Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why go Grass Fed?

My last post talked about the 1/8th of a cow I got through Philly Cow Share. You may be wondering why go grass fed? To start, there is some truth that you are what you eat, and as I mentioned in the Optimal not Tolerable post. What I didn't mention is that you also are what you eat, eats. When you eat conventionally raised meats and farmed fish which are fed lots of corn, soy, antibiotics, hormones, and questionable feed (mixed in animal products in some cases) that food is what is being used as the building blocks for that animal's fat and muscles. So when you eat conventionally raised meats and fish, they have a higher amount of Omega 6 fats (that cause inflammation) from eating all of the corn (Corn oil's Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is 46:1). Not to mention any antibiotic or additional growth hormone that may also be there.

Grass fed meats are healthier because the animal is eating what it was evolved to eat, so it has a more complete nutrition profile and doesn't have industrial by products. When your animals are eating grass, seeds, grubs, insects, etc (depending on what the animal is) it has a healthier profile, grows at a natural rate and has less Omega 6 fats since it's not eating any corn. You naturally are getting a some amount of Omega 3's since cows are eating a diet that is natural to them along with some other good stuff like CLAs. When you eat higher quality meats you are fueling your body with more optimal sources. Starting to be concerned about quality is the next level of optimizing your food choices, after you've changed your food choices to primarily whole foods - focusing on meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Where can you find grass fed or pastured meats, the first step is to start asking and looking for it. Often times it's in with the Organic meats. But if something says vegetarian fed or organic that doesn't mean that it's grass fed or pastured. Be careful what you are buying and decide for yourself what is worth the additional money. Check out farmer's markets in your area, try to find a local farm, look for resources like Philly Cow Share and Farm to City that serve the Philadelphia area. Other great resources for high quality meats are: EatWild and US Wellness Meats where you can order meat that is delivered right to you door.

Are you ready to make a commitment to improve the quality of what you're eating?

For a more depth description of the differences between grass fed and grain fed, check out this post by Mark Sisson on Mark's Daily Apple.


  1. LOVE farm to city! we're joining one of their buying clubs!!

  2. sometimes even "grass fed" cows may be "grain finished" meaning they get stuffed with grains the last month or so to fatten them up. The more local you get though, the more you can actually ask questions of the farmer and be an informed consumer. Nice job LP!