Additional Information on Health Benefits of Grassfed Beef

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

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  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.



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