Why to prefer grass-fed meat and wild caught fish over their grain-fed counterparts?
The terms “grass-fed” and “pastured” have become very popular terms in the last years. But what does it really mean? Where’s the difference? Does it pay off to pay extra for meat from grass-fed and wild-caught animals?
Animals that are 100% grass-fed spend all of their lifetime outside eating grass. Nowhere in the lifetime of an animal certified as grass-fed should there be any corn involved in the feeding process. Then there are other meat products in supermarkets, often described as pastured or free-range. In case you decide to buy in the supermarket due to reasons of price or availability it would be definitely wise to find out whether the animals are fed grass throughout the winter and especially during the days prior to slaughter as. Most of them aren’t which means that the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is less favourable. You might want to call the company or look for respective information on their webpage. In case you buy from the counter you have to be crticial of the opinion of the sales person due to the fact that in most cases they don’t know either whether the animal was fed grass all its life or whether they used corn at some point. I recommend you getting in contact with some local farmers and find out whether they sell grass-fed meat. There are more and more local farmers being aware of the change in consciousness in consumer behavior and thus offer good deals online.
In case you live in the US there are many farmers that supply grass-fed, free range meat via convenient online store. I suggest you buy in bulk and store the meat in your freezer. Also be mindful of reoccuring discount deals in your near vicinity. When I lived in Austria there was a supermarket that sold 100% grass-fed meat on a discount price of up to 40% every second month. So I used to buy vast amounts of meat at an incredible price and stored it in my freezer. Look out for these types of deals.
Have a look at the Alderspring Ranch Store in Idaho to get an idea of what a professional and trustworthy farmer may look like online:
The same overall principle applies for fish. If you do not live close to the sea chances are that a vast majority of the fish found in the supermarket is farmed. So how can you identify whether the fish was farmed, consequently being fed corn over its entire lifetime.
If you choose fish from the frozen foods you can check origin by reading the backside of the package carefully. Somewhere there is stated whether the fish comes from “aquaculture” thus farmed or whether it is wild-caught which most of the time goes hand in hand with information specifying the exact ocean where it was caught and the fishing method applied.
I highly advise against buying corn-fed meat and farmed fish due to the unhealthy Omega 3 to 6 ratio and the substaintal downgrading in nutrient density. Remember that animals nor fish were ever meant to be restricted to a very small space highly unnatural to their meant primordial plus being fed a diet that is even more unnatural than the environment they find themselves in.
The most important fact is that the fat found in grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish is very healthy, packed with nutrients, tasty and does not make you fat in any way. However the fat of grain-fed meat is full of bad fats and toxins and should be avoided. I cannot stress this point enough.
On top of that you add the sustainabilty issue regarding the fact that antibiotics are added and factory farming contributes to desertification and climate change. For a more in-depth study of the sustainability topic you might want to watch a Ted Talk elaborating on why free-range, grass-fed animals are so important today for maintaining a balanced soil equilibrium