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What is Grass Fed Meat?

Grass fed meat refers to animals that are fed a diet of, as you
would expect, grass. However, included in this is also other forms of
vegetation such as clover, herbs, flowers and legumes. Basically, grass fed
refers to animals such as sheep and cows that are allowed a natural foraging
diet within the fields that they are kept.

But is all grass fed meat created equally?

It is worth noting that not all grass fed meat is 100% grass
fed. While farmers in Britain have the opportunity to mainly bring their animals
to term durning the summer months, some may not. This means that some farmers
may find that they finish their animals on alternative feed.

Although there is a high demand now for the 100% grass fed
variety, this is not necessarily the best thing for the animals or the
consumer.

As stated above, some farmers may need to finish their cattle on
a diet that is supplemented with grains. The reason for this is to give those
animals the chance to reach maturity prior to slaughter. Some grass fed animals
are being slaughtered early to meet the criteria of grass fed, which in turn
will affect the quality of the meat.

The fact is, most British farmers give their animals a minimum
of 90% grass fed diet. But for those who finish them on sugar beet or some form
of specially created formula etc will not be awarded the Pasture for Life
certificate.

The Pasture for Life Certificate is the only label that
guarantees the meat you are buying is 100% grass and natural vegetation fed.
Organic meat doesn’t mean grass fed unless it is certified as such.

So why choose grass-fed?

Proponents for grass-fed meat say that it is better for the
environment, more nutritious and better for farmers and animals.

Farmers and animals

We will start with the last point first. Obviously feeding your
animals on a diet that is readily available for them to forage naturally is a
lot cheaper than buying them food.

But it goes further than that. Some reports claim that grass fed
animals are healthier and therefore require less vet visits and it is therefore
not necessary to give them courses of antibiotics which can in turn affect the
quality of the meat.

Why it may be better for your health

As plants naturally produce their own antioxidants, these are
digested by the animals as they eat them. Some studies show that the nutrients
then accumulate in the fat cells and are transferred to us when we eat the
meat.

A study in the British Journal of Nutrition claims people who
eat moderate amounts of grass fed meat receive a healthier level of essential
fats. This is because it is leaner than the grain fed alternative and has higher
levels of the good fats such as omega 3. Other benefits include a higher level
of vitamins and minerals.

How does it help the environment

The biggest thing about pastures that are rich in clover is that
they do not need to be maintained. No pesticides or fertilisers are needed to
grow them, so there are less harmful nitrates causing carbon emissions. Whereas
crops growing grains are widely linked to harmful emissions and deforestation
causing more damage to the planet.

Plus, when cattle are allowed to graze on grasslands, this helps
to maintain the balance and actually increases the nutrients in the soil. Not
only does that mean more fertile soil, but it also means that more carbon is
kept in the ground and not released into the atmosphere.

Is it worth the extra price tag?

At the end of the day, whether you choose grass or grain fed
will come down to personal preference. It is all about the taste and quality
verses the affordability.

However, as first mentioned in this article, most British
farmers allow their cattle to roam on grasslands for the majority of their lives.
There may be a supplement towards the finish, but this will have little impact
on the taste or quality of the meat.

The omegas that you get from grass fed meat are easily and
readily available in other sources, such as salmon. Eating a varied diet will
provide your body with all the nutrients you need.

Eat Great Meat’s advice would be to use a
butcher you trust, buy locally reared meat where possible and try different
cuts and types of meat to see which you prefer.

NECESSITY OF A BALANCED PROPORTION OF ALL THE FOOD ELEMENTS IN A DIET

Proper nutrition
comprises complex elements required as per standard recommendation leading to
the growth and development of the individual. There are various parameters such
as height, weight, age, gender, and activity level in consideration when
determining proper nutrition for any individual. There are some major elements
to keep in track when drafting a nutritional plan for a specific person. Carbohydrates,
fat, protein, micro and macro mineral are the basic end product of a food
yielding a considerable amount of energy helping you in doing regular work. You
can segregate the food items and their requirements on the basis of
functioning.

MAJOR ELEMENTS
OF FOOD:

Carbohydrates, protein,
fats, and minerals constitute food. The ratio of the elements mentioned
determines the healthy aspect of food. The detailing is mentioned below.

  1. Carbohydrate:

It is considered to be the body’s major source of energy. The major
source of carbs includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc helping you in
reducing obesity to a wider extent. Carbs play a major role in reducing
cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. There are various categories of a diet
based on calories. For instance, if you follow a 2,000- calorie diet the
recommended consumption of carbohydrate should be 225-325 grams every day. The
Food and Nutrition Board do recommend obtaining 45-65% of total calories from
carbohydrate.

  • Fat :

The term “Fat” sounds threatening to people in these recent years.
People have got the habit of avoiding it however it is one of the major
nutritional elements for developing a healthy diet. The major functioning of
fat lies in providing insulation to the body by maintaining body temperature to
a greater extent. Fat also plays an important role in cushioning organ
protecting it from severe trauma and injuries. The average recommendation of
the fat is about 20 to 35 % of the daily calories. It is advised to target
achieving fat content from unsaturated fats majorly nuts, nut butter, seeds,
avocado, olive oil, etc.

  • Protein:

Protein constitutes the major physiological functioning of the body.
It helps in keeping up the demand of the energy in the body however it also
plays a great role in maintaining water and pH balance. Protein boosts the immune
system allowing proper movement and bending of the body. The major sources of
protein include meat, poultry, fish, nut, milk products, etc. The average recommendation
of daily protein intake is about 46 grams. It is slightly greater for women
limiting to 56 grams.

  • Vitamins :

Vitamins
are the enhancers helping in growth and development. There are majorly 13
vitamins classified on the basis of the body’s capacity of absorbance. The
recommended values of vitamins differ among individuals.

Apart from the healthy food element
mentioned above minerals play a major part in the daily diet. It may not
directly yield energy however helps in proper growth and development of the body.
There are classified as micro and macro nutrients depending on the amount of
intake. The major elements needed for growth include sodium, potassium, calcium,
etc. Water is not only mentioned for quenching thirst, but it also helps in
maintaining homeostasis. Drinking approx 8 ounces of glasses on a regular basis
does help to keep various away.

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