FREE RANGE VS FEEDLOT BEEF
Researchers have linked serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer to heavy meat consumption.
We consume about 30.35kg of beef a year for each person – man, woman, and child. And those animals eat a lot of corn and other grain: most beef cattle are “finished” on grain before slaughter: only a very small percentage is entirely “grass fed”.
The latest trend is to follow organic practices in herd management, which are clearly healthier and more humane for the animals. The good news is that meat from those animals is free of antibiotics, steroids, hormones, pesticides, herbicides and other potentially toxic substances. The bad news is that it can take nearly two years to bring those animals to market on grass.
Studies have shown that an animal’s diet can have an impact on the nutritional content of the meat on the consumer’s table. Grass-fed meat has been shown to contain less fat, more beneficial fatty acids, and more vitamins and to be a good source of a variety of nutrients. According to a study published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2009, eating grass-fed beef provides many benefits to consumers.
1. Lower in total fat
2. Higher in beta-carotene
3. Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
4. Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
5. Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
6. Higher in total omega-3s
7. A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
8. Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
9. Higher in vaccenic acid ( which can be transformed into CLA)
10. Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Lower Fat – Meat from grass-fed cattle is much lower in fat, and therefore lower in calories. A 6-ounce steak from a grass-finished animal has almost 100 fewer calories than the same sized-piece from a grain fed-animal. If, like the average person, you eat 30.35kg of beef a year, switch to grass-fed beef and you’ll save nearly 18,000 calories a year.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are fats that are essential to human health. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass is omega-3, which is formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves. Grass-fed cattle can contain as much as two-to-four times more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed animals.
At the same time, a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids has been linked with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, depression, obesity, and autoimmune disorders. A ratio of four to one or lower is considered ideal. Grain-fed beef has a much higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than wild game or grass-fed beef. In grass-fed beef the ratio is approximately 2 to 1, while the ratio in grain-fed beef is 14 to 1.
More Vitamins – In humans vitamin E is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Meat form grass-fed cattle is higher in vitamin E.; as much as four times higher in vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle.
Rich source CLA – Meat from grass fed animals is the richest known source of “conjucated linoleic acid” or CLA. Grass fed cattle have been found to produce 2 to 5 times more CLA than cattle fed high grain feedlot diets. Labatory tests indicated that, a diet containing even a small amount of CLA greatly reduced cancerous growths.
Taken all this facts into account, what is the way forward in the meat industry. Feedlot-beef will always be a part of the meat trade, but we as meat supplying company have taken the initiative to adapt to all meat consumers needs. Freerange beef,lamb and poultry products have been introduced into Hartman Butcheries list of meat products. We as a company took a stand to look after our customers and consumers needs