If I were to ask you where your steak comes from and your first answer is the supermarket, we need to talk. Long before a trimmed, perfectly portioned rib eye finds its way onto your grill or your plate, it starts with a cow and a cattle rancher. The Farm to Table Movement has caused many of us to think more about where our food comes from. Although I don’t yet (and can’t afford to fully) practice what I preach, our family is starting to eat more sustainable and natural foods, including grass-fed beef.
Some kosher consumers feel that eating animals raised in captivity challenges our goal for having greater sensitivity to the natural world. I’m not sure I’m entirely convinced by this argument, but grass-fed meat and pastured poultry seeks to find a thoughtful balance between the ethical and the practical.
According to the American Grassfed Association, an organization representing U.S. producers, food service industry personnel and consumer interest representatives, grass-fed animals “have eaten nothing but grass and forage from weaning to harvest, have not been raised in confinement, and have never been fed antibiotics or growth hormones.” In moderation, grass-fed meat is also healthy.
In addition to lower overall fat content, research published in Nutrition Journalsuggests that grass-based diets can significantly improve the fatty acid (FA) composition of beef, especially conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) (C18:2) isomers, trans vaccenic acid (TVA) (C18:1 t11), a precursor to CLA, and omega-3 (n-3). In addition, "cattle fed primarily grass significantly increased the omega-3 content of the meat and also produced a more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than grain-fed beef." Grass-fed beef is also higher in precursors for Vitamin A and E and cancer fighting antioxidants, researchers say. Beef is also nutrient-rich, with eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc, and three times more iron than skinless chicken breast, according to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board.
Now I want to be up front here, grain-fed beef is filling a need. We’ve got a big population to feed and modern agriculture and science is allowing us to serve the bellies of the many, but it’s nice to know that there are alternatives to the mass-produced grain-fed meat. Grass-fed meat is leaner and has a delicious, natural taste that I think you will really enjoy.
KOL Foods, founded by Devora Kimelman-Block, is reshaping today’s kosher diet with great-tasting sustainable, grass-fed meat and pastured poultry that is available to order online with affordable shipping anywhere in the United States.
Our family could not get enough of KOL Foods this holiday season – it definitely beat waiting in line at the butcher and I was able to create some amazing recipes that you will definitely want to try at home!
Try my recipes, leave your comments and enter the giveaway: