Grass-fed and finished beef and bison are truly a superfood that we should not skip out on in our daily lives. It is one of the most nutrient dense protein sources available and beyond amino acids contains a plethora of highly bioavailable heme iron, b vitamins (especially b12), zinc and selenium. It is is also full of healthy fatty acids like CLA and omega 3!
Cows and other ruminants have the special ability to extract nutrients out of the insoluble fibers in plants and grasses that we humans cannot. Therefor we need them in order to “Predigest” the plants so that we can benefit from the nutrition too, which we can do by eating high quality red meat 🥩
Most cows spend a brief amount of their youth on pasture where they eat a bit of grass, but are shipped off to be “finished” aka fattened up in feedlots where they are fed with PUFA rich grains such as corn and soy which they biologically cannot digest. This leads to a rancid acid build up in their digestive tracts creating the characteristic “gross cow dung” smell. To combat this inner infection, cows are then fed antibiotics and other hormones to get them as big as possible with minimal cost and feed.
As a result, their tissues are full of these unhealthy PUFAS and medications, which not only harm the animal but will also wreck havoc in the bodies of those who consume it. It is known that PUFAS can disrupt blood sugar, metabolism and hijack mitochondria, in addition to messing with digestion and detox. Do you really want to eat this kind of meat?
Additionally, this study points out that cattle are protein up-cycles, meaning that they make protein more available for human consumption. Grass-fed cows are much more efficient at this:
If you’re interested to learn more about PUFAS and how to avoid them, read this!
Like with everything, you want to eat as wide of a variety of cuts as possible to benefit from all the nutrients 😋
For example, if you only eat filet mignon and other lean cuts of steak, you are missing out on many fat soluable vitamins such D, A and K2 and cholesterol which are more concentrated in offal like liver and fattier cuts like ribeyes. Sirloins also contain more zinc compared to a filet.
In fact, our ancestors actually went right for the marrow and fattier tissues and left the lean meat for last.
Cooking with tallow also ensures that you get a healthy load of animal based fat, which is a brain and mitochondrial super fuel. Your body needs the cholesterol found in animal fats to build a healthy brain (20% of your cholesterol stored are in the brain) and to manufacture healthy hormones and neurotransmitters! The brain also needs cholesterol to build myelin sheaths and synapses (these protect and connect neurons) 🧠
You can make your own by rendering beef fat (which you can purchase very cheaply from regenerative farms such as US Wellness Meats) or you can purchase your own jar from companies like Epic or Fatworks. Just make sure it’s 100% grass fed and finished since the fat is where animals store their toxins!
If you don’t have a problem with dairy, you can also incorporate raw and grass-fed butter, ghee, cream and cheese into your diet. All are full of healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins, especially vitamin K2, which Weston A Price refers to as “Activator X”- basically a magic molecule needed to optimal body function 🤓
We like cultured ghee from Pure Indian Foods and grass-fed butter from Lewis Road Creamery. Both are bright yellow indicating that the cows ate nutritious grass!
If you’re interested in a raw cheese, I recommend US Wellness Meats. Keep in mind that raw cheese is only recommended for those who are not milk protein intolerant and should not be consumed by those who have thyroid problems since casein is a gluten cross reactant!
Bone in cuts such as short ribs, tomahawks and roasts are also a fabulous way to get collagen rich peptides that are essential for healthy joints, hair, tendons and cartilage. When you cook with the bone in, minerals leach out into the meat as well!
Ground beef is a great and less expensive alternative since it usually uses trimmings from all kinds of cuts ensuring that you get all the nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids in addition to healthy bio-available amino acids! Meat is a complete protein!
That’s a great excuse to eat a keto style burger 🍔 or a low carb chili 🌶
Another way to eat less tender cuts is to utilize stew meat which usually comes from the shoulders and legs. These cuts are tougher because the muscles are doing a lot of hard work and are very dense. Our favorite stew recipe is this fat fueled Gulasch 😋
You can also use the bones to make a collagen rich bone broth to use as a base for soups. Bone broths supply is with collagen, gelatin and other peptides!
If you really can’t stomach bone in cuts or broths, I recommend you supplement with a good collagen and gelatin supplement to make sure you get the right balance of amino acids. Both Bulletproof and Marigolds have good products either in bar or powder/latte form! Collagen is really a must for healthy tissues, joints, nails and skin!
Lastly, you can enjoy the nutrient dense organ meats in products such as head cheese (tongue), liverwurst (heart, kidney and liver) and braunschweiger (liver), all which are available at US Wellness Meats which is one of my favorite sources of grass-fed beef. There are even ground beef blends that contain about 20% offal. You can barely taste the difference and it’s a great way to get all the nourishment 💪🏻
My favorite products from US Wellness Meats include their organ meat sausages, their filet mignon (also the bone in variety), flank and coulette steaks, as well as their ground beef (75/25) and ground beef patties (75/25)!
Other suppliers I regularly purchase from is Northstar Bison 🦬 and White Oak Pastures!
Northstar bison has fantastic bison brats for those who don’t do well with pork (like me), and super yummy bison steaks and ground bison/burgers! I recently made a super yummy tomahawk and a batch of baby back ribs 😍
You can save 10$ on your first order with my referral link
You can also visit your local farmers market where there are usually local farmers who sell their pastured and grass fed meats! Check out http://www.eatwild.com for a directory to find someone near you!
If you online shop at the grocery store, look for 100% grass fed and finished and ideally also pasture raised. Stores like Whole Foods usually have an animal welfare ranking system and for beef I usually try to get everything over step 4.
One brand that I’ve seen at Whole Foods and some other stores is called Force of Nature which sells regeneratively raised animal products of very high quality!
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to rotate the different cuts but also to eat both beef and bison/Buffalo since each species boasts a different nutritional profile!
So I challenge you, honor the beef and the bison and fill up your plate with a wide variety of cuts, even if you’re unfamiliar with them. Every part of the animal can nourish you in its own special way and will fuel your body to peak performance🙌🏻