All meats are not created equal. An animal’s diet directly affects the taste, makeup and health factors of the meat it eventually produces. While many consider grass-fed meat a luxury, its many benefits, including a lack of hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals, may make it something you want to incorporate in your diet regularly.
What a cow eats directly effects the nutrient composition of the beef. Normal meat is made from grain-fed cows that are fed mostly soy and corn-based foods and given drugs and hormones to treat ailments and encourage accelerated growth. While grass-fed versus grain-fed alone is a serious debate among many, other benefits of grass-fed meat is that it usually contains less total fat, fewer calories, less saturated fat and a different composition of fatty acids than grain-fed. It also has five times the Omega-3s and twice as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid (a fatty acid associated with reduced body fat).
In terms of red meat, grass-fed is incredibly nutritious because it is typically leaner and loaded with Vitamins A and E, potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorous and sodium. This is especially relevant given that the major critique of eating preserved meats is that the salt and fat content make them a health risk. Curing grass-fed red meat is an easy way to make your charcuterie slightly more heart healthy. Also, because grass-fed beef is fickle and overcooking it can form harmful compounds, it’s perfect for curing.
While you will incur extra costs associated with grass-fed meat, the purchase makes all the difference in terms of health and wellness. Consider trying grass-fed meat for your next charcuterie platter!