I’ll start with the all-important fatty acid, the Omega 3, the nutrient proven over and over again to feed the heart and the brain toward our goal of true nourishment. O-3s are found in the fats and oils of creatures that are created to eat either from a grass-based diet (beef, pork, chicken, lamb and eggs) or an algae-based diet (salmon and other seafood). But in order to give us food at a quicker and cheaper price, livestock and fish have been removed from their natural setting and confined in feedlots, cages and “farm” ponds. In the process, they are deprived of their natural grass diet and because of that, deprived of their source of O-3s. It has been demonstrated many times over that livestock raised on a pure grass diet will have 2 to 4 times the levels of O-3s than their companions in the corn-based feedlot (some studies have found the multiple as high as 6X. We will stay with the more conservative numbers). Farm-raised salmon are no better – they are eating feed that does not duplicate their natural environment, so…there goes the O-3s. Remember those ratios: 2 to 4 times more grams of Omega 3s in the grass-fed product.
So let’s assume that you are shopping for nourishment as well as price. You go to your local grocer and find ground beef offered at its current price of $5.77 for lean, $4.37 for a fattier pound and a Ribeye steak at $14.97. You look at grass-fed beef in the same meat counter and find ground beef at $8.00 and Ribeyes at $19.95. Which is the better value?
The feedlot beef offers a gram of Omega 3 for 5.77, 4.37 and 14.97. Assuming the grass-fed beef offers the midrange ratio of 3 grams, then the cost of the O-3s in your grass product is only $1.92, $1.46 and $6.65. Now that’s your bargain! Omega 3s at $1.46.
Let’s look at those numbers again.
Comparative Cost of Nutrition
If you are shopping for nourishment and health, grass-fed delivers the value and grass-fed is the real bargain.
Next month we will study the value of Conjugated Linoleic Acids and the daily nutritional requirements provided by grass-fed meats. In April, we will look at the environmental benefits of a pasture-based system.
Grass-fed just keeps on bringing the value.