Red meat gets a lot of bad publicity, and rightfully so. Traditionally cattle have been raised on pasture, but today most industrial cattle are fattened on grain. This new grain diet has had disastrous consequences. When cows eat grain instead of grass they become ill. To prevent illness in these sick cows living in filthy concentrated animal feeding operations they are fed antibiotics which causes us, who eat the meat, resistant to antibiotics. The acid gut of grain-fed cattle also increases the risk of illness from E. coli in people. After the beef is slaughtered it is treated with ammonia to kill the pathogens. The cows are also treated with growth hormones to fatten them faster, but make no mistake, when we eat that meat we are eating the growth hormones too. The hormones found in our meat has been linked to the sharp increase in breast, testicular, and prostate cancer in humans. And the worst of it? Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (or mad cow disease). Cows are herbivores yet in factory farms they are fed poultry, pork, chicken litter (feathers and manure) and the most disturbing--part of other cattle unfit for humans. These cows have been turned into carnivores and cannibals. Yikes! In the United States only one percent of the the cattle is tested for BSE. Kind of makes you think about becoming a vegetarian, doesn't it?
But wait. Let's look at the difference of cows raised on pasture.
When cattle feed on pasture the fresh air and ample room prevent them from getting sick and therefore they have no need to be pumped full of antibiotics like their grain-fed counterparts. Grass-fed beef is naturally lean like a skinless chicken breast. Industrial beef on the other hand is 30 percent fat by weight, meaning they're obese. Grass-fed beef is nutritionally superior due to their natural diet making it high in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, and anti-oxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and alpha-lipoic acid. It's lean, tender, and tasty--never bland or gamey.
Think you can't afford locally raised grass-fed beef? What about making the switch but eating less meat to make up the cost difference? Not only will you be eating something healthier, but eating less meat will contribute to your health as well. Think about if the health costs of cheap unhealthy meat are worth it to you and your family.
Now, how about a delicious recipe that calls for some of that grass-fed beef we just learned about! I love this broccoli and beef recipe because the broccoli comes out crunchy, not soggy, and the thick sauce coats each piece just right without overwhelming the rice. Enjoy!
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or honey
1 tablespoon organic corn starch
1 tablespoon organic soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1.5 pounds grass-fed rib-eye or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1. Whisk baking soda, sugar, corn starch, soy sauce and water together in medium bowl. Add steak and stir to coat. Cover bowl and refrigerate. Let sit at least one hour and then precede below.
1/2 cup organic soy sauce (I recommend Nama Shoyu)
2 tablespoons brown or coconut sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour of choice (I like tapioca flour or arrowroot powder)
3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
4 heads broccoli, crowns only
1. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and flour stirring until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute about 3 minutes stirring consistently. Transfer broccoli to a bowl or plate.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the broccoli and remaining sauce. Cook 3-4 minutes more. Serve over rice.