Can pasture-raised meat make you feel better?
Can you remember the last time the food you ate made you feel a certain way?
When I became a vegetarian thirteen years ago, I would often tell others that I felt better when I didn’t eat meat. Such positive feelings were quickly eclipsed, however, by ill health caused from anemia and vitamin deficiency.
I realize now that my body was reacting to the way food was raised. I reacted negatively to the additives, hormones, and drugs that were put into animals. (And I didn't want to eat animals raised that way!) However, I was also missing the nutrition that industrial farming practices remove from their meat products.
Many of us who turn to pasture-raised meat ask and answer similar questions. Why do I feel so poorly when I eat certain things? Why does this food make me feel better? Can a different type of food improve my health? Can it be medicine?
On our farm, we think about the ethics of raising animals and stewarding the land daily. Yet we’ve also learned more about the nutritional impacts of raising food well.
I’ve found that raising animals on pasture not only improves their lives and the quality of the meat they produce, but also produces more nutrient-dense food.
For example, raising hogs outdoors eliminates the need for the drug carbadox, which creates cancer-causing residue in pork products. Moreover, access to a wide variety of forage increases Vitamin E levels in pork, which actually help protect our cells from cancer.
Chickens raised on pasture have a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, which reduce the risk of inflammation in our bodies and improve cognitive health. They also have a high percentage of collagen and protein, repairing tissue and strengthening joint function.
Grass-raised beef contains high levels of the antioxidants Vitamin E and beta-carotene, protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals, which can result in cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and cancer.
Raising nutrient-dense food matters to us as we raise our children. Because we want to know what is in our food, we want you to know as well.
We seek to provide you with food that you can feel safe and comfortable eating. We want you to not only know what you gain by eating it, but also what you can avoid by eliminating the additives, drugs, and hormones that cause adverse reactions.
What have you learned about nutrition, health, and food as medicine in your own life? I’d love to hear from you, whether it’s anecdotes, resources, or recommendations.
Want to eat more nutrient-dense food, but don't know where to start? Check out the recommendations in this week's newsletter.