Yesterday after writing my review on the movie Food Inc., a dear friend of ours commented saying he was looking into purchasing a 1/4 of a grass-fed cow and I was so ecstatic to hear it! It made me reflect back to the time when I was trying to source grass-fed animals and I quickly realized I needed to dedicate a post on two very important and helpful websites: EatWild.com and RealMilk.com
This website is an amazing tool for the new real food eater because one of the biggest obstacles is sourcing a legitimate, sustainable farmer that produces happy, healthy animals. Finding pastured meat is also one of the most important aspects of eating the right way. According to eatwild.com, in 2009 a study was done jointly by the USDA and researchers at Clemson University in South Carolina comparing grain-fed (CAFO) beef to grass-fed beef. This is what they concluded-
Grass-fed beef is:
- Lower in total fat
- Higher in beta-carotene
- Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
- Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
- Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Higher in total omega-3s
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
- Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
- Lower in the “bad” saturated fat higher in the “good” unsaturated
When you decide to make your first purchase of a pastured animal you want to make sure the animal is “grass-finished.” Grass-finished means exactly how it reads… it’s finished on grass. Some farmer’s have their cows on pastures for most of the time but then at the end they put them on grain. Putting the cows on grain can significantly reduce the CLA which is a known cancer fighter. It’s also important to make sure the cows aren’t fed any GMO corn or soy. These are bad, bad, bad and you want to avoid them like the plague!
I love me some cold raw milk. Yesterday I opened a jug of new milk and it was one of the freshest milks I’ve ever tasted… in my life! I poured some milk to have with a Jovial cookie but the milk was so good I hesitated not eating the cookie because I wanted to savor the creamy, wholesome milk that I had in my mouth. Oh it was so good… *day dreaming* Most people can’t really tell the difference when I let them try the raw milk but I bet if I were to put a glass of pasteurized milk and raw milk in front of them, didn’t tell which one was which, asked which one was better, they’d pick the raw milk- hands down.
Sourcing raw milk varies from state to state. In California, raw milk is legal and I can go to my farmer’s market or a local health food store down the road to pick some up. In Florida, it is illegal to purchase raw milk for human consumption. When I first sourced raw milk while I was living in Florida we had to talk in code language. See, in Florida raw milk can be sold in stores only for pet consumption. The person I purchased the milk from told me she used to have cows of her own but they ended up having babies or something so she quit producing raw milk. She told me all her two-legged friends were upset and dependent on the milk so she sourced from a small farm a little north of where we lived.
It can be a little time consuming, frustrating and overwhelming trying to find the right source when you start your real food journey but I guarantee with these two website it can help drastically. Keep in mind, people drives hundreds of miles to source their meat and dairy products so don’t be hesitant if you have to drive an hour away to get your food. It’s all worth it in the end and if you have children, make it a day and include them on the journey. When you get to the farm you can ask the farmer to show you and the kids around (you should do this any way before you purchase meat so you can make sure everything is up to your standards). I guarantee your children will enjoy seeing all the animals and it will make an everlasting impression on their lives.
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul