With St. Patrick’s Day and Corned Beef upon us, this has been a BIG question this week:
‘Can you eat beef and be healthy?’
Well the answer is: yes, you can, but it MUST be grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Some farms grass feed their beef until just a few weeks before slaughter, then they finish with grain.
Cattle, like all other ruminants, evolved through the ages eating green leafy plants, mostly grass. In fact, there are no animal species on the planet that have evolved eating grain, including humans.
So what does this have to do with whether or not beef is healthy?
Here are the facts.
- Science tells us that America’s leading health problems are due to the fact that the American diet is heavy in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Omega-6 fatty acids come mainly from grains, which are by nature, deficient in omega-3 fatty acids.
- The correct ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids come mainly from eating green leafy plants, some nuts, and of course animals that eat grass and green, leafy plants.
- Science has determined that if the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids in cell membranes exceed 4:1, human health becomes compromised and health problems begin.
The balance between these two essential fatty acids is crucial to human health. These fats have compounds that are found in our cell membranes, that is to say, in every single cell in our bodies!
So what does this have to do with beef again??
The ratios in grain-fed beef can exceed 15:1 (omega-6 to omega-3) whereby grass-fed beef is down around 1:1. This is true for every ruminant that eats grain, lamb included.
If you want to be healthy and eat beef (or any red meat), it must be grass-fed and grass-finished and portion control is key.
This Week at Nina Cucina
Since we’re talking about grass-fed beef this week, you may be wondering where to purchase it.
Whole Foods Market carries grass-fed beef. I find that different locations carry different stock, however.
If you love a good ribeye, as I do, Organic Grass-Fed Wagyu from Vital Choice is the way to go! The Wagyu cow is a burly beast with lots of natural marbling that come through as a delicious piece of meat when raised on grass.
These two stores are my ‘go to’ for beef. I’m leaning more and more towards having groceries come to the front door; it’s such a time-saver!
Recipe of the Week
Since we’re talking beef, I have a great beef recipe for you! Beef Tagine is a yummy Moroccan stew filled with lots of warm spices and tons of flavor! Enjoy!