Why Choose Grass-fed/Pastured Foods?
To start of with we need to understand what we mean by the term grass-fed/pastured.
Simply put grazing animals such as cows, cattle, sheep , goats are herbivores and their natural diet should be grass and or leaves and other vegetable matter.
The are not designed (ie their guts, digestive tracts) for large amounts of grain. The current practice of feeding them soy and corn as is currently done in the feedlot system sets them up for all manner of diseases.
Farm animals on fresh green grass makes for a healthier animal along with the sunshine they are exposed to. As an example, dairy animals on an all grass diet have significantly higher levels of CLA. Conjugated Linoleic Acid, a component of fat, CLA, may actually slow some types of cancer and heart disease and help reduce body fat and increase lean muscle. Check this link for more info: http://extension.usu.edu/dairy/files/uploads/htms/cla.htm
Why Grassfed Butter Is Better
Because living grass is richer in vitamins E, A, and beta-carotene than stored hay or standard dairy diets, butter from dairy cows grazing on fresh pasture is also richer in these important nutrients. The naturally golden color of grassfed butter is a clear indication of its superior nutritional value. (Searles, SK et al, “Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Carotene Contents of Alberta Butter.” Journal of Diary Science, 53(2) 150-154.)
Two new studies suggest that grassfed meat and dairy products may reduce the risk of breast cancer
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a cancer-fighting fat that is most abundant in grassfed products. Two new European studies link a diet high in CLA with a lower risk of breast cancer. In Finland, researchers measured CLA levels in the serum of women with and without breast cancer. Those women with the most CLA had a significantly lower risk of the disease. Meanwhile, French researchers measured CLA levels in the breast tissues of 360 women. Once again, the women with the most CLA had the lowest risk of cancer. In fact, the women with the most CLA had a staggering 74% lower risk of breast cancer than the women with the least CLA.
The most natural and effective way to increase your intake of CLA is to eatthe meat and dairy products of grass-fed animals.
Eggs from free-range hens are higher in folic acid and vitamin B12
Now there’s another good reason to purchase eggs from pastured poultry farmers: you may be getting more folic acid and vitamin B12, two very important vitamins. This information comes from a British study published in 1974. At the time, British consumers were concerned about the trend toward factory farming. Specifically, they thought factory eggs might not be as nutritious as eggs from free-ranging birds. An elaborate study confirmed their suspicions. The eggs from free-range hens contained significantly more folic acid and vitamin B12, as you can see by the graph below.
The researchers also looked for differences in the fatty acid content of the eggs but did not find any. Now we know why. In the 1970s, little was known about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, so the researchers didn’t even bother to look for them in the eggs.