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What is the beef about grass-fed meats?

July 1, 2009

“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths, than all the wars of this century, all natural deaths and all automobile accidents combined.” Neal Barnard M.D.

IMG_1496To get down and dirty, consider just the basic facts.  Let’s envision happy and healthy cows, chewing away at a field of green grass, plenty of room to roam, fresh water and birds singing.

Okay, now let’s flash over to the way most beef is “finished.”  Humongous fat cows standing shoulder to shoulder in a bog of their own excretions, full of antibiotics and hormones, while eating corn that will explode them if not slaughtered in a timely manner.   It is not pretty but it is true, grain fed beef cows are slaughtered within a few days of dieing of system shut down.

This malnourished, chemically and fat saturated beef is what most of America eats. (66.7 pounds per person, per year, to be exact.) Kind of explains why obesity and disease is running amuck, so to speak.

Now, grass fed meats are a whole different kind of animal. Their meat is lean and nutrient rich. In fact, grass fed beef has 1/3 the fat and calories that grain fed beef have. The fat that they do have is mostly the “good for you fat.” This is translated into Omega 3 fatty acids, which are the heart healthy fats that are vital to every cell of your body. The pastured cows get this from the grass that they eat that has Omega 3s in the chloroplasts.

Another glowing fact to grass fed livestock is that they need no antibiotics to keep them healthy. They are living much the way their ancestors have for a gillion years, with plenty of grass and room to roam. Hormones are not given to this livestock either, resulting in a slower growing animal, but much healthier. This explains why grass fed meats are a bit more expensive, but well worth it.

This ancient form of farming is also excellent for the environment and the surrounding communities. No one can argue that, if you have driven by a massive feed lot.  You smell them miles before you get there and miles afterwards. All that waste is going into our rivers, oceans, land. Not good.

So step up America and take back your heritage and health, eat pastured meats. Check out eatwild.com for more information on this issue.

IMG_1498

Red Wine and Blue All American Burgers

This burger recipe is perfect to celebrate our independence day. Make some purple potatoes and a green salad with strawberries in it for a beautiful plate exploding with color and health.

The Red Wine Chutney

Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. It is good with cold meats and cheeses as well as on burgers.

6 to 8 red onions sliced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup red wine

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Get out a nice big skillet and toss the oil, onions and sugar together in there and cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till caramelized and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Pour in the red wine and vinegar and simmer uncovered, till the liquid has been reduced to a sticky mixture, about 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool then put in fridge till you want to mau on it.

The Burgers

½ cup of finely chopped onions

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)

1 pound of ground grass fed beef or lamb

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons of dry breadcrumbs

1 large farm egg

½ cup of blue cheese

Combine onions through egg in a medium bowl and squash it all together with your hands till well blended. (I recommend you wash your hands first.)  Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into thin patties. Sprinkle the blue cheese over four of the patties, putting the most cheese on your personal burger. (Just kidding)  Top those cheese sprinkled patties, with the remaining, lonely patties and press the edges together to seal. Place in fridge to rest and relax.

Meanwhile, lightly coat your grill racks with a little oil and heat up your BBQ. (These burgers can be cooked under the broiler in the oven too, if you don’t have a BBQ or it is pouring outside.)  Place the sizzling patties on the grill and cook about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  Remember, lean meats are better a bit on the medium rare side. Serve on onion buns with red wine chutney, arugula and whatever else tickles your fancy. Celebrate America’s return to its grass roots.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2009 8:03 pm

    Interesting post, despite my vested interest (my Texas relatives raise grass-fed Texas Longhorn cattle near Brenham, Texas).

    And, for some weird reason, the Jewish food bloggers in New Yawk City seem to have a hissy fit every time I question their blogging about their La Frito Boys “hamburger blend” and other types of “gourmet” beef which they seem to invent to justify charging $30.00 for a burger – - – so they can blog about “orgasmic” their ‘GOURMET” burgers taste.

    ROFLMAO!

  2. perpetualfeast permalink
    July 4, 2009 9:21 pm

    Better yet, eat buffalo. It is grass-fed, no hormones, and has wonderful flavor. The price of American Bison has come down so that it is competitive with good grass-fed beef. I also grind my own meat so I know how much fat is in it.

  3. July 7, 2009 2:43 pm

    I am a recent convert to not eating red meat to eating grass-fed meat from time to time. I get it from a local farm up here in Massachusetts. I love it. And you get your 22 amino acids from meat.

  4. July 8, 2009 6:11 pm

    mmm! those burgers look delicious and the chutney sounds like a great addition!

  5. Tammi and Lance permalink
    July 12, 2009 10:33 pm

    Hi Dana,

    We’re finally checking out your website. Great photo of you and Paul in that warm, tropical place that I’ve never been to!!

    Another good source for pastured meats is localharvest.org

    t&l

  6. July 26, 2009 2:53 am

    Heh, great post. This really is an issue that all carnivores must consider. Did you see the article by Leslie Cole in the Oregonian FoodDay? It’s all about the grass fed debate. Check it out: http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2009/02/whats_your_beef.html

    Thanks for the food for thought. And photos for drool.

  7. April 21, 2011 1:42 pm

    You are such a inspiration to me and my mom! we are the crazy girls who actually study these types of things!

    I adore your blog! Im going to try and cook this and your strawberry chocolate shortcake for my inlaws! :)

    • ziabaki permalink*
      April 22, 2011 4:40 am

      OMG the Strawberry chocolate shortbread is soooo good! You will love it. Enjoy.

  8. March 6, 2012 6:36 am

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs online. I will highly recommend this web site!

  9. Jamie permalink
    July 4, 2013 7:37 am

    You always inspire me, sister.

    • ziabaki permalink*
      July 4, 2013 6:07 pm

      Missing you! Let’s talk on Sunday? Monday?

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