Where’s the beef? If you are in my age range, mid century modern, then you will remember the Wendy’s catchphrase used for advertising. And if not, just click on the phrase and you will have your Wikipedia information.  I wrote about aluminum foil last week and the dangers of its use, which lead to my thoughts of grilling! In Florida, we have already had our two days of spring and will be moving in to summer very soon. And steaks on the grill are the perfect start to summer. My choice is always local grass fed beef. There are several reasons listed below confirming my reason for shifting to the grass fed source of beef.  I have patients who are cattle ranchers and are shifting their endeavors to production of grass fed beef.  So some of the information I will present to you is straight from the cow’s mouth, so to speak.

One Degree of Change #18: Eat Local Grass Fed Beef.

I am so grateful to live in Florida.  We have weather that allows us to have great food year round.  I encourage patients to eat local.  I give them the 10 mile radial challenge.  That means to eat foods within a 10 mile radius of their home.  So now your challenge is to find local grass fed beef!            Why?   Several reasons:

Flying Y Ranch in Marianna, FL
Photo by Lynn Yarborough

1. Support local ranchers.  They are passionate about what they do.
2. Grass fed beef is lower in Omega 6 Fatty Acids and higher in Omega 3 Fatty Acids= less inflammation to the body, increased cellular brain support and a reduction in cancer.
3.  Grass fed beef is leaner, so it is lower in calories coming from fat.
4.  It is four times higher in Vitamin E, which is linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.  It is also a potent antioxidant which has a strong anti-aging effect.  That’s enough of a reason for me!
5.  Grass fed beef is the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer and reduction of tumor growth.

Did you know that in factory farms, animals are switched to an unnatural diet based on corn and soy. But corn and soy are not the only ingredients in their “balanced rations”.  Many large-scale dairy farmers and feedlot operators save money by feeding the cows “by-product feedstuffs” as well. In general, this means waste products from the manufacture of human food. In particular, it can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, floor sweepings from plants that manufacture animal food, bakery, potato wastes or a scientific blend of pasta and candy. Here are some of the “by-product feedstuffs commonly used in dairy cattle diets in the Upper Midwest.”*

  • Candy. Candy products are available through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from smaller plants… They are sometimes fed in their wrappers…. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops are high in sugar content.
  • Bakery Wastes. Stale bread and other pastry products from stores or bakeries can be fed to dairy cattle in limited amounts. These products are sometimes fed as received without drying or even removal of the wrappers.
  • Potato Waste is available in potato processing areas, and includes cull potatoes, French fries and potato chips. Cull fresh potatoes that are not frozen, rotten, or sprouted can be fed to cows either whole or chopped. Potato waste straight from a processing plant may contain varying amounts of inedible or rotten potatoes. French fries and chips contain fats or oils from frying operations.
  • Starch. Unheated starch is available from some candy manufacturers and sometimes may contain pieces of candy.
  • Pasta is available from pasta plants and some ingredient distributors as straight pasta or in blends with other ingredients, such as candy.

*This list is excerpted from “By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest,” published in 2008 by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin at Madison

So, where’s the beef locally?  You have several choices.  If you are near our Winter Park office, you have Lake Meadow Naturals located in Ocoee.  If you are near our Eustis office, you have even more choices because we are getting into the pasture areas.  Local Harvest is a link that not only shows you those local to Eustis, but also any city or state by entering your city or zip.

The choice is yours. 

Now that you know better, you have to do better!

P.S. We got to bring Linda the duck home from the  Eastside Veterinarian Clinic in Clermont.  We released her Wednesday morning!  We opened the crate door and she flew off into the wild, blue yonder.  Hopefully to find her mate!  And they lived happily ever after!  I love happy endings!

Leave a Reply