Author Topic: "grass fed"  (Read 1572 times)

Offline Wild Hunger (ketogenic)

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"grass fed"
« on: June 26, 2014, 06:36:35 AM »
So I've been pondering lately that grass fed may not mean very much.  I mean, technically corn is a grass.  All grains grow on grasses by definition.  I'm not really an expert on this part of Paleo.  Should I be limiting myself to "pastured"?

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: "grass fed"
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 09:02:39 AM »
Grass finished beef is healthier because it has a better balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.  This is because the leaves of the plants have more omega 3 fats, while the seeds of corn and other popular grains have excessive amounts of omega 6 fats.

That said, even grain finished beef is far better in this respect than vegetable oils.  The ideal omega3:6 ratio is between 1:1 and 1:2; the figures I've seen for grain finished beef are between 1:4 and 1:8; the figures for soy oil and corn oil are 1:20 and 1:30.

Personally, I can't generally afford grass finished steak and roasts, but I do buy grass finished ground beef.  I also eat fatty fish at least once a week and get organic omega 3 eggs to help improve the omega 3:6 balance.


Offline Wild Hunger (ketogenic)

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Re: "grass fed"
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 01:17:06 PM »
That makes sense.  If  you feed the seed of the grass, the omega-6 content is higher than if you feed the leaves of the grass.  I wonder though if this is a loophole in the definition.  Could a rancher claim it's "grass fed" even if grains (seeds of the grass) are given because it's a part of a grassy plant? 

Today was the first day I paid attention to this, and the prices are exorbitant.  Paid $65 for 4 ribeye steaks that were "stage 4". Ouch.  I was definitely going to do it once though.  The smell was so heavenly, I almost ate it raw the minute I got it home.  I can see why people go head over heels for this kind of meat.  I have a good sense of smell and, let's just say, I understand lions now.  I'd stalk and hunt a wildebeest for this. 

Offline pvtpeas

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Re: "grass fed"
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 08:40:49 AM »
A lot of the time animals that have been classed as 'grass fed' have had a less stressful life (more space to maneuver, more time spent outside ect.) in comparison to intensively farmed animals (which are more than likely to be grain fed) so there would be hormonal differences between the animals.

Comparing only the feed (grain vs grass) of animals may still show a difference in stress-related hormone levels as some of the properties of grain are pro-inflammatory (compared to grass anyway), therefore you could speculate that the immune system of the grain fed animal may be weaker --> increasing the likelihood of elevated stress hormones.

Why bang on about stress hormones? Well, typically an animal raised in a high stress environment (think of caged hens) produces a worse quality meat/eggs, especially if the selected edible portion has a high fat content (since fat cells retain many hormones --> think of it like measuring CO2 levels from millions of years ago by analyzing the trapped air bubbles stored in a segment of ice from Antarctica - as you remove more and more ice, the air from many years ago are released. So when you consume the fat from an animal you ingest the stored hormones as well).

Of course these are animals, so the inflammatory effects may be different.

On a similar note: I've always wondered what the quality of chicken fat would be if it had been fed a high 'bug' diet (ie. grow lots of worms by feeding wasted veg/fruit from humans, and let the chicken eat the bugs). That could be the new 'super health' food in years to come...