And The Winner Is…

Grass fed beef.

Yup, sorry, but it is.

Back home in Asia, I can order grass-fed beef and lamb directly, in bulk, bypassing the middle man. That enables me to afford it. Just. Sometimes I have to compromise and get some grass-fed and some grain-fed. It’s just cost.

But since I’ve been back in America I have not been able to eat one bite of grass-fed meat in about six weeks. I’ve also not been able to find any grass-fed butter. I’m sure I could if I was in one place for long enough, but in six weeks I’ve been to ten different states. So I’ve had to subsist on “organic” butter, which though it is from cows not fed weird things, it is from cows fed grain.

Back when I first started doing this, I wondered aloud how important the grass-fed, grain-fed argument really was. There seems to be evidence to suggest grass-fed is the superior nutrition, but the reality is that it is more expensive. It’s out of the reach of many people and eating even grain-fed meat is still better than eating a lot of carbage and calling it healthy.

I’ve been your guinea pig, folks. So has The Roommate, and we shall now give our conclusions.

I absolutely do not feel as good as I did when I was eating grass-fed meat. It took about four weeks for me to start feeling the difference, but the difference is there to be felt. I’m still manifestly feeling better than just about everyone around me. Compared to how I used to feel on my whole grain, lots of vegetables, low fat diet, I feel really great. But the edge of “awesome” has been shaved off, and I’m finally suspecting that it might be because I’m eating nutritionally inferior meat and fat. The Roommate has had exactly the same experience and came ,to the same conclusion independently.

We think grass-fed is definitely superior to grain-fed. But we also are still convinced that even eating grain-fed is better than eating breakfast cereal, energy bars, sandwiches, and spelt. We’ve still got more energy than others around us doing the same things, physically. We’ve still kept in perfect good health, while others around us were getting sick. We’ve still been full and satisfied and felt no urge to indulge in sugar and other carbage.

And then there’s the vegetables.

Yesterday I was talking with some folks about how vegetables make both The Roommate and I feel negatively lousy when we eat them, back home in China. That last phrase is key, because there are so many problems with food quality there that I can’t even begin to describe them, nor can you fully grasp it if you haven’t been there yourself. We were curious to see if we’d feel badly eating vegetables in America.

It turns out we don’t. The Roommate doesn’t get rashes. Neither of us have gastrointestinal distress. So we don’t feel negatively bad.

But we also don’t feel positively good, and this is key. When I was talking with those folks I just mentioned, an energetic proponent of heavy vegetable eating was enthusiastically shaking her head up and down to the idea that “it’s just China.” Obviously vegetables are wonder foods, you could tell she meant: it’s just that China is so dirty and polluted. Only that’s not what I’m experiencing now. Vegetables and fruit are not filling in the gaps in my nutrition that are lacking because I’m not getting good grass-fed meat and butter. At first when I got back I ate only meat and fat. Then I thought maybe the vegetables and fruit could add some good nutrition as I wasn’t eating the highest quality meat. But despite adding them to my diet–every day–I’m not feeling better than I was on a nearly all grass-fed animal product diet: I’m feeling worse. Not terrible. Not sick. Just…everyone knows their own body, and you can tell when it isn’t functioning at optimum even when you can’t put your finger on how or where exactly.

So I’m going to stick to my theory. Grass-fed meat and butter are the superior nutrition. I’ve linked in previous posts to science showing that we absorb more nutrition from meat much more efficiently than vegetables. I won’t go into all that now. This post is just personal experience, and personally I can’t wait to experience my normal diet again.

 

Plato says he’s hungry

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3 thoughts on “And The Winner Is…

  1. Maybe it’s the area we live, but there is plenty of grass fed meat being grown and sold at nearly the same price as all the feedlot stuff. Mainly it is small time land owners and hobby farmers with enough land to raise something, but they are definitely raising and selling grass fed. The lure of grain fed is the price and time to raise. Interesting that the effect on the eater is noticeable.

    Of course, if we shoot deer, they are a mix of grass and whatever grain they’ve managed to rob from everyone’s field around here, so it’s interesting that they now are possibly not the best meat. A small herd of a dozen deer can take bushels of milo out of a field when it turns colder. Someone better tell them it’s not healthy for us when we shoot and eat them if they have been chowing down on the grain. Plus, it makes the farmers mad.

    1. Ha. Well, if they aren’t eating exclusively grain I imagine it’s still better than the feed lot cows with the grains sprayed with junk. They must still be getting a fair amount of grass, right? You’d hope they’d be better.

  2. Yes, The Roommate is looking forward next week to getting home to the dogs and to the nice chunk of grass-fed lamb in the freezer.

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