Last month we looked at a few of the benefits of consuming real beef instead of fake meat. Let’s continue! As we know, cattle are exquisitely designed to digest plant fiber, which humans cannot digest, and turn it into a protein that humans can digest. Even in cattle finished in a feedlot, 86% of their lifetime diet is composed of materials that are inedible by humans. Commercial cattle spend the first 2/3 of their life on pasture or rangeland and the last 4-6 months in a feedlot. Grass fed cattle spend their entire life on grass. In the feedlot, rations fed to cattle contain by products from distilleries, breweries, crop residue like cornstalks, cottonseed meal, soybean hulls, beet pulp and cull vegetables. These by-products would go to waste as they cannot be consumed by humans, but cattle can easily digest them. Cattle truly up-cycle nutrients!
One fake meat product on the market is made primarily of pea protein and canola oil, (plus 16 other ingredients). How and where are the peas and canola grown? How are they fertilized? Transported to processing facilities? How much water, energy and labor are needed to produce, package and market fake meat, using patented processes owned by large companies?
More than 60% of agricultural land cannot be tilled for crops as it is too rough, rocky or arid, yet cattle & other ruminants, can graze and browse there, utilizing the forages. Much of our rangeland in Arizona fits well into this category!
Nutrient density is another benefit of real beef. 4 ounces of lean beef provides 33 g protein and about 200 calories. One would have to consume 2 1/3 cups of cooked black beans to get the same amount of protein, which would also provide 550 calories! Beef is also high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium and creatine. Lean, grass fed beef is also very low in fat and cholesterol, quite similar to skinless chicken. Eating lean meats can actually lower your LDL cholesterol, as documented in a 1999 study by Davidson, M.H., D. Hunninghake, et. al. Animal protein sources are more bioavailable and contain the essential amino acids not found in plant sources.
Plant based, fake meat is not a real food and does not provide the body with bio available nutrients. Locally raised beef, holistically managed on land not suitable for other crops, harvested at the local processing plant and sold to local customers, is truly the most sustainable, healthy and beneficial option.
Submitted by BDHR