Having been energized by the recent Future Harvest CASA Annual Conference, at the University of Maryland last week, I wanted to share some additional information about health characteristics of grassfed beef. First, I supply some additional data obtained from Susan Duckett, at Clemson University, from tests she did on samples of my beef raised at West Wind Farm — back in 2007 (see http://www.grasspower.org/grass-power-and-health/).
Measurement Result Yr. 1 Result Yr. 2 Result Yr. 3
Saturated fatty acid 38.0 % 40.5 % 44.0%
Odd-chain fatty acid 2.3 % 1.8% 2.1%
Monounsaturated fatty acid 31.6% 29.1% 32.3%
Polyunsaturated omega-6 5.8 % 5.6% 2.7%
Polyunsaturated omega-3 3.6% 3.6% 2.0%
Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio 1.6 1.6 1.4
CLA, cis-9 trans-11 0.6 % 0.6% 0.8%
TVA trans-11 C181 3.5% 4.1% 6.0%
Second, here is a very good general summary of the added nutritional value of grass-fed meat products, (Adapted from the article posted on www.csuchico.edu/agr/grassfedbeef). The listed authors are: A. Daley1, P. Doyle1, G. Nader2, and S. Larson2.
College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico1
University of California Cooperative Extension Service2
Increasing consumer interest in grass-fed meat products has raised a number of questions with regard to meat quality and perceived differences between grass-fed and conventional production practices. The intent of this article is to summarize information currently available to support the enhanced nutrient claim for grass-fed meat products, as well as review the importance these specific nutrients have with regard to human health. A number of reports spanning three decades suggest forage-only diets can alter the lipid composition of meat, i.e., lower concentrations of saturated fatty acids and higher concentrations long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. In addition, several studies report forage-fed meat contains elevated concentrations of beta-carotene and alpha tocopherol, as well as higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, all substances reported to have favorable effects on human health. Research to date would support the argument that grass-fed beef is higher in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, conjugated lenoleic acid and omega 3 fatty acids as compared to grain-fed contemporaries when lipids are compared on a gram of fatty acid/gram of lipid basis, therefore when fed to the same degree of fat, grass-fed meat products are higher in favorable lipids than conventionally produced products.