Monday, October 5, 2009

Why eat grass-fed beef???

(first of all, for all the family/friends wondering, I WILL be posting pics/update on Julia's little 3rd Birthday Princess Tea Party from yesterday VERY SOON!)

Meat. I really like meat - especially beef, chicken and fish. Over the last 2 years as I've been on my "healthy, natural, whole foods learning journey", I have learned a bunch about why we should eat grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and wild-caught (as opposed to farm-raised) fish.

Today I will focus on BEEF.

I am currently reading a great book by Nina Planck called "Real Food For Mother and Baby". It talks about pre-conception food, eating while pregnant and breastfeeding, along with the best "first foods" for babies.


Its an excellent book, and I've also read her other book which is intended for all readers called "Real Food - What to Eat and Why"

ref=dp_image_0.jpgIf you are aiming to eat healthy, natural foods, I HIGHLY recommend reading this book!!!! You should be able to find it at your local library. It gives you more of the science and reason behind eating those sorts of food. AND it will take away some of the guilt from eating things like bacon, butter, etc.

ANYWAY, back to the topic at hand - Grass-fed Beef.

Here are a few benefits of Grass-Fed Beef ("Real Beef" as she calls it, as compared to industrial beef):

* it contains more omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta caroteen and CLA, an anticancer fat

* less likely to carry a dangerous form of E.coli

* no hormones, no antibiotics (growth hormones are often used in beef cattle to speed up their weight gain....antibiotics are used in industrial beef to prevent infections/illness due to overcrowding - which in turn can likely cause drug-resistant bacteria)

* assurance they are eating their "natural diet" - cows are herbivores and due to 4 stomachs that contain necessary bacteria, they can make "green things" like grass, etc into meat and milk.

* virtually no incidence of "Mad Cow disease" - which resulted from cows being fed infected sheep and cattle to other cattle - (ewwww.....aren't they supposed to be herbivores?!)

--> These are just a few highlights - in her book she goes in to greater detail about "real meat" and the reasons why it is better...

Here are some reasons in addition to those above why I like grass-fed beef better:

* tastes better!

* healthier!

* I get to support a local farmer or family whom I know and trust to provide food for my family!

So here's to eating Beef! (By the way, I usually purchase a 1/4 cow in fall or Spring when farmers butcher. Sometimes, if I have a lot left in my freezer from the last cow I split this 1/4 cow with another family.)

A yummy recipe for

SPAGHETTI SAUCE (from one of my often-visited blogs called "Passionate Homemaking":

1 onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dried parsley
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tbls. olive oil
1-2 lbs ground beef (pork roast, italian sausage or whatever!)
2 large cans diced tomatoes (28 oz each)
1 large can tomato sauce (28 oz) - you can add more of this if you like a more "liquidy" sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red wine, optional (you can also use dry white wine, but I like red best)

Saute onions, pepper, garlic, parsley and celery in oil until soft. Add meat and cook until pink is gone. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally. Serves 8.

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