Forget everything you think you know about beef. That it’s high in saturated fat. That the best cuts are marbleized with fat. That it’s a splurge food. That it increases your risk for certain diseases.
It turns out that a lot of these issues are triggered by an unnatural pH in a cow’s first stomach. The fermentation chamber that initiates what will ultimately be the critical balance of fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and enzymes that are essential for human nutrition, the first stomach must be healthy in order for an animal to produce healthy meat.
Forage-grazing animals have a healthy, highly-functioning pH of 7, which allows for an abundance of the essential fermentation bacteria that create high levels of CLA, omega-3s, branch-chain amino acids, vitamins and digestive enzymes. But even a small amount of grain can throw all this off: just 30 days on a grain diet can offset 200 days of grazing chemistry.
Unfortunately, when an animal lives on a heavy-starch grain diet, that healthy pH 7 suddenly plummets to a highly acidic pH 4. With this increase in acidity comes a different kind of fermentation bacteria: one that impedes the production of healthy fats like omega-3s and CLA and increases the level of omega-6s.
Another troubling side effect? Animals require daily doses of low-level, feed-grade antibiotics to allow their livers to cope with abnormal acidity.
And as if all that weren’t bad enough, this less-than-perfect management system demands that grain-fed animals be given growth hormones to quickly fatten them in the race to harvest. But all this new weight doesn’t come in the form of healthy, lean muscle. With less exercise than their pasture-raised, forage-fed counterparts, grain-fed animals develop the heavier, marbled muscle mass that is the hallmark of a high-carbohydrate, low-fiber diet.
It’s no wonder most beef isn’t good for you: the ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 approach 20 to1, CLA and vitamin levels are minimal, and it’s full of antibiotics and hormones. No wonder we’ve all been told for years to eat chicken and fish to offset our beef consumption.
With a natural diet of high-protein, low-starch lush forages combined with daily exercise and clean water, our pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle are some of the healthiest animals around. Though it may take a little longer for them to develop, we ban the use of any hormones. And since our animals have a healthy pH of 7, there’s no need for antibiotics. Our cattle are hearty and content thriving on the best of the environment.
Even better, they pass the wealth of nutrients they consume in their daily diet on to you. Grass-fed beef is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fat found in salmon, in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a proven cancer fighter, as well as vitamins A and E, branch-chain amino acids, digestive enzymes and essential nutrients that are known for their antioxidant properties.
When it comes to nutrition, grass-fed beef truly is a completely different animal.