The average American will consume a record 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry this year. It isn’t just the quantity of meat being consumed that is changing. More specifically, the quality of beef that Americans are consuming is also shifting. Attitudes about grass-fed beef have become incredibly positive, as more and more people learn about the benefits of eating high quality meat. However, this change in the way Americans eat protein didn’t happen overnight. Through various health and wellness sources, the importance of reaching for grass-fed beef over conventional beef has become well-known. How exactly did the public start to learn about quality meat choices? Explore four influences in the shift to choosing grass-fed protein.
The way that we eat has changed substantially over the last few decades. One specific change that many individuals have made is eating organic food. As defined by Organic.org, this kind of food is “grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation.” Motivated by the desire to preserve health and wellness, more Americans are eating organic food than ever before. One recent report revealed that “sales of organic food and goods crested at $47 billion in 2016.” In 2007, “sales [of organic food and goods] were just below $20 billion.” As more individuals choose organic, they are also incorporating sustainably raised, grass-fed beef as part of their diet.
Over the past few years, the ketogenic diet (also known as the keto diet) has skyrocketed in popularity. This diet focuses on the consumption of a low-carb, high-fat diet in an effort to enter what is known as “ketosis.” The ultimate goal of this lifestyle is to burn fat (rather than carbohydrates) in an effort to quickly lose weight. What is unique to the keto diet is the emphasis on consuming high quality protein. Unlike low-carb diets of the past, a shift in the understanding of how important it is to consume quality meat has occurred. Rather than eating just any meat at the store, many keto experts recommend eating only grass-fed meats when on this diet.
Understanding the importance of quality fats
In the 1980s and 1990s, fat was thought of as an enemy. Low-fat, processed foods were available in almost every grocery store. Ever since research confirmed that people do need fat in their diets to thrive, the low-fat trend has been abandoned. Along with the most recent studies that confirmed this, an emphasis was also placed on the quality of fats chosen. High quality meats (such as grass-fed beef) began to be publicly acknowledged as being a healthy choice.
Functional medicine doctors
Functional medicine was first introduced to the world in 1991 as an alternative to conventional medicine. It is best defined as a “medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body and its organs, usually involving systems of holistic or alternative medicine.” Since the introduction of this type of practice, functional medicine doctors can now be found across the country. As part of their commitment to natural and holistic wellness, many of these doctors recommend (if appropriate) the consumption of quality forms of protein to their patients.
Through the increased knowledge and visibility of organic living, the ketogenic diet, the need for high quality fats, and the arrival of functional medicine doctors, individuals in every state have started to learn about the importance of being savvy when choosing meat. Through continued awareness initiatives, even more people can know why it is so crucial to choose grass-fed beef for overall health and wellness.
Meet The Author:
After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie now writes full time on topics ranging from health and wellness, right through to news and current affairs. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues.