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Grass-fed beef is more nutritious than grain-fed beef

Nebraska's farmers face struggles.
Nebraska's farmers face struggles.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Meat produced from grass-fed cattle has up to five times more CLAs, four times more Vitamin E, three times more Omega-3 and twice as many beta- carotenes than meat produced from grain-fed cattle. It is free of growth hormones, herbicides, pesticides and GMOs. It also has fewer calories and less fat.

Cynthia Daley, et. al. writing for the Nutrition Journal volume nine, published in 2010, list the benefits of these nutrients a follows.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is an essential fatty acid that suppresses the growth of cancer cells and prevents obesity and diabetes. There is 500% more CLAs in meat produced from grass-fed cattle than conventional meat.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that lowers the risk of developing heart disease There is 300% more Vitamin E in cattle raised on a grass diet than cattle finished in feedlots.

Omega-3 is a fatty acid that fights memory loss and Alzhemer's disease. The acid also regulates serotonin levels. Grass-fed cattle produce meat that contains 75% more Omega-3 than grain-fed cattle.

Beta-carotene is a nutrient that keeps the lining of the eyes healthy and fights eye diseases. Meat produced from grass-fed cattle contains approximately 78% more carotenoids than conventional meat.

The American Grassfed Association has four simple rules for a ranch to become certified. First, animals may be fed only grass and foliage. Second, feedlots may not be used. Next, antibiotics and growth hormones may not be used. Lastly, animals must be born and raised on American family farms.

According to Dr. Dudley Baker, a retired gynecological oncologist, who now owns a grass-fed cattle ranch in Belton, Texas, good land stewardship, good husbandry and healthy food go together. Dr. Baker believes that by re-seeding the land with natural grasses, he can create an environment that will mimic the way ruminants used to live and eat.

He says, "I am very careful to not use GMOs, herbicides or hormones and we are not deep plowing our land."

Dr. Baker's ranch is AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) certified. Dr. Baker describes the meat as tasting clean.

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