Why is “Grass-Fed” Important ?
Over the past ten years there has been a resurgence of research done on the appropriate feeding and care of animals for human consumption.
Human genetic patterns are based on the proper balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in a ratio of 3:1. In the proper ratio they are both required for optimal human health. It is important to understand how these two fatty acids function as they are metabolically different and have very different physiological purposes.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for normal growth, brain function, neurological health as well as playing an instrumental role in the prevention and treatment of cancer, coronary artery disease, hypertension, arthritis and other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
Omega 3 trans fatty acids are not only in wild fish but in any animal that eats or grazes upon it’s “natural” forage, whether that be plankton, algae or grass…
Omega 3 to 6 ratios are healthy in grass-fed animals like venison, elk, lamb, cattle and the dairy products produced by grass grazing cows and goats.
The Linolenic Acid in Omega 3 [LNA] is found in walnuts, flaxseed and the chloroplast of all green leafy grasses, algae, and vegetables. It is also found in eggs and the flesh of wild fish and meat animals who graze on these LNA rich “natural foods”.
Omega 6 fatty acids are found primarily in grains. For the most part we have been feeding, fattening and finishing our animals primarily with grains for years. Grains, the plant seed head, is a very low percentage of the over all plant and only arrives for a very short period in the plant’s life cycle. A strict grain regimen is not a balanced nor “normal” diet and it alters the animals Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios from a healthful 3:1 ratio, when they leave their natural forage, to as high as 20:1 at the end of their grain “finished” feed-lot stay. Per this new research, even in perfect conditions, it is the grain, even if it is certified “organic” grain, which sets up an un-healthful environment for our bodies when we consume animal protein raised on grain.
Meat from animals that eat grass is good for us. It’s a fact.
Feed-lot finished animals have the stress of trucking and then are crowded and confined in unnatural, unhealthy conditions. To keep them well and gaining weight they are fed or injected antibiotics and hormones. Cows were meant to “graze” on grass not be locked up and force-fed grain. It’s a matter of their health and ours.
For more information about Grass-Fed food products and research visit www.eatwild.com.
A recent article in the NY Times health blog, Ask Well: Is Grass-Fed Beef Better for You?NY Times Article