Grass-fed beef — it’s one of the best sources of protein, fatty acids, and healthy fats. If you’re like me and can’t live without a juicy burger or steak every now and again, this post will make you a happy camper.
Grass-fed Versus Factory-farmed Beef
Red meat has a bad rap. And rightfully so, if you eat factory-farmed meat from cows confined in concentrated animal feeding operations, known as CAFOs.
Instead of grazing on grass in peaceful pastures, cows living in CAFOs eat mostly genetically modified corn and soy grain. (GMOs are a topic for another day.) The goal — fatten them up in the shortest amount of time possible to make the most money possible.
Living in overcrowded, disease-ridden conditions, these poor cows often get sick. So they’re typically pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.
You Are What You Eat, Ate
Did you ever hear: You are what you eat, ate?
Think about that for a minute. Doesn’t it make sense that when you’re eating a factory-farmed steak, you’re also exposed to the GMO corn, GMO soy, hormones, and antibiotics that the cow ate?
Most importantly if you have thyroid issues:
Soy has been linked to autoimmune thyroiditis and should be avoided by anyone with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Disease.
Those grains and hormones are meant to fatten up cows. How do you think that impacts us?
And if the meat you eat is laced with antibiotics, should we be concerned about how that may impact antibiotic resistance in humans?
Health Benefits of Grass-fed Beef
There are compelling reasons to enjoy grass-fed beef:
CLA: Typical red meat is linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and getting fat. On the other hand, grass-fed beef is a powerful source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid with antioxidant effects shown to potentially prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even obesity.
Omega 6 to Omega 3 Ratio: Grass-fed beef has an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of about 1.5 to 1, pretty darn close to the gold standard for heart health, which is 1:1. Would you believe the average ratio in the Standard American Diet (aptly known as the SAD diet) is 30:1?!?
Other Perks: The healthy fat in grass-fed beef improves blood sugar levels. Plus, there’s less chance for food poisoning.
Where’s the Beef?
Most grocery stores stock grass-fed beef these days but try to find organic, grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Some cows are fed grain before slaughter to fatten them up even more.
Grass-fed beef will cost you a bit more than conventional beef, but it’s worth it if you value your health and the more humane treatment of animals.
Here are a couple of recipes to enjoy, including my Burger & Fries Night special:
One-Pan Grass-fed Beef and Cabbage
Here’s an easy, hearty dinner recipe that has just six ingredients and clean up is a breeze.
- 1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef
- 1 Onion, Diced
- ½ Cabbage, Chopped (I prefer red/purple cabbage for a pop of color)
- 2 cloves Minced Garlic
- 1 (14.5-oz) can Organic Diced Tomatoes, including juice (or use fresh diced tomato)
- Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
- 10 oz Spaghetti Sauce From a Glass Jar: It can be challenging to find a sauce with no added sugar but Rao’s is a good brand to try: Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, 24-Ounce (Pack of 4).
- In a large sauté pan, brown ground beef over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and cook until translucent. Drain fat.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add cabbage, tomatoes, sauce, salt and pepper to the pan and stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer about 20 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
Grass-fed Burgers and Fries Fit For Foodies
Here’s a simple, guilt-free version of one of my favorite meals. Add a bun if you aren’t gluten-free and some blue cheese crumbles if dairy doesn’t bother you.
- 1 lb Grass-fed Ground Beef: If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, here’s a good option: 100% Grass Fed Ground Beef Bricks 85% Lean, 15% Fat (4 pack)
- 1 Onion, Sliced
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Sweet Potatoes
- Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into your choice of matchstick fries or wedges. Spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer and toss with liquified coconut oil (microwave for a few seconds if needed). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping the fries over halfway through. When they’re slightly browned on the edges, they’re ready.
- While the fries bake, form the beef into four patties and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the burgers your favorite way, whether you prefer to grill them or even just prepare on your stovetop. Cook them to your desired temperature, keeping in mind that grass-fed beef cooks faster than conventional beef.
- Sauté the onion until translucent, add the vinegar, and a couple of tablespoons of water. Serve on top of the burgers.
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