Grassfed - The Informed Choice
There is a lot of confusion lately, and much of it intentional, about natural food production. Terms such as "natural", "organic", "free-range", "heritage breed", "pasture-based", "grassfed" , do not necessarily mean that that the production method mimiced Nature's image. Here you will find the questions to ask to more accurately determine exactly how the food you are buying was produced.
Grassfed products not only offer inherent health benefits, but also the very finest of flavor and eating satisfaction. Like artists, the best producers know how to manage a wide number of variables that make for great eating experiences. The breed of animal, the season of harvest, the stage and types of grasses, the soil minerals, rate of gain and method of harvesting all have an effect on the quality and flavor of grassfed products. Typically, the very best grassfed beef will be produced in the late spring and early summer
Why avoid grain-fed animal products?
Nature did not intend for animals suchas cattle, bison, sheep and goats to eat grain. Ruminant livestock have difficulty digesting grain and frequently develop liver tumors and other disorders as a result of grain feeding.
After World War 2, feeding grain to animals solved the problem of how to dispose of excess grain due to farm mechanization. And it was an easy way to make animals grow fat faster. However, even minimal grain feeding upsets the healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratios.
Grassfed products are far less likely to be contaminated with acid-resistant forms of E.coli bacteria. Research has shown that high-grain diets make E.coli more virulent by making it resistant to the natural protections our stomachs provide.
Was the animal ever given hormones or antibiotics?
Organic certification is your best guarantee that animals have not been given any growth hormones or antibiotics. That being said, many grassfed producers who are not Certified Organic have signed affidavits that they do not use these products. Always ask your farmer about this.
Was it raised on all grass, up to and including harvest?
We believe that ruminant animals should be fed direct-grazed grass and legumes, and dried hay or silage of pasture. This is what Nature intended for these animals. Some claims of "all natural", "grass-fed" or "organic" emhasize how cows are raised in lush green meadows...right until the end when they go to feedlots or are fattened on grain. INSIST on 100% grass for true grassfed products.
Why is grassfed better than organic?
Jo Robinson, editor of www.eatwild.com explains it best.