La Jolla Mom

Why Is Certain Grass-Fed Beef Healthier Than Others?

BY La Jolla Mom

Today’s post is by Beth Kandell, CEO of Simply Fine Gourmet, a convenient food (meat, seafood, prepared items, desserts–yum!) delivery service that helps busy moms prepare fresh, high quality, quick, easy and affordable meals–allowing for more quality time around the dinner table. Beth is here today to explain the benefits of grass-fed beef, a topic I happened to be interested in learning more about.

I’ve been getting so many emails from my “moms” asking me to include organic and grass-fed meats on the Simply Fine Gourmet website.  As I was searching for the best products for you, I started thinking that many of us REALLY don’t know what our animals are eating–and this is scary.

It’s important to know that when the package says all natural, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s all healthy.  Should you eat regular feedlot meat or grass-fed meat?  What does GMO (genetically modified organism) mean in relation to our food and is it bad for us?

My goal is to help you navigate through the healthy and the not-so-healthy. So, I decided to write a series of articles that would help you to better understand organic and grass-fed meat.  This way, you can make intelligent decisions about what to feed yourself and your family.

Why Grass-Fed Meats Are Not All Alike

Before we started our “Strictly Grass-Fed” line of beef we did A LOT of research to make sure that we were only putting out the BEST to you. Did you know that certain types of grass-fed beef are healthier than others? Not all ranchers finish their cattle with grass feed. Some try to improve the flavor by cheating the system and feeding (or finishing) the cattle with a little corn and/or grain in last few weeks before processing.

Cows can’t digest corn and grain, so if they weren’t slaughtered in those last few weeks of eating it they would die on their own. Feeding them corn and grain is strictly for the purpose of fattening them up so there’s more marbling. At Simply Fine Gourmet, we don’t like cheaters! It’s not good for the cows and it’s not good for you. Corn and corn by-products also have high a glycemic index, meaning it is easily converted to sugars in the body–and your body.

Here are the true health benefits of eating entirely grass-fed beef:

  • LESS total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories.
  • MORE vitamin E, beta-carotene and vitamin C.
  • HIGHER health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and CLA.
  • NO corn or corn by-products enter your body through the beef.

What Is CLA, You Ask?

Well, get this:  CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer…and it’s in beef! There is new evidence that it reduces cancer risk in humans. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels. The study states:

Meat and dairy products from grass-fed cattle are the richest known source of good fat called CLA. When the cattle are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.

A steak from the most marbled, grass-fed animals will have the most CLA, because most of the CLA is stored in fat cells.

Where Our Grass-Fed Beef Comes From

At Simply Fine Gourmet, we buy our 100% grass-fed, 100% grass-finished Angus Beef from Novy Ranches in Grenada, California, which is in the Shasta Valley area of Northern California.  All Novy Ranches’ cattle graze exclusively on three huge, tall grass pastures, each between 2,000 and 3,000 acres. Once they’re finished with one, they’re moved to the next pasture, then to the next. During the heaviest winter months when there’s snow on the ground, they will supplement the sparse grasses with hay (never grain).

At Novy Ranches, they take great care in raising their cattle–from the time they’re born to the time that they’re processed–every step of the way. Equally important is that they follow the Temple Grandin philosophy of totally humane treatment.

We asked how they achieve their wonderful flavor with just the right amount of fat. Their secret is this: Novy Ranches’ cattle are ultrasound tested for a high standard of marbling and all breeding bulls are DNA tested for tenderness characteristics. Because the cattle at Novy Ranches are a closed herd (meaning, they know where these cows have been all of their lives) this testing, combined with selective breeding over the years has developed a strain of cow with unrivaled marbling and tenderness among grass-fed beef providers.

And, finally, all Novy Ranches grass-fed beef is 21-day dry-aged to maximize tenderness and flavor.

Simply Fine Gourmet is pleased and proud to offer Novy Ranches grass-fed beef to our customers. We know you’ll taste the difference.

About Beth

For over a decade Beth has been helping moms bring their families back together around the dinner table for good food and good love…and she can help you too! Beth is an expert chef and the CEO of Simply Fine Gourmet online. Don’t forget to download Beth’s Cookbook: 20 Recipes in 20 Minutes.

I have had the opportunity to sample (thanks, Beth!) a variety of meat and seafood from Simply Fine Gourmet. First, I underestimated the convenience of having it delivered to our doorstep–I haven’t been to the grocery store much. I can pull out meat from the freezer on a whim and use one of Beth’s easy recipes to prepare it, such as the salmon with brown sugar and mustard glaze recipe. Even my husband can taste the difference and we both find comfort in knowing we’re eating high quality meat that’s been sourced with care. Do you have questions? Leave a comment and we’ll answer them for you. More to come…

*Photo credit: Flickr, jula_julz

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