People often wonder about the higher cost of organic, grass-fed, pastured beef. It is, admittedly quite a bit more expensive than the conventional version at the grocery store. The difference however is quite significant. After all, it’s not just what you’re eating, but what what you eat ate. I know, that’s confusing, go back and read it again.
Conventional beef is often fed an unnatural diet which makes the animal grow fat faster. This diet also includes hormones. Not a healthier weight gain, just a gain so that they can be brought to market quickly and more profitably. Because they are typically raised in confined agriculture feedlot operations (CAFOs) they are at a higher risk of infection and disease, so they are given antibiotics. Those antibiotics don’t go away when the animal is harvested. This means that conventional beef may come with an unhealthy dose of antibiotics already in the meat. There is some speculation that the overuse of antibiotics in the animal farming industry may be partially responsible for the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Pasture raised beef is more expensive in part because it costs more to raise them correctly. The animals are raised outdoors on pasture where they can roam and feed at will. They’re also raised to term without the use of hormones and antibiotics. This is a process which takes long. The end result, however, is worth it. The animal is healthier overall and this creates a healthier product for your consumption. Studies have shown that organically pasture-raised beef has more omega-3s, more conjugated linoleic acid, more vitamins and minerals, and less fat. As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Isn’t your health worth paying more?