Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy cows come from grass

    We don't eat a lot of beef in our household, but let's face it- sometimes you just want a juicy burger or steak! When that time comes we eat grass-fed beef.
     I'm not sure why companies brag about their cow's being corn-fed, but cows are meant to graze on pastures. Not stuffed on a feed-lot, pumped with antibiotics, corn, and hormones so that we can get them onto our tables as fast as possible. While grass-fed beef can be pricey, it's doable if you reduce your consumption. Read below for all the benefits of grass-fed beef.
Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef:
* Higher levels of Omega-3's
* Twice the amount of CLA's (a key ingredient that is linked to easier weight-loss, reduced heart disease, and certain types of cancer)
* Possible reduced risk of food sickness (grain-fed cattle have a stomach more susceptible)
* Less green house gases emitted
* Cows eat a "natural diet" which in turn means you eat a more natural diet
* Helping out the "little farmer" (if that's your cup of tea)

Below is information on where to buy and where to dine on Grass-Fed beef. The information is specific to the Twin Cities. I'd love to hear from you about other locations in the US, so please share.

Where to Buy:
Grass-fed ground beef:  Supertarget, CUB, Byerly's, etc
For additional cuts:
Fresh and Natural Foods, Whole Foods, The Wedge Co-op, Mississippi Market (any local co-op will likely have)
also available for purchase online-see resources below

Where to Dine (click on restaurant name for website):
Casual fare: BRASACommon Roots CafeBirchwood Cafe
Fine Dinning: The Strip ClubALMAHeartland

Grass-Fed Beef Sources (information provided by Women's Health Magazine)
A state-by-state directory of more than 800 pasture-based farms, including farms that ship meat if you can’t find any in your area.
An online directory of thousands of family farms, restaurants, and stores selling sustainably-produced meat, dairy, and eggs. Grass feeding isn’t required for all outlets listed (though many do), so check descriptions.
Search for restaurants or producers offering sustainable foods, including grass-fed meats, in your area.
The website of the American Grassfed Association, it lists all of the organization’s member farmers by state and types of meat or milk they produce.
The U.S. Wellness Meats online store offers 55 different cuts of grass-fed meat.
This site offers a monthly buying club that lets you choose which types of beef they mail and credits your 12th month free.
A recipe section includes suggestions by their master chef to make the most of your buy.
The online store sells combo packs for special events—everything from a brand-your-own steaks party pack to a summertime grill pack. 

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