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Why I Choose Grass-Fed & Finished Beef (by Tracey Long, MPH, RDN)

Hey guys, Remi here! This is a post from Tracey Long's blog that she gave me permission to share here. She works in integrative and functional nutrition at Big Picture Health. Tracey has seen many people's lives changed through their bettered understanding of food, including her own. Enjoy this article, and feel free to reach out to her if you are looking for guidance in your healing journey.  Pictured on left: Cows raised on pasture by the Bauman Family near Garnett, KS.Pictured on right: Cows started on grass, but finished on grain/soy at a feedlot. 1. I believe in supporting local food, small family farmers and the economy. The average miles our food travels to reach our dinner plates is about 1,500 miles1. When we eat local we conserve fuel, keep our food dollars local and can have a personal connection to the farmer and how our food is raised. I subscribe to the mantra, know your farmer, know your food. Know your farmer, know your food 2. Cows are biologically meant to eat grass and pasture, not grains like corn or legumes like soy. When you feed an animal the food that it is biologically set up for it will be healthier. Cows are four-legged ungulates best adapted to graze on forage. The digestive system of cows, the four stomachs they have that we learned about in basic biology, are meant to ferment forage. Grains like corn and legumes like soy are used as high energy-dense food alternative for cows to put weight on them quickly for faster processing. This diet that is not congruent with the cow’s biology does work to speed up the process from start to finish, but can actually compromise the animal’s health. A review article by Calloway et al2 found that cows fed a diet high in grain had higher levels of the food-borne pathogen E. coli. When the diet was changed back to forage the E. coli levels were lowered within five days. A research study by Khafipour et al3 found that cows fed a diet based on grain became acidotic, and had high levels of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that triggered inflammation and health problems in the cattle such as liver disease. These are two scientific examples of how grain can be unhealthy for cows. 3. Grazing cattle from start to finish is better for the environment and planet. You may be interested in reading the book by Judith Schwartz, “Cows Save the Planet.”4 Judith discusses how raising cows on pasture returns moisture and nutrients to the soil and, therefore; our food. Cattle feedlots are also a significant source of environmental pollutants such as antibiotics that affect downstream aquatic life and hormones that end up in the drinking water supply as additional examples.5,6 Feedlots use antibiotics and hormones to encourage rapid and increased growth and require antibiotics to suppress illness due to the confined living space and large buildup of fecal matter. Pastured cows arguably have less negative impact and even reported positive impacts on the environment. 4. I believe in respecting and honoring the animals I eat. As humans we have the capacity to treat animals poorly for our benefit (food) or treat them in a thankful manner for the nourishment they provide us. Joel Salatin, a well-known sustainable farmer in Swope, Virginia, said in a magazine interview, “Our first responsibility is to try to figure out what kind of a habitat allows them (cows) to fully express their physiological distinctiveness. The cow doesn’t eat corn; she doesn’t eat dead cows; she doesn’t eat cow manure, which is what is currently being fed to cows in the industrial food system. We feed cows grass, and that honors and respects the cow-ness of the cow.7” Joel Salatin 5. Pasture raised and finished beef has a healthier fatty acid profile than conventional beef. The standard American diet is high in omega 6 fatty acids relative to omega 3 fatty acids. The problem is that omega 6 fatty acids, when out of balance with omega 3’s are highly inflammatory to the human body. Inflammation is now known to be the root of many chronic diseases. The good news is that the fatty acid composition of grass fed and finished beef is higher in the beneficial and anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. A study by MacAfee et al found that people who ate grass-fed meat had higher levels of the anti-inflammatory omega 3’s when their blood was tested for this healthy fat.8 David (founder) and Reeves Kesten at the Brookside Farmers Market, 2017 Meet David and his [second] son Reeves, of David’s Pasture, from Concordia, MO. I am grateful for the opportunity to purchase quality meat, pork, poultry and eggs from a farming family like Dave’s. Dave’s cattle are raised on pasture and get to express their, “cow-ness,” as Joel Salatin would say. Dave shared with me that he even feeds his cattle organic apple cider vinegar to improve their gut health and does not use hormones or antibiotics. His cattle fertilize the land they forage on and he rotates their grazing to promote healthy soil. Yes, I pay more for the products I buy from Dave than I would pay at the local grocery store, but for the reasons I listed above I know the price is worth it!Original post by Tracey Long, MPH, RDN at Big Picture Health. Specializing in integrative and functional nutrition. Re-posted here by Remington Kesten, David's Pasture. Grass-fed & finished Beef delivered to your door.

Antibiotics: Coming Soon to a Chicken Chain Near You

You may have seen the recent commotion following fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A's decision to backtrack their pledge of "No Antibiotics Ever" to "maintain supply of the high-quality chicken you expect from us." They recently replaced their NAE standard with "No Antibiotics Important to Human Medicine", which is supposed to restrict antibiotic use to those not commonly used to treat people, and "allows use of animal antibiotics only if the animal and those around it were to become sick."

Are You Looking for Sugar-free Bacon and Other Sugar-free Meats?

Are you healing your gut, trying to lose weight, or simply making healthier choices in your everyday diet? Then you probably want to consume less sugar. It can be difficult to find bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and other seasoned meats that don't contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. Today, I want to help you in your search!

7 Valentine's Day Recipes for 2024

Valentine's Day is this week, which means most of us will be eating a little higher on the hog. That's hillbilly for fancy. If you are planning a date night in (like us 🙋) and aren't sure what to serve, I've put together a list of 💖-day recipes for you.

Why Yolk Color Is No Longer a Trademark of Healthy Eggs

"You can tell the difference between eggs from pasture-raised and confined hens by the yolk color." You've probably had someone tell you that before. And years ago, you could. But with a new understanding of pigments and corporations trying to keep up with the demand for better eggs, that is no longer the case.

CRISPR Technology Is Flying GMOs Under The Radar

As your farmers and trusted source for unadulterated, nutritious foods, we want to keep you informed about behind-the-scenes events in the food industry that may harm your health, environment, and economy. One such event that caught my attention this week was in a post from Non-GMO Project about the USDA/APHIS decision to allow CRISPR genetically engineered crops to remain unregulated. The companies developing these crops promote the belief that CRISPR gene-edited plants are non-GMO, but is that true? As CRISPR-edited foods hit store shelves, it's vital to understand what these are so that you can make educated shopping decisions for you and your family. What is CRISPR? CRISPR is a technology discovered in 2012 that allows the precise editing of an organism's DNA. It has mostly been researched as a way to cure human diseases such as sickle cell and cancer but is now being used in the agriculture industry. Plant scientists are implementing CRISPR to edit the traits of plants; removing undesirable traits (like the seeds in blackberries) and promoting the desirable ones (stronger flavors and colors.) Some of the genetically engineered crops listed in the recent USDA/APHIS announcement include non-browning bananas, reduced-caffeine coffee, and dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (herbicide known as "2,4-D") resistant cereal crops. What CRISPR-edited foods are already on the market? CRISPR gene-edited foods on the market include tomatoes, grapes, wheat, soybeans, lettuce, and more. These foods have been gene-edited to make them more appealing to consumers and/or easier to produce. One commercialized product, in particular, is Conscious Greens - a mustard green that has been CRISPR edited to change the coloring and taste and sold as a salad green mix. It has been available for nearly a year now and marketed as a "salad green developed to be more nutritious", although mustard greens already contain more nutrients than conventional salad greens. There are dozens of CRISPR-edited foods being developed today that are not yet commercialized, but will soon be on the store shelf. What are the problems with CRISPR gene-edited foods? CRISPR technology is fairly new, and even more recently began being studied in agriculture. We don't yet know what the long-term effects of CRISPR gene editing have on our health and environment. But we have seen enough by this point in time to know that when man messes with the created order of nature, things always go wrong and end up costing us much more than the time or money saved by making such changes. Take existing GMOs for example, which have reduced palatability and nutrition, and an indirect effect on our health and planet through the additional chemical usage that they make possible. Are CRISPR-edited foods GMOs? According to the scientists and corporations promoting them, CRISPR-edited plants are not the same as GMO plants. They make the argument that GMOs are largely defined by the introduction of foreign DNA to an organism, whereas CRISPR involves editing only the native DNA of a plant. They claim that the mutations being made using CRISPR can be obtained through traditional selective plant breeding methods. While it may be true that some of these CRISPR-developed traits may have been obtained through selective breeding, that doesn't negate the fact that CRISPR technology is still an unnatural manipulation of DNA, and one that has not yet been proven to be without its side effects. Scientists openly admit that the technology is not 100% accurate, sometimes resulting in the wrong section of DNA being affected. Consider that when things adapt in creation, they are doing so slowly, as a whole, and in the environment in which they will continue, taking all things into account. Changing plant traits by manipulating DNA in a lab and then growing it in a controlled environment does not equate to the way changes happen in nature.  What can we do about CRISPR foods? I'm discouraged by the USDA/APHIS decision to allow CRISPR plants to go unregulated and be treated differently than GMOs, but my hope is that by spreading the word about what this technology consumers can recognize it while shopping and choose to spend their food dollars wisely. The best way to take a stand is by not supporting it, and instead purchasing your food from farmers who are prioritizing your health and planet over their bottom line. Does David's Pasture use CRISPR products? At David's Pasture, we have taken a stand against GMOs since day one, and we will continue to take a stand against CRISPR technology being used in food production. If you have any questions about our practices you are always welcome to contact us. In good eating, Remi Kesten