Buying Grassfed Beef Locally through Sunrise Ranch
As an acupuncturist, why am I writing about beef, when everyone knows we “should be eating way less beef”?
Because the reality is, we eat beef.
Lots of it.
And the beef that most of us are eating is a major part of why it’s such a problem. Because beef is such a staple of our modern diet, whether it is recommended medicinally or not, I figured I should write an article on its medicinal effects, based on Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine principles.
And because there is a HUGE difference between conventional and traditionally raised, grassfed beef, I am going to make the distinction here in this article and make a case for switching to grassfed beef.
Beef as a food “prescription” in acupuncture practice
Beef is “prescribed” medicinally in acupuncture for those who are extremely weak and depleted, and even then, medicinal quantities are much smaller than what we typically eat.
People who are on the hot or yang side or who have high-strung/overactive energy, might notice an improvement by switching to less “activating” meats like fowl and fish.
But reality is different from “shoulds”, as we all very well know. So if it’s going to be eaten whether it’s medicinally advised or not, eating grassfed makes it a much more balanced choice.
From an acupuncture perspective, because grain-fed meat has higher bad quality and inflammatory marbling (fat), it creates much more dampness and clogging in the system. Also, the high and condensed calorie content of the cow’s corn diet creates too much heat in their system, as does the resulting inappropriately fast growth of the animal (which indicates too much yang energy). Beef is pure yang and warming anyway, but this is less extreme when eaten in its natural form.
The good news and bad news: sourcing quality meat
Before I launch into my tirade listing all the problems with conventionally raised beef, let me start off by stressing that there is good news!
The good news is, it’s really just as easy to buy quality beef that’s raised in a way that would make you proud to buy and eat it…it just takes making a tiny change in your shopping, and not even that often. For me, all it took was placing an order for a variety pack, and simply storing the cuts in my basement freezer for when I’m ready to pull one out and cook it. I don’t think it gets any easier than that!
This year, I bought all my beef from Sunrise Ranch. The ranch is located right outside of Masonville and sells Grass Fed Beef either directly from their farm or through our local Farmer’s Market. In two weeks, I’ll pick up my last special order of various cuts, which should last me through til July when their next batch of roaming cows will be processed. (Yep, the pic up top is actually their cows…roaming freely as we’d like them to be!)
And now, the reasons WHY it’s so important to switch to grassfed beef.
It’s not just the final quality of the meat that is an issue, but also the way the cows are raised that makes the problem monumental.
They’re stuffed in at such high capacity that the sheer amount of their excrement becomes a major toxic waste rather than being one of the best fertilizers nature came up with.
Also, because they’re fed grain instead of grass (cows are NOT meant to eat grain!), their feces is so “hot” with nitrogen that no farmer will use it as fertilizer and so nature’s most ingenious compost has now become toxic sludge. The corn they’re raised on makes them sick, the drugs used to keep them alive anyway create resistant bacteria, and the way they’re treated would turn any of our stomachs if we were forced to watch what actually happens.
Before they’re sent to the feedlots they overgraze on unmanaged pastures, leaving the earth destroyed and the grasses pulled up at the roots so that many of them can’t grow back, creating a monoculture of grasses which decreases the cows nutrition and the health of the ecosystem.
Pretty much, there is not one saving grace about the way beef is raised today in factory farms, and each time we buy regular store-bought beef, we are telling them with our dollars that we approve of their system and they can just keep right on doing it exactly as they are now.
But more good news: when you eat grass-fed beef, many of the health problems are greatly reduced.
From the Sunrise Ranch website:
Nutritional Benefits of Grassfed Beef:
- Grassfed beef contains 3-6 times the Omega-3 fatty acids of grain-fed beef. These fatty acids are important because they are associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s Disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (Feedlot meat contains way too much Omega-6, which contributes to heart disease when in the wrong ratio with Omega-3…it’s the exact same issue as with caged vs. free-range eggs)
- Grassfed beef contains 3 to 5 times the amount of conjugated linoleic acid which has been shown to help reduce risk of cancer, especially breast cancer.
- Grassfed Beeves produce meat with more minerals and micronutrients, including higher levels of vitamins. One study found grass-fed beef had four times the vitamin E of grain-fed beef.
If you are used to buying cheap, factory farmed meat, then yes, this meat will definitely be more expensive.
(But, not as expensive as a heart attack.)
Buying this meat will require more of your food budget.
(But not as expensive as a stroke.)
Buying this meat will take a little energy in following the links I’ve sent you and putting in your order…
(But way less energy than trying to recover from an infection that can no longer be cured with antibiotics because the strain of bacteria has now become resistant, or the exhaustion of lifelong disability that severe inflammatory diseases like auto-immunity cause)
Sometimes we need to put things into perspective, and see the options we have right in front of us for making the obvious, wise, healthy, and fun choice. It’s FUN buying my meat from the farmer’s market! I get to talk directly with the girls who are in contact the cows. They know the ins and outs of the whole process, they take pride in what they do, and after all, they’re my neighbors. It’s the old fashioned hand shake deal…we both take care of each other and both our health and our community is better for it. Plus…every dollar we spend locally feeds back into our city to support our own interests.
Need anymore convincing? :-) (if so…don’t worry…I’m sure more articles will follow. In the meantime, get out there and try some grassfed beef. And when you go to restaurants, make a point of asking the waiters to ask the chef if they plan on including local grassfed beef on their menus…this is the way we start increasing the demand and access for sustainable and high quality foods)