Going Organic

There is a growing consensus that consuming red meat can be the impetus for a host of health problems. Conventionally raised beef cattle are routinely injected with antibiotics that are ultimately consumed by the beef eater. Hormones, including growth hormones are used in order to fatten them up for market as well. They are also grain fed, which is not a natural dietary component for cows. However, this too helps fatten them up for market. Consumers end getting much more than they bargained for when eating conventionally raised beef. There is a healthy alternative though, and it does not require giving up beef at all.

The issue is not whether beef is healthy or not. How the cattle is raised, and what goes into the cattle is the real issue. Whatever a cow consumes or is injected with eventually ends up in the human food chain. Organic beef is a healthy choice because the cows are naturally grass fed and do not contain the drugs and hormones found in conventionally raised cattle.

Organic beef

There are generally two types of organically raised cows: Those that feed exclusively on grass, as nature intended, and those that spend their final months being grain fed, in an effort to fatten them up for market. Grass fed cows are lower in saturated fat and contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Over time, saturated fats can clog the arteries and contribute to heart disease. Omega-3’s are essential for brain function and may protect against heart disease, among its many benefits.

Every country, and even some individual localities have certain standards that must be adhered to in order for beef to be certified organic. Grass fed cows that are raised without using antibiotics, hormones, or are exclusively fed on grass are likely to classified as organic in most countries.

Quality V.S. quantity

Food safety standards vary from country to country though, and conventionally raised beef from foreign countries may contain levels of drugs and hormones that would be considered unacceptable by local standards. Organically raised free range cows may take several years before they are ready for market. A conventionally raised calf may go from 100 pounds to 1000 in a span of as little as 18 months. It almost goes without saying that much of this incredible weight gain is fat, with the assistance of growth hormones.

Organic Beef is the healthy choice

Organically raised beef is notably different from conventionally raised beef. There is a distinct difference in taste and texture. Organic beef may be a little tougher than its conventional counterpart due to the fact that there is more meat and less fat. Lean, high protein drug and hormone free beef is clearly a healthier choice, but raising cows organically is also more expensive. If you really are what you eat though, then the price is worth it in the long run, for the health of you and your family.

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