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Know the Benefits of Eating Pasture-Raised Meat

In the past quarter of a century, America has seen the decline of the family farmer and rancher. Instead, they have been replaced with huge factory farms that will keep thousands of animals penned up in an effort to efficiently produce ever more pork, beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb.

The feedlot process may result in more meat per dollar, but experts have found that the move from pasture raised and grass fed animals has meant poorer quality meat at the market. In fact, the benefits of eating pastured meat rather than the grain fed variety are well documented and have captured the attention of meat consumers.

Because of the close quarters the animals live in, diseases can spread rapidly through the herd or flock. Studies estimate that half of the beef and poultry produced in the U.S. is infected with staph bacteria, which is linked to a number of human diseases. This is in spite of what some consider the overuse of antibiotics.

Organic beef and other meats are safer and less likely to spread e coli, staph or salmonella bacteria, and even mad cow disease. This type of meat also provides more health benefits that can protect against obesity and diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Pasture raised meats contain a far higher level of vital omega-3 fatty acids than beef or pork raised in feedlots. Omega-3s help protect heart cells and other systems in the body from developing stresses that can lead to such conditions as an irregular heart beats or high blood pressure.

One omega-3 fatty acid that is abundant in grass fed dairy products, eggs, and meat is alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. This specific fat has been found to be present in high levels in the tissues of women who have survived breast cancer and who have not suffered the growth of a new tumor.

Pasture raised meat also has a lower amount of fat overall, compared with feedlot raised animals. Thus it is lower in calories, meaning that switching back to the old way of doing things could help win our current battle with obesity.