“While it is true that many people simply can’t afford to pay more for food, either in money or time or both, many more of us can. After all, just in the last decade or two we’ve somehow found the time in the day to spend several hours on the internet and the money in the budget not only to pay for broadband service, but to cover a second phone bill and a new monthly bill for television, formerly free. For the majority of Americans, spending more for better food is less a matter of ability than priority.” ― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Let’s look at the differences between regular beef vs. quality beef.
Regular beef, also known as “conventional beef,” is produced with the aid of pesticides, hormones, and other shortcuts that make the cow grow faster, fatter and cheaper. Conventional products are produced as cheaply as possible. The cheaper a product is produced, the more profit that is available and the more of it you produce. This is just business 101. Whenever you buy conventional anything, you are getting footed the health bill.
Quality beef—organic grass-fed beef—is produced with the health of the animal and the quality of the product in mind. Any producer trying to produce quality beef will let his cattle roam freely over grass pastures and not administer hormones, antibiotics or other crap like that. The cows will live happy, stress-free lives, which produces better quality, more tender meat. The slaughtering process will be clean and as humane as possible.
When beef is produced this way, the nutritional makeup of the animal contains the proper omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, the way nature intended. On the flip side, conventional beef has a fatty acid profile skewed heavily to omega-6’s, which causes an imbalance in your body and results in inflammation. (Remember the “health bill” part?)
Conventional beef also opens you up to the risk of contamination from E. Coli, and other gnarly parasites. This rarely, if ever, happens with quality beef.
When you buy better products, whether it’s beef, poultry, vegetables, fruit, coffee, tea, etc., you are getting a healthier, more nutritious, product in every way. Your food will have more nutrition, be produced in a way that didn’t destroy the environment, and that provided for bettering working and living conditions for the people that produced that product. Don’t these all seem a good deal for spending an extra buck or two at the checkout counter?
Sure, you will pay a couple extra dollars when you buy organic, grass-fed beef instead of conventional beef. But that cost is negligible when you factor in the benefits.
Let’s look at how this plays out in a given year…
At the end of the year, had you bought an average of 2 pounds of grass-fed beef a week (I buy 1-2 pounds a week), you would have spent an extra $200-250 dollars for over 110 pounds of beef. 110 pounds of quality beef would have passed through your body and affected your health. It would have contributed to how you felt, how well you slept, the results you had when you looked in the mirror, and so on. A couple hundred dollars to look, feel and perform better. Sounds like a bargain, right?
Now, compare this to buying cheap, conventional beef. Had you opted for the cheaper beef, you would have put over 100 pounds of low-quality, omega-6 skewed, hormone and antibiotic laden food through your body. This would have adversely affected your health in every way. Just imagine how the damage to your body could have affected other parts of your life like your relationships, job, and results. You would literally have looked, felt and performed worse than if you hadn’t eaten any beef at all! Would you really trade this just to save a couple bucks at the grocery store?
Crappy deal. (Not to mention the fact that you are supporting a food system that mistreats the environment and the animals that have to live through the ordeal. Terrible all around.)
Start spending the extra dollar or two and reap the benefits: look, feel and perform better.
You’ll get to feel good about the choices you made for yourself and the environment.
I remember someone saying that the food you eat is either healing you or it is hurting you. That really stuck with me.
Whenever I eat, I ask myself this question, “Is this healing or hurting me?”
Choose food that heals you.
Colin StuckertFounder/CEO, Wild Foods