Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Saving the Planet, One Meatball at a Time

The good news is, if you can't find studies and articles to support your point of view, you need only let a little more time pass. Take, for example, this recent Time Magazine article on the environmental virtues of grass-fed beef. It used to be that vegetarians alone held the environmental high ground, but now fans of pastured beef are clawing their way up because--surprise!--when cows eat grass, it benefits the cows, benefits the grassland, and benefits the consumer. Next time you're at the Bellevue Farmers Market getting your Samish Bay or Skagit River Ranch grass-fed beef, remember this:
  • Cows benefit. They don't have all those stomachs for nothing. Cows are built to eat grass, not soybeans or corn. When cows eat grass, they don't require antibiotics to doctor their ailing stomach(s).
  • Grassland benefits. In short: manure and close-clipped lawn-mowing. Cows may also graze on land unsuitable for other purposes.
  • Eaters benefit. As Michael Polland and others have noted, grass-fed beef is higher in cancer-fighting antioxidants and Omega-3s, the same Omega-3s found in salmon! It's also leaner.
And, as added frosting on the hamburger cake, a recent study by the American Journal of Clinical nutrition discovered that, after all, Nina Planck might have been on to something because saturated fat does NOT seem to be correlated to reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. All this time, it wasn't the butter and bacon grease, it was the trans fats in the man-made margarine and vegetable shortening!

"Yippee!" about sums it up, folks.

(Oh, and a P.S. for you pescatorians who wouldn't eat beef if it was the last thing between humanity and planetary destruction: on Feb 4, Ray's Boathouse will be featuring our very own fishermen, Loki and F/V St. Jude at a special dinner!)

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