You don’t need to be a tree hugger to prefer sustainably produced chicken or beef.
Pastured chickens roam around and consume vitamin-rich bugs and grasses, so their meat has 21% less fat and 28% fewer calories than conventional chicken.
Grass fed beef, likewise, is 11% lower in calories than conventional beef. Plus it has 36% less fat and a healthier balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Grass-fed beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), another fatty acid, which has also been shown to reduce cancer risk in humans. In laboratory animals, diets with CLA levels as little as .05% reduced the total number of mammary tumors by 32%. The results are similar with humans: One study found that women with higher levels of CLA in their diet had a 60% lower chance of breast cancer than women who weren’t getting as much. CLA has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, helping to reverse the symptoms of artherosclerosis, in addition to staving off the onset of diabetes. It also works to reduce adipose (fat) tissue and increase lean muscle mass. Grass-fed beef contains roughly 2-4x the amount of CLA found in grain-fed beef.
Grass-fed beef also has more:
- Beta-Carotene – Antioxidant vitamin that is needed for healthy vision, bone growth, skin health, and the production of white blood cells. Grass-fed beef contains about 2x as much beta-carotene as grain-fed beef.
- Vitamin E – Another powerful antioxidant vitamin that protects cells from free radicals, helping to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. Grass fed beef contains about 3x the amount as grain-fed beef.
- Vitamin C – Another powerful antioxidant vitamin needed to help grow and heal all parts of the body. Also helps the body absorb iron, which is needed to make red blood cells.
- B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin (good for energy, forming red blood cells), calcium (good for strong bones/teeth), potassium (electrolyte balance), and magnesium (muscle, nerve, and heart function, supports healthy immune system, and bone strength).
Here’s the clincher. If you could find a farm that sells beef or chicken raised in a healthy manner, you would probably assume that this meat costs more. It would, if you bought it from a health food store, meaning you are paying the middle man. We always buy our beef in volume right from the farm, meaning 1/2 a cow raised humanely and in a healthy manner.
As you know, even conventional supermarket meat can have a hefty price for roast or a good steak. So in the long run, I save money and eat a healthy product. Typically, I find these farms online, by “Googling” them in my area. I have done this all across the country and have never had a problem finding a farmer raising meat ethically.