AM

+1 The slight pang of cognitive dissonance I felt every time I bought CAFO meat probably had more of an impact on my health than any ridiculous n6/n3 juggling act.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:40 AM

Good point. During my first 3 months of Paleo, I found myself buying grass fed beef but conventional chicken because I bought into the magical properties of the grass fed cow fat. If we are to think of it in ethical terms, is a cow's suffering more important than a chicken's? How 'bout insects or rodents (which get killed by organic pest control methods)?

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:17 PM

I've always felt some cognitive dissonance about the concept of humane treatment that includes the deliberate death of the animal. That being said, I eat meat, although I prefer game shot by my spouse. Maybe a better way to express the concept is to say that the treatment did not make the animals suffer unnecessarily.

18
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:09 AM

I would also imagine it goes beyond ratios. If an animal is essentially tortured and living in a very high stress environment for the months preceding its death, I have to imagine that makes its way into the flesh and organs. I like my meat to taste like happy. But I also know everything tastes like sad when there are moths flying out of your wallet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 15, 2012
at 07:57 AM

Bring back the days when animals were quite happy to be chased to death by stone age hunters.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 15, 2012
at 03:30 AM

Yes. And factory farmed animals are generally sicker too. Grain is unhealthy for cows just as it is unhealthy for humans. I don't want to eat sick, unhappy animals.

1955b5516a3eaedce732f4ea8bb3fa6c

on May 15, 2012
at 04:15 AM

"taste like happy" that is awesome! During my vegan days I heard from someone else who read it somewhere (totally don't know if it is really true but it made sense to me at the time) that when cows become highly stressed that their muscles are flooded with acid (fight or flight related maybe?) and so the meat is literally "filled with fear". May be just vegan propaganda but it sort of makes sense I guess.

9
A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:01 AM

Both absolute amounts AND ratios count. And there are many other positive benefits to eating grass-fed meat, some of which have already been covered above. It is more expensive only depending on how you measure it. You pay more at the checkout counter, but what are the environmental and other external costs? What are your future health costs?

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:04 AM

In other words, beware reductionist thinking. When you consider only one aspect of one set of factors, you miss a whole lot more of the big picture. I wish I could be more specific in this case, but I'm afraid that I'm a generalist :)

8
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on May 15, 2012
at 02:38 PM

It seems like most people who are answering this question assume that if you don't eat 100% grassfed, sustainably and ethically produced meat, that your only other option is CAFO meat. This is obviously not true. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find meat that fits your budget, your health goals and your ethical stance. I buy my beef by the half cow from a local farmer whose cattle live on pasture from birth until the day they are slaughtered. No pesticides nor fertilizers are used on the pasture, no growth hormones are used and no antibiotics are given unless the cow is sick. A grain-bin is rolled out to the pasture once a day and any cow that wants to can eat from it for about half an hour. Then the grain-bin is rolled back into the barn. This is not CAFO meat. It is also not grass-fed. I payed $3.69 a pound for my half cow this month, so it's also very affordable and tastes fabulous. I make this compromise because I am a single mother of twin three-year-olds and a Ph.D. student and I have very little money. I do believe you can make compromises on grassfed beef and still feel good about the meat you eat and your health and the health of the planet. Yes, eating less dark meat chicken, fewer walnuts and more salmon is also probably a good idea. And ideally we would all eat grassfed organic meat. But I believe there are good compromises that we can make when we feel they are necessary without jeopardizing our health or stressing to much about the decision.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 15, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Yeah, we had an issue with my family's cow, which is that they were fed SOME supplemental grain in the winter by a well-meaning watcher, which means we can never sell them as "grass fed." Otherwise, they are raised the same way as any other grass-fed cow, but they are much cheaper.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 10:34 PM

The problem with CAFO is that it's a diet that's so far removed from their natural diet. Feeding essentially all grain to an animal designed to eat nearly all grass is the problem. Supplementing some grain to grass-fed cattle is hardly the same as CAFO beef. And certainly your source of beef sounds just as good as any grass-fed cow!

8
Afcb63f4d97dfc1d2c97b770b29706d0

on May 15, 2012
at 04:30 AM

Whoa Pilgrim. Before you jump off the bandwagon, lets also remember its NOT just about the omega 3/6 ratio. There are lots of ways to balance that out.

But aren't you also eating grass fed meat for these reasons: - E coli risk is lower - Higher levels of beta carotene, vitamin a & e - slaughter time is 14 months for a corn fed cow and not a very good life vs 4-5 years with grass fed cows - Corn fed cow poop turns into toxic waste that pollutes our planet and does affect everyones health ultimately

7
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on May 15, 2012
at 08:33 AM

If you don't mind acid resistant ecoli, pink slime, pesticides, manure runoff poisoning rivers, and supporting business that isn't as nice to cows as it could be, I have a game plan for you.

Get the leanest CAFO beef you can, and supplement with grassfed butter, ghee and/or source some grassfed tallow. Beyond n-3 and n-6 ratios, the CLA and the micronutrients in grassfed beef are very important.

The cheapest option if you can invest in advance is to buy a freezer and get a half or whole beastie that you could live off of for most of the year.

Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:26 PM

I agree with the advice to get a freezer. I bought this one at Lowes. Only $160 and works like a charm. http://www.lowes.com/pd_75729-33112-LCM050LC_4294735501_4294933768_?productId=3042385&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl_Freezers%2BIce%2BMakers_4294735501_4294933768_%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo=

Fb031dfd6b79e5617da593a2bf9b23cd

(120)

on May 15, 2012
at 06:07 PM

Ha. I thought we were the only ones that used the term "beasties" for beef. I asked the farmer at the farmers market this weekend if she had any "roast beasties" & she looked at me as if I had 3 eyes.

7
707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

on May 15, 2012
at 12:54 AM

It's also about the hormones and antibiotics-- which eating organic chicken/beef will solve. But for me, it's also about their diet-- which, even in organically fed animals, is mainly corn and soy (two items that I avoid, not only because I eat paleo but because I'm sensitive to them both.) I also find that the taste of grassfed and/or pastured beef/chicken is superior to their grain-fed counterparts. +1 CoachCanadan, the treatment of the animals is important to me, as well.

If you buy grassfed, pastured beef and pastured chicken directly from a farmer, you can often get it for close to the price of conventional options at the grocery store. Split a cow-- and, if you aren't lucky enough to have a farm close to you, split the shipping with a few like minded friends (check www.eatwild.com to find a farm that ships!)

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:26 AM

Yes, hormones aren't used in either poultry or pork (as per USDA regulations) and the term "all natural" is also abused as it means nothing. But, again, by shopping around you can and will find grass fed, pasture raised pork/chicken/beef for close to the price of the conventional stuff-- I'd rather simultaneously spend less and get more money into the hands of farmers.

8de9776490016df60d49e03f23d656af

(596)

on May 15, 2012
at 05:16 AM

"If you buy grassfed, pastured beef and pastured chicken directly from a farmer, you can often get it for close to the price of conventional options at the grocery store." This really depends upon where you live. I bought a side of beef for $7.50 per pound--the least expensive I could find here.

Ed4b1d1f6a22f40d1cac48523b1cfbc9

(124)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Even Walmart carries antibiotic and hormone-free chicken. It's how I have stayed as close to Paleo possible as a college student.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Chickens are never fed hormones. A hormone-free label is just there for marketing purposes to fool folks into thinking the product is more wholesome than it actually is.

707342e3cb97e0fc088917919a154b8a

(1657)

on May 16, 2012
at 12:46 AM

I live in FL and buy my poultry from SC, my beef from TX, and my pork from a farm over 300 miles away-- even WITH shipping, it's still far less expensive than anything local to me, farm or store. Use the directory on eatwild.com and spend a few hours shopping around, you will likely be able to get beef for far less than $7.50/lb, it just might have to be from a few states over ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:40 PM

Local is not always the answer, sometimes bringing in produce from where it is best grown is the answer. I surely don't buy my avocados from Indiana in mid-December! ;)

6
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:53 AM

For me it's not so much about the ratios of this or that..I can't live in that world trying to tweak my every macronutrients. It is about the value of life, and how I feel about how animals are treated. It is the reason I was vegan many years ago and the reason now I strive to purchase as much meat from a humane source as I can. Is it more expensive? Yes. Can we afford to do it exclusively? No. Do I judge others who can't or don't buy from ethical sources? No, absolutely not, no one should. I figure I'm way ahead of the nutrition curve simply from cutting out processed foods, grains, etc. that's pretty much my bottom line...but again...I get the grass fed, pastured meats because it helps my conscience....nothing to do with ratio this or that. (probably didn't answer your question at all)

5
531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:26 PM

The ratio of Omega 6 or 3 in Walnuts isn't really 4:1. Remember that all vegetable forms of Omega 3 are in ALA form which your body can not use and has to convert to DHA and EPA. Unfortunately, only 5-10% of ALA is actually converted in the body.

Because of this, I eat mainly wild salmon 6-8 times a week combined with other seafoods. The only nuts I eat are macadamias because they are primarily monounsaturated fats. I find this is the best way to consume the correct fats on a primal diet without worrying about 6:3 ratios.

http://www.dhaomega3.org/Overview/Conversion-Efficiency-of-ALA-to-DHA-in-Humans

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:38 PM

Who says ALA is not used except for the production of DHA/EPA? It is the essential O3FA, not DHA or EPA.

5
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 12:53 AM

It's not all about the ratio. Total amount matters. Quality matters. Most people ultimately seem to attempt to limit total PUFAs, particularly keeping omega-6s low to ensure a decent (not necessarily exact) ratio with omega-3s, and getting PUFAs from whole foods sources. I'm particularly big on that last point - whole food unrefined sources of omega-6s aren't that bad. It's actually fairly hard to overeat PUFAs when you avoid things like industrial seed oils, I'd argue it's impossible. People rail on things like raw avocados for their PUFA content acting like it's anything like an equivalent amount of corn or vegetable oil. Bullplop, I say!

Personally, I'd not cut nuts and poultry to balance your PUFA ratio, because, these are largely whole foods sources of PUFAs, not oxidized and hard to overeat. I'd not cut grass-fed beef because it's so much better for the animal.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:36 AM

First of all, almond butter is a hyperpalatable food. Second, I don't know if your math is correct. 3 ounces of almond butter is 10 grams of omega-6, (0.3 grams omega-3.). It would take some in the ballpark of 5 ounces salmon to get your ratio down to 4:1, a very realistic ratio. 34 pounds of salmon is some 270+ grams of omega-3!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:10 AM

as to "hard to overeat": I can enjoy 3oz of Justin's almond / choc nut butter without any difficulty at all. If I had to balance that with 34 pounds / 7 days = 4.85 pounds of salmon, I don't think I could!

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on May 15, 2012
at 12:56 PM

I've always thought any sort of PUFA argument for grassfed was just silly because beef isn't a significant source of either. I question the whole 1-4:1 PUFA ratio or percentage of PUFA in the total diet either. Having once analyzed Mark Sisson's Sample Menu, depending on the variation of it that he eats in a given day, total intake and ratio is outta whack. Aside from cold water fish and flax (inferior source anyway, and I don't see how this seed is any more paleo than any grain, or that humans would want to eat it), foods with an O3:O6 ratio greater than 1 -- which would be necessary to consume to counter all the other paleo foods with ratios of O6:O3 of greater than 4 (pretty much most of them) -- are hard to find.

1
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:27 PM

To address your concern about the ratios, although people are beating you up about that phrase, what about fish oil supplements?

Perhaps this should be asked as a separate question, but no one has convinced me yet that beef in general is better for me than my freezer full of wild-caught salmon. I could be persuaded to cool it on the walnuts, and I find a chicken tasty now and then but am not prone to poultry abuse, but prefer salmon to beef most days.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 15, 2012
at 01:51 PM

Good point. I will ask it as a separate question (I want to get the link before I post). However, recently, Chriss Kresser & Robb Wolf have dramatically reduced their recommendation for fish oil. I think because of oxidation risk (I want to confirm all that later)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 15, 2012
at 10:37 PM

I think their recommendation has shrunk from assloads of fish oil to a few grams daily. It's not that no amount of fish oil supplementation is good and necessary, but that 2-8 grams daily isn't that bad.

4cbc4488855b0421943b57de0a9018c2

(212)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:05 AM

Despite their downgrade for fish oil, I still believe a big plus is their absence of contaminants, especially mercury. I would also think that oxidation risk is limited if you take capsules rather than the liquid from bottles. Just make sure you get a high quality brand and refridgerate it. Fish oil is obviously a very easy way to get your omega 3's and if that is your goal, a significantly cheaper alternative than grass fed beef or fish.

0
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 16, 2012
at 04:29 AM

You can still be paleo or primal while eating conventional meat! I personally prefer to purchase grass fed beef because it tastes way better to me than "regular" meat. However, just make sure you trim all visible fat, because it is said that the toxins from conventional meat are in the fat. Then eat healthy fats (perhaps buy grass fed butter if you aren't going to purchase pastured meats, it's a great trade off in my opinion). Another great idea is to shop the sales to save money, and get an upright freezer so you can stock up when you find a great sale (former couponer here...haha XD no need to coupon now that I'm not eating all the junk food!).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 16, 2012
at 10:54 AM

I'm all-in on the pastured butter (kerrygold) - YUM!!!

0
7ce1919fc3459d6a1b913c55fec3cdda

on May 16, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Eating 100 grams/3 ounces of walnuts per day might promote bleeding problems over time from an excessive amount of Omega 3 (=21 oz/week). Five ounces of mixed nuts over seven days (=5 oz/wk) has been found beneficial for reducing heart disease risk. So if the concern is health maybe have more beans and greens and less cow. Humanely treated and slaughtered may have less free AA from the stressful environment. Grass fed beef has been found to have equal or even more total AA content. [link below] However that might not have been in the unhealthy free form and grass fed beef is supposed to be a better source of CLA.

How the food is prepared may also effect free AA content.

Hunter-gatherers wouldn't have had 3 ounces of shelled walnuts readily available or a freezer full of beef. The exercise it takes to hunt and gather and process food might help offset negative health risks.

Arachidonic acid is a Omega 6 fatty acid that has been found to be a food source for prostate cancer and breast cancer cell strains. The cancer cells can form an enzyme that converts AA to a form they can use as a food supply. Research studies try to control for all variables but they can only control for what is recognized. Lumping all omega 6 fats together may have confused results and grouping all patients together whether they may have prostate or breast cancer or not may also have skewed results. Excess intake of animal products has been consistently associated with cancer not plant sources of LA. LA can be a precursor for AA so the foods rich in LA or AA may be bad for people who do already have breast or prostate cancer - further research is needed.

All omega 6s are not the same and all people may not react to them in the same ways. Worrying about the ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 is too simplistic without looking at the types and forms of the omega6s and 3s is my main point. Moderation, variety and safe food preparation are essential for health.

Link about Arachidonic Acid and cancer http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2012/03/arachidonic-acid-and-breast-prostate.html and he likes walnuts and almonds: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/03/paleo-diet-basics-why-i-eat-walnuts.html

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on May 15, 2012
at 04:49 PM

OK OK OK.

Here's my compromise:

If I'm going to buy beef, then fine, I'll buy grass fed for the variety of reasons expressed above.

However, I'm not going to use fatty grass fed chuck roast as my staple as I had been over the last few months. I still don't regard grass fed beef as the magical "liquid gold" I've heard it referred to here.

Again: you can't correct an excess of omega 6 by slathering on grass fed beef fat because it contains more omega 6 than omega 3.

If I had a choice of grass fed beef fat or justin's almond/choc butter as a source of omega 6, I'd pick the nut butter any day of the week.

I just picked up a bunch of frozen wild salmoln at trader joes and will increase my consumption of that.

BTW, I have (and will continue) to buy and enjoy kerrygold pastured butter because it's delicious!

Thanks again for helping me think this through, Mike

4cbc4488855b0421943b57de0a9018c2

(212)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:11 AM

"Again: you can't correct an excess of omega 6 by slathering on grass fed beef fat because it contains more omega 6 than omega 3." you can if it's the ratios that matter. grass fed beef has 6/3 ratio of 1.65 and grain fed beef has 4.84. so as long as you eat enough, you're guaranteed to have a 3:1 ratio in your diet. i'd recommend just taking some fish oil. it's cheap too.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:50 PM

In contrast @hhsuey, you would only need to eat 3.5oz of wild salmon to get that same combined 7:1 ratio because the salmon has soo much more omega 3 than 6. So, in all practical terms, I stand by my statement: "Again: you can't correct an excess of omega 6 by slathering on grass fed beef fat because it contains more omega 6 than omega 3."

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 12:47 PM

Actually @hhsuey, if you wanted counteract the effect of eating 3 ounces of peanut butter, you would need to eat 6 pounds of RAW grass fed ground beef, and even then, your ratio would be 7:1 (omega 6:3).

-1
9a090a18d6b5809988d91a438fc6a762

(-4)

on June 01, 2013
at 07:17 PM

I would like to point out that there are serious environmental problems with eating any fish, salmon included. (Although if you are going to eat salmon, make sure it is wild. There are environmental problems with salmon farming.) The oceans are overfished, and the world's fisheries are expected to collapse by 2050.

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