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From the News Archives...

Meat from grass-fed cattle stays fresher longer

Meat from grass-fed cattle is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain-fed cattle, which is a definite health advantage. However, omega-3s are highly unsaturated fats and can oxidize very quickly. This is why people have long assumed that grass-fed beef has a shorter shelf life than grain-fed beef.

The opposite is true, according to researchers at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in Wales. The research team selected steaks from grass-fed and grain-fed cattle, packaged them in standard supermarket wrapping, and kept them in a refrigerator for 14 days. At the end of the two-week period, the grain-fed meat was brown and unattractive while the grass-fed meat still had its bright red color.

Why? Grassfed meat is naturally high in vitamin E, the researchers explained, and this potent antioxidant kept the meat from spoiling. The picture below is graphic proof. (The grain-fed meat is labeled "concentrate" and the grass-fed meat is labeled "forage.")

Annual Report and Accounts 2001, Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, "Control of beef meat quality." Nigel Scollan

meat comparison


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