There are many sources which state the n-3 fat in pastured beef is DHA/EPA rather than ALA. E.g. from KGH:
"DHA/EPA are found in pastured butter, beef and lamb, and fatty fish."
There is No Such Thing as a Macronutrient Part I - Fats
But then I recently found other sources saying that pastured beef is mostly ALA. E.g. from Slanker's Grass-Fed Meats:
Fatty Acid Analysis
Which is correct? Is the answer the same for eggs from pastured chickens? I have been relying primarily on pastured beef and pastured eggs for my n-3, but wondering if it's important to consume fish more frequently given that ALA is not efficiently converted to DHA/EPA in humans.
Here is another data point which shows that beef has both ALA and EPA/DHA:
And, a good point was made in the comments of this response that the levels of ALA/EPA/DHA likely vary depending on breed/pasture/etc:
asked byMike_T_1 (9402)
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on March 26, 2012
at 02:35 AM
It is looking like ALA. Here is a piece and there are many like this. However I am looking for a better quote...
There is little argument that grass fed cattle accumulates more omega-3 fatty acids in their tissues than grain fed cattle 5, 10-28. This nutrient amplification in tissues occurs because the concentration of 18:3n3 (alpha linolenic acid [ALA]) in pasture grass is 10 to 15 times higher than in grain or typical feedlot concentrates25. In mammals the liver represents the primary tissue which chain elongates and desaturates 18:3n3 into long chain omega-3 fatty acids (20:5n3, 22:5n3 and 22:6n3) which then can be deposited in muscles and other tissues41.
No grassfed beef. However venison is listed. All the Beef and also the venison is ALA:
on March 26, 2012
at 12:02 PM
FYI: beef is not a good source of PUFAs, omega-3 or omega-6. Even grass-fed, it's not a good source of omega-3s, at best, you could say it was balanced.
ALA converts to DHA/EPA based on our bodies need for it. It's not efficient, but then the bodies need for both aren't all that high to begin with. The lower amount of DHA/EPA in your diet, the better the conversion from ALA to DHA/EPA is. Considering how rare concentrated source of DHA/EPA is, this makes sense, don't you think?