Ruminations on grass-fed beef / organic nonsense / paleotards

Posted on November 2, 2012


You can go to hell if you think I’m giving this up.

For those who aren’t familiar with Alan Aragon, he is one of the (very) few fitness / nutritional writers I keep up with. He writes a monthly research review at I highly recommend. It’s $10 a month and worth it.

In one of his recent reviews he goes into detail about grass-fed beef. I don’t want to plagiarize his content so go sign up for a more detailed look. However, I want to highlight one aspect of his argument and continue my own from there.

The biggest argument I typically see for grass-fed beef is the notion it’s superior in omega-3 fatty acids (the type you find in fish oil) because grain (corn) fed beef is pervasive with omega-6 fatty acids.

Grass = more omega 3s and less omega 6’s; corn / grain = less omega 3s and more omega 6s.

This is where I’ll steal from Aragon a bit:

“It’s important to note that although grass-fed beef has a higher concentration of omega-3 than grain-fed beef, it still only amounts to slightly below one percent of the beef’s total fatty acid content.” 

More specifically, Aragon cites research showing regular beef contains .24 g/100 g of omega 3’s while grass fed contains .88 g / 100 g.

As I’ve mentioned in Does the difference matter?,  this is an instance where many would go, “Look, look! Grass-fed beef has over 3 times as many omega-3s as regular fed beef!”

However, when you look at the absolute difference, and add some context to boot:

453 grams (1 pound of beef)=>  453 / 100 = 4.53 * .24 = 1.08 grams omega-3s per pound of regular beef.

4.53 * .88 g = 3.98 grams omega-3s per pound of grass fed beef.

1.08 compared to 3.98

You realize these clueless fucks are arguing over 2 grams of omega 3s, and that’s IF you are eating an entire pound of beef each day.

Go take about 2 fish oil pills at a whopping 25 cents (or whatever it is) per pill rather than spending 5 dollars extra (or whatever) per pound of beef, and you’ll be fine. Of course, if you’re the type of person who is eating grass-fed beef chances are you’re already supplementing with fish oil. So congratulations on pissing your money away.

Point being this difference is easily made up for, it’s likely not worth worrying about anyways, and grass-fed beef -and beef for that matter- is a crappy source of omega 3s to begin with.

Never mind the fact Aragon goes into a bunch of detail of how grass-fed beef essentially has no health benefits over regular beef.

And never mind the fact grass-fed / organic beef / food is WORSE for the environment.

Finally, remember if you’re eating grass-fed beef because that’s how cows are supposed to eat, well, by your logic, you should be hunting cows because that’s how we’re supposed to get our food, and you should eat it raw because that’s how we’re supposed to eat it….

Or you should just stop propagating nutritional fallacies you have no concept of.

Stop wasting your money on grass-fed beef (and other organic crap) and start utilizing it on far more exhilarating items, like alcohol. Me and my delicious corn-fed, bacon cheeseburger will see you at the bar.

Wait, did paleoman have bars?

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