By Jo Robinson
What are grassfed animal products?
Most of the meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs available in your grocery store come from animals that are raised in large confinement facilities where they are fed grain-based diets and treated with a variety of drugs. By contrast, “grassfed” products come from animals that are raised on high-quality pasture on small family farms. The animals are not treated with hormones, feed antibiotics, or other unnecessary drugs, so their products are healthy, wholesome, and natural in every sense of the word.
Why choose grassfed products?
Raising animals on pasture is better for the animals, the farmers, and the environment. Just as important, grassfed products are better for your health. They are lower in total fat and calories but richer in “good” fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and the cancer-fighting fat, CLA. They also have higher levels of a number of antioxidant vitamins.
What is the difference between “organic” products and “grassfed” products?
Many people who are concerned about the quality of their food buy organically certified products. Unfortunately, most organic dairy and beef operations raise their animals in confinement and feed them organic grain and other feedstuff rather than their natural diet of fresh pasture. Feeding large amounts of grain to a ruminant alters the nutritional value of its meat or dairy products whether the grain is raised organically or conventionally. Grain feeding also compromises the health of grazing animals and exacts a greater toll on the environment. Some grassfarmers are organically certified, which means that their products offer all the advantages of grassfed products and also meet strict organic standards-the best of both worlds.
Where can you find grassfed products?
More than 300 pasture-based farms are listed in the state-by-state, Eatwild Grassfarmers’ Directory, making it the most comprehensive directory of its kind.
Local chapters of the Weston Price Foundation help you find locally-grown organic and biodynamic vegetables, fruits and grains; and milk products, butter, eggs, chicken and meat from pasture-fed animals.