Beef is a health food if it comes from cattle that are raised entirely on well-managed pasture – no grain ever. Beef provides complete protein for humans, and 100% grass-fed beef has tremendous health benefits:
- Laboratory tests confirm that 100% grass-fed beef contains a perfect ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6, a ratio similar to salmon. While the body requires some Omega 6, an excess can foster cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, which are suppressed by Omega 3s.
- Meat and dairy products from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), which may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.
- Grass-fed meat has seven times more vitamin A and three times more vitamin E than feedlot beef.
- Also, rotational grazing improves soil health and fertility so that nutrients essential to human health are passed from the soil to the grasses and legumes eaten by the cattle; this ensures that the meat is nutrient- dense, that is, high in nutrition relative to the amount of calories.
Food security is not recognized as an issue where a variety of foods are abundant, but in fact food produced from depleted soil is missing trace minerals required for our immune systems to function effectively. Unlike grass-fed beef, much of the food in our markets today – vegetables as well as meat – does not deliver the same nutrition found in food decades ago. This nutrition deficit is caused by agricultural practices, widespread since the early twentieth century, that have degraded our farmlands. Many diseases now common in our society may be the result of missing vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that our grandparents were able to get from food. Also, our immune systems have been compromised by increasing exposure to pesticides and herbicides such as glyphosate, which is used on corn grown for cattle fattened in feedlots.
This situation is reversible. Stewardship of pastures and skillful grazing management result in deep plant roots and abundant soil microbes that transfer essential nutrients to the plants. Grass and forage that is both nutritious and also free of pesticides and herbicides, means healthy cattle with meat that is optimal for human health.