The Benefits of Raising Cattle On Pasture
Wondering where your meat is coming from and why it even matters in the first place? The way our food is raised is equally important as the foods we consume. Well, you see, all of these factors play a number of different roles.
A cow raised on the pastures will, in fact, be quite different from a grain-fed cow raised inside without the ability to roam freely.
But what does this mean?
The idea of cows being pasture-raised is the foundation of a few different components. These include the idea that roaming outside is beneficial for the health of the animal as well as the consumer of the animal. Even during the winter season, cows can be seen outdoors as exercise is just as good for cows as it is for people.
But why do we really believe cows belong in the fields?
Well, for generations upon generations, past farming success has shown us that when a cow has the ability to roam freely on fresh, green grass, they are much happier and healthier.
Some of the reasons we believe cattle belong in the fields include:
- It’s better for the animals
- It’s better for the consumers
- It’s better for the environment
- It just makes sense
#1: It’s Better For The Animals
For starters, it’s clear that cows obtain many benefits from living a pasture-raised life. While it may be obvious to some, one of the main reasons animals benefit from being pasture-raised is because they like it. Grazing on pastures is a cow’s natural habitat. This is where they feel at home with their environment and surroundings.
Pasture-raised animals are typically much healthier than their counterparts because they’re less likely to be exposed to antibiotics and other drugs. What does this mean? Well, it basically means that they’ll develop fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This means less sickness among the animals in general due to this reason in addition to the fact that there is less of a need for antibiotics in the first place.
US Wellness farms use NO antibiotics, NO pesticides, NO herbicides, and NO GMOs!
#2: It’s Better For The Consumers
Grazing on pasture clearly has numerous benefits when it comes to the health of the animals. But what about the consumers of those animals? As it turns out, it’s good for the people consuming the animals, too. When comparing producers, remember some will have cattle on pasture for a time, then “finish” them on grain to fatten them up. Some producers may still refer to these animals as grass-fed. That’s confusing to the consumer. US Wellness cattle farms never supplement with grain. US Wellness Beef, Lamb, and Bison are pasture-raised and 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. It can take nearly twice as long to do it this way but it’s vitally important for the health benefits and flavor of the finished product.
The animal products made from pasture-raised cows have been shown to provide a number of nutritional benefits for humans as well. Green plants provide the animals with more readily available nutrients, so the food naturally contains more beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and vitamin E. In fact, the
Beta-carotene is important for a number of different reasons. It’s converted into vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin and is known to help improve eye health, among other things. Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant and can be found in a number of different foods including onions, carrots, peas, spinach, and squash.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids provide a powerful package of benefits for both your body and your brain. To name a few, the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids include: fighting depression and anxiety, improving eye health, promoting brain health during pregnancy and early life, improving risk factors for heart disease, helping fight inflammation, fighting autoimmune diseases, improving mental disorders, fighting mental decline from age, etc.
Grass-fed and finished beef has significantly higher levels (2 to 5 times more) of healthy Omega-3s than grain-fed.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Surprisingly enough, CLA has one of the best reputations when it comes to weight loss. CLA has been shown to help improve fat loss, inhibit fat production, and suppress appetite. CLA has also been shown to help enhance exercise. This is due to the fact that it helps enhance muscle metabolism and performance by suppressing protein breakdown, which helps improve the strength and quality of the muscle overall.
The final nutrient you can obtain from pasture-raised animal products includes vitamin E. Vitamin E is jam-packed with several benefits including key antioxidants and helping fight off inflammation. Some other benefits include:
- Moisturizing skin
- Helping wounds heal
- Decreasing itchy skin
- Reducing the appearance of scars
- Preventing sunburn
- Promoting nail health
#3: It’s Better For The Environment
So we’ve discussed the benefits of pasture-raised living for both the animals and humans, but what about the environment?
Well-managed grazing and pasture systems are much better for the environment and farm ecosystem as a whole. These systems use fewer fossil fuels and energy inputs. These pastures have virtually no soil erosion or flooding as opposed to factory farm operations.
You see, the animals are rotated around to different patches of fresh pasture. Each pasture receives a 30-45 day rest period. This helps spread manure and improve the quality and quantity of forage growth. The cattle also trample grasses into the soil that becomes compost. In turn, this conserves the soil, reduce pollution, and increase carbon sequestration. All of these factors will improve the quality of the ecosystem, including livestock and surrounding wildlife.
These sustainable practices will help ensure future generations will enjoy quality food, clean water, and healthy soils.
#4: It Just Makes Sense
When taking all of these benefits listed above into consideration, the decision to keep cows in the field seems relatively simple.
Steph is a writer, competitive weightlifter and nutritional consultant with a passion for health and wellness. She is the founder of The Athlete’s Kitchen, a website dedicated to providing its audience with articles, recipes and the latest nutritional information on their favorite foods. Find her on instagram or at https://www.TheAthletesKitchen.com