BAIRNSLEY  HIGHLANDS

THE BENEFITS OF GRASS FED BEEF

We choose to grow our steers out on grass, rather than grain as is used in a feedlot, not just because of the taste, but  because of the health benefits and the improved lifestyle of the paddock raised and finished animal. (More about our beef.)

Grass Fed Beef - The Healthy Choice

Ever wondered why those who lived 100 years ago ate a lot of beef and weren't dying from cancer and heart disease at the rate that we seem to be today. Well the reasons for this could be many and varied, but one could be that the majority of beef produced these days is grain finished in feedlots, and the beef produced in that process has quite a different make up to the traditional grass fed beef of a century ago. Our grass fed Highland beef will contain no traces of antibiotics or hormones, unlike most feedlot beef.

There are many differences with grass fed beef (compared with grain fed beef) that will make you want to eat more beef rather than less:

1) It has twice the amount of Beta-Carotene (a precursor of Vitamin A) - needed for normal vision, bone growth, reproduction and cell division.

2) It has 2.5 times the amount of Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant which can help mop up free radicals.

3) It has more omega-3 fatty acids, and an improved balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, and help prevent heart disease and arthritis. (Only grass fed beef is recommended by Food Standard Australia for beef to be considered a source of omega-3 fatty acids.)

4) Grass fed beef has increased levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an important polyunsaturated fatty acid which is involved in reducing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and the accumulation of our own body fat.

As well as containing significantly less saturated fats ('bad fats') grass fed beef tends to be leaner overall (less than 3% fat). The table below shows results from one study performed at California State University and demonstrates the health related differences compared to grain fed beef.

  Grass Fed Beef
Monounsaturated Fats (good fats) 14% more
Polyunsaturated fats (good fats) 88% more
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 58% more
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) 59% more

The same is true of lamb or milk products from grass-fed sheep and cattle.

One possible reason behind these health benefits is related to the pH in the rumen, or first of the four stomachs. The rumen of the bovine, where bacteria aid in digestion, is maintained at a much higher pH when animals are grass fed only. When grain is added to the diet, the types of bacteria change because of the different fermentation needed to digest the starches in the grain products. This more acidic rumen content creates an environment and type of bacteria that can not produce as much CLA, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids but will produce more omega-6 fatty acids.

 

Nutrient Values of Grass-Fed Lean Beef Steak per 100g
Calories
117kcal
Energy Value
488kj
Total Fat
2.69g
Carbohydrates
0.00g
Sugars
0.00g
Dietary Fibre
0.00g
Protein
23.07g
Sodium
55mg
Zinc
3.61mg
Potassium
342mg
Iron
1.85mg
Magnesium
23mg
Copper
0.068mg
Calcium
9mg
Vitamin C
0.0mg
Vitamin E
0.22mg
Vit. B3 (Niacin)
6.703mg
Vitamin B6
0.651mg
Vit. B1 (Thiamin)
0.052mg
Vit. B2 (Riboflavin)
0.124mg

Substantial evidence from recent studies shows that grass fed lean red meat trimmed of visible fat does not raise total blood cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. In one study of 191 individuals with hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) who were instructed to consume at least 80% of their meat in the form of lean red meat (LRM) or lean white meat (LWM), the LRM or LWM diet produced similar reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and elevations in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, which were maintained throughout 36 weeks of treatment.

Happier, Naturally Raised Cattle

Every animal that we produce meat from is born on our property here in Sunbury. Our Highlands live their entire life out in the paddock with grass, rocks and trees. They are not locked up in a feedlot where all they have to eat is grain mix with no access to pasture or shade.

Our animals are quiet, both because Highlands are a quiet breed, but also because we walk through the mobs each day and run them through our yards many times to get them used to people and handling. We deliver them to the abattoir ourselves and handle all the links in the chain possible to ensure a stress free process for them. Tight management of all these steps is why we can guarantee you will not eat more tender or flavoursome beef.

Email us if you are interested in some of our beef, or if you have any questions.

Referrences:

1) Facts about grass fed beef (news.ucanr.org/newsstorymain.cfm?story=531)

2) Effect of Rations on Lipid Profiles in Beef (California State University) - www.csuchico.edu/agr/grassfedbeef/health-benefits/