Grassfed beef is going mainstream!
Emeril Lagasse, best known for his wildly popular TV cooking show, is now promoting well-marbled grassfed ribeye steaks. The steaks are delivered to your door air-sealed from Red Marble Steaks, Emeril’s personal grassfed beef brand. No msg flavor enhancing spread needed on these steaks like what is typically required at steak restaurants that rely on cheaper, tasteless, feedlot sourced cuts.
Emeril promotes these grassfed yummies as only needing a dash of salt and pepper and a few minutes on the grill to bring out the very full flavor and natural juices. The catch?
Two bone-in steaks weighing 20 oz each cost $74.95! That’s a wallet biting $30/lb!
Even the healthfood store carries grassfed steaks for much much less. A tender, tasty grassfed ribeye from Grateful Harvest, for example, typically costs around $11/lb. Find a local co-op in your area that buys grassfed steaks in bulk and you can sometimes get them for nearly half the store price at $6/lb! That is a full 80% less than Emeril’s brand!
A local, grassbased farmer can supply grassfed steaks at much lower cost as well.
Why Grassfed Beef?
Why even bother to source grassfed beef? Omega 3 fats, CLA, and Vitamin E, that’s why! Beef from cows finished on CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) feedlots have little to no omega 3 fats in their tissues. Omega 3 fats are those heart healthy fats that Westerners are so deficient in. Grassfed cows, on the other hand, have high levels of omega 3 fats in their tissues – around 3% of total fat content!
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a potent anticancer and lean muscle building agent found in abundance in grassfed beef but not grain based, CAFO meat. Women with the highest levels of CLA in their bodies have a 60% lower chance of breast cancer than women with the lowest levels (Finnish study).
A third reason to seek out only grassfed beef is that animals grazing on pasture have 4 times the levels of vitamin E as cattle eating grain in confined feeding operations.
The best news is that there is no need to pay the gourmet price for a gourmet choice! Grassfed steaks just as delicious and nutritious as Emeril’s Red Marble Steaks are available from your humble local farmer!
Check out eatwild.com or contact your local Weston A. Price Chapter Leader for the list of grassbased farms in your area.
Sources: FastCompany, December 2010
Grass fed steaks are yummy from http://www.goforit.com
We sell grass-fed beef for only $4 per pound hanging weight.
We have a waiting list into next year already. I get so angry when people think it’s ok to gouge people for healthy food. One of our mottos is to get good food to everyone, not just those with a thick wallet. Shame on Emirl.
Sorry you’ve had tough meat Sarah. We’ve never had ANY and have had people tell us it’s the best meat they’ve ever had. (hence the waiting list) I’ve heard that when a bull is steered, if they wait too long, it can cause meat to be tough and that goes for any meat. I don’t know if it’s true or not, just was a wintess to it with someone else and the owner of that steer said it. So I don’t know. Grain feeding cattle is a relatively new tradition when mono crops came into existence in the 1900s. Leftover corn from the bombed ethanol idea led to “what do we do with it all” and there you go, let’s feed it to the cows, they’ll eat anything! People in the early days didn’t feed their cows grain. We don’t even feed our dairy girl any grain and she has the most wonderful milk I’ve ever had.
Grass is best!
Ann, what do you do when milking her – do you give her hay or something to keep her occupied? We will have a milk cow this summer, and I’d been wondering what I’d do about that; it’s been maybe 10 years since I had a milk cow, and back then we just gave her some sweet-fed to keep her distracted, but I’d rather not do that (or it at least be organic & no soy). Thanks for the help!
There’s even more to love about grass-fed beef. One of the main reasons, according to Sally Fallon in her fabulous DVD, Nourishing Traditional Diets, is the high level of the fat soluble activator vitamins A, D, E & K — those nutrients Dr Price found so pathetically lacking in civilized diets of his day and which are even more depleted and deficient today. And speaking of FAT, these nutrients, along with a high number of minerals, are found more in the fat of the cow than the meat. Don’t skip the fat! Ask your farmer or butcher to include the fat because it’s where many of the nutrients are concentrated.
Also, it does seem this topic is going more mainstream. CNN did a piece on it just this week:
What about grain finishing…seems like most of the farmers around here do, I’m not sure what to look for when I go cow shopping! Our last cow was pastured and finished without corn or soy, but I wasn’t all that impressed with the meat…need some pointers for this time around! Thanks
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Hi Erica, if you seek a grassbased farmer who will finish your cow for you on grain for just a couple of weeks, little nutrition is lost (like what would happen with months of grain feeding in a CAFO operation – see the chart on eatwild.com) and this tenderizes/marbles the meat nicely. I know die hard grassfeeding advocates frown on this, but I have had one too many tough as leather grassfed steaks in my time (no matter how I cooked them) so I now make sure a little grain is used at the end (while they are still on pasture of course .. but get some grain) to get that nice fattiness.
Pavil, The Uber Noob
There is more to the story of feedlot beef. We shouldn’t forget about the health hazards of incarcerated beef that are forced to stand and sleep in their own muck (there is a reason feed lots really stink). Because of the appalling living conditions, the livestock inevitably gets sick and the only treatment they get is antibiotics. A regimen of antibiotics is the scorched earth panacea of modern health care – All bacteria is obliterated. These ruminants require bacterial gut flora for digestion and immune function even more than we humans do. Once the regimen begins, these animals literally join the living dead. If the flesh from these miserable creatures is our idea of food, we deserve no happy future.
In contrast, ruminant livestock foraging in verdant, sunlit pastures and meadows will be vibrantly healthy and never need life stealing antibiotics. Grasslands are where cattle were meant to live.
Nature, if we can learn to cooperate with it, can be a powerful ally.
I read this and then went to Emeril’s website. What I find very interesting is that on his website NO WHERE is it listed that the beef is grassfed. If you then go to Emerl’s site http://www.redmarblesteaks.com/about-emeril he mentions nothing about grass fed beef and then if you go to his partners The Allen Brothers and read about them http://www.allenbrothers.com they don’t talk about grassfed either. I would be very doubtful that this beef is grassfed and the question you really need to ask is whether the cows actually ate grass their whole life and were finished on grain or ate grain all their life and were finished on grass. So the question is WHERE DOES YOUR FOOD COME FROM?
I went to the redmarblesteaks site, and under FAQ’s they state that their cattle is grain-fed. :o(
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Boy have I got a story to tell about this one, Rebecca. Hopefully, will get it done and post tomorrow.
You are right that you absolutely don’t need any flavor enhancers with grassfed beef. Just salt and pepper, sear it in some butter and oil on the stove. Delicious! And I can’t believe that price! We buy from a local rancher; this year’s portion came out to only $2.50/pound!
I haven’t gotten the chance to try grassfed meat yet but I really do need to give it a go! Moneys been tight and all I could afford lately is vegetables and rice… but I’m getting there. That image really does look delicious.
I’ve tried organic beef from the grocery chain before and it wasn’t too bad, but honestly I don’t care much for red meat. Its lean meat like chicken that I would like to try.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Hi Kelli, make sure you get some beef bones from your local butcher and make broth. Broth is cheap to make and will allow you to eat little meat and still be healthy until that grassfed beef is in the budget for you! 🙂
Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama
That’s exactly what I made for dinner last night — grass-fed ribeye steaks with just a bit of salt and pepper! I needed a fast dinner and that was it. Less than 15 min.
It is too bad that he is promoting it as being so expensive. I hope people see it the same way they see any of his products — huge markups just because his name’s on the label. Because it just does NOT need to cost that much. We bought a whole cow in January and it cost $2.50/lb + processing. So that ribeye dinner last night was really quite inexpensive.
Now…we don’t live paycheck to paycheck. NOT using credit and paying off all our debt is very important to us, so we have savings and can plan for things like this. We’re huge advocates of this system of handling your money, for a number of reasons, but this is a pretty good one.