People want to know where and how their food is raised  Foods labeled grass fed provides reassurance of a quality product and real health benefits for consumers.

Grass finished products have a different fat profile than conventionally finished products.  These differences include a lower overall fat content and increased levels of the “good” fats, like omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated lineoleic acids (CLAs).

Experts note that the consumer consumption of grass fed meat and dairy products in place of non-grass fed meat and dairy products can translate to an overall lower caloric intake. Jo Robinson, the founder of the Eat Wild website writes, “If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), switching to lean grass-fed beef will save you 17,733 calories a year. If everything else in your diet remains constant, you’ll lose about six pounds a year.”

The Omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fats that have long been touted as part of a heart healthy diet, are found to be 2-4 times higher in grass finsihed meats.  They are often found in nuts, seeds and fish.  Diets high in Omega-3s have been linked to major health benefits like lowered triglyceride levels and decreased inflammation that leads to joint pain or arthritis.

CLAs are another fatty acid family that are naturally occurring in grass finished meat and dairy products.  Levels are 3-5 times higher in animals on pasture. Researchers have linked these fatty acids to overall weight loss, leaner muscle, and cancer fighting properties.

Producers in Northeast Iowa practicing grass-based management are proud to raise a superior product, one that has health benefits for themselves and the people that buy their meat and dairy products.  Craig Cutting from Cutting’s Windy Acres Belted Galloways captured this feeling when he said,  “It is just nice that I can raise something for my family that was designed to feed on grass and is truly healthier for them.”