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Eat Good Stuff: The Benefits of Grass Fed and Pasture Raised Meat

written by

Michelle Sroka

posted on

March 20, 2024

Growing up, my family often ate out at our favorite restaurant, a place called “Good Stuff”. The name came from the restaurant’s motto: “You are what you eat…so eat good stuff.” 

I imagine you probably have a similar mentality when it comes to food. You’re well-educated (or becoming more educated) on what food is nourishing for your body, and what food to avoid. You want to make sure that you consume the best food possible, most of the time. 

But you also probably know that your idea of “good stuff” may be different from someone else’s, or from what society at large tells you is “good” food. 

In other words, if you’re like most of our customers, you probably define “good stuff” according to one of these criteria: nutrient density; lack of toxins, pesticides, or harmful chemicals and additives; and quality fats. 

And if this is our criteria for “good stuff”, then the evidence is pretty conclusive: animal-sourced foods like meat, eggs, dairy, and honey are one of the best forms of “good stuff” out there. 

You probably already know this, but sometimes good things are worth repeating: animal foods are good for you. They’re worth prioritizing in your diet. And they’re so good for you, in fact, that they contain nutrients that you simply can’t get anywhere else. 

So let’s go back to the basics, and review just why these foods are so great. 

Animal-sourced foods support our gut health. 

Meat and meat-based products (like broth) are easy to digest, and because of their high protein levels, help stabilize our blood glucose levels. Eating enough protein helps us avoid that afternoon slump, as well as overeating or eating sugary or non-nutritious foods. It also helps us maintain a healthy weight, because we feel fuller longer on nutrient-dense foods that take longer for our bodies to digest. 

Animal-sourced foods also support a healthy gut by providing amino acids, the building blocks of protein that keep our bones and muscles strong. 

Another value of amino acids? They help boost our mood - particularly the tryptophan found in poultry products like chicken and turkey

And if we’re talking about pasture-raised and grass-fed meats specifically, like what we raise on our farm, there are even greater benefits to gut health. By avoiding added sugars, synthetic nitrates, and preservatives in our meat, we also reduce harming our gut microbiome, keeping our gut health strong. 

Animal-sourced foods provide essential nutrients that we can’t find anywhere else. 

All types of meat are an excellent source of B vitamins, which help our cells function by converting food into energy, creating new blood cells, and maintaining healthy cells in our skin, brain, and other body tissues. 

In fact, B12 can only be found in animal-sourced products, and B7 is found in much higher levels in meat than in plant-based foods. 

Likewise, only meat contains heme iron, a form of iron that is three times easier for our bodies to absorb than the non-heme iron found in plants. 

But grass-fed and pasture-raised meats are even better because they contain much higher amounts of these beneficial ingredients. For example, grass-fed and grass-finished beef contains a significant amount of conjugated linoleic acid, a healthy fatty acid that we can’t make on our own. 

Another favorite example? Lard from pasture-raised pigs is such an excellent source of Vitamin D - sometimes even more so than being out in the sun. But this is only the case if the pigs live outside in the sunshine - like ours do. 

Animal-sourced foods provide high-quality, low-processed fats. 

Healthy fats are essential for our bodily functions. And the best fats - butter, lard, and tallow among them - are often found from animal sources. 

Not only do these fats remain stable in our bodies, they also provide us with higher concentrations of nutrients like collagen and glycine than muscle meats. By eating the whole animal - the fats, bones, and organs - in addition to the meat, we access all the nutrition that an animal has to offer.

Want to know even more about the benefits of pasture-raised and grass-fed food? We've put together an in-depth guide that breaks it down for you. 

What are your reasons for sourcing animal-based foods? Which foods do you consider to be the best examples of “good stuff”? Comment below to share. 

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