Meat Quality of a Pasture Raised Sheep

Meat Quality

The meat quality of pasture raised animals is far superior to that of confined animals.

The decision to eat meat is personal. Although in an era where public reaction to animal cruelty is one of the main highlights, many decide not to go the carnivore way and are good with their spinach and potatoes. However, for those of you who decide to include the perennial meat to your diet, there is a choice to make: whether to eat organic meat or commercialized meat. Although a few dollars’ difference between the price tags of the two might make you want to go for the cheaper alternative. But cheaper is not always better. Going for organic, or grass-fed animal’s meat is kinder to the animal, the earth and most importantly to your own body.

The meat of pasture raised sheep is no different. It is rich and more savory compared to the grain-finished alternatives. And it also has a considerable sum of good nutrients that makes it stand head-and-shoulders above its substitute.

First of all, the meat of sheep is naturally rich in fats which is one of the reasons that make it such a treat to eat. So when you try to force more fats into the sheep by giving it grains instead of its natural diet of grass, you are actually turning it into a fat factory. As a result, the meat from such a sheep is greasy and disagreeable. In short, meat from a pasture raised sheep is significantly lower in fat, cholesterol and calories when compared to a feedlot sheep of similar age.

Pasture Raised Meat
Lamb Chops and Green Beans

In the case of a pasture raised sheep, there is also an observed increase in nutritional contribution to the human diet compared to that of a feedlot raised sheep. It has an increased amount of beta carotene (Vitamin A) which is beneficial for our eyes. There is also a considerable dose of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Omega-3 fatty acids present, both of which help keep the our cholesterol under control while keeping a check on obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Better yet, researchers at the University of Zaragoza have found that grass-fed sheep are virtually free from the threat of an E. coli outbreak!

Additionally, a recent report by the US-based Environmental Working Group has found that due to misuse of antibiotics in animals raised on factory farms, an alarming amount of meat sold in supermarkets and restaurants in the United States contained high levels of bacteria resistant to antibiotics (labeled as super bacteria). When these bacteria multiply, they spread the defensive strain and thus more and more bacteria become resistant to that particular brand of antibiotic. This threatens to cause a post-antibiotic era where major essential drugs for the treatment of people could become useless. It will effectively be a ticket to the Dark Ages when a bacterial infection was difficult to treat and more than likely to cause complications that may even lead to death.

Conclusively, going for feedlot raised meat is not only detrimental to the sheep’s health but, also, injurious to your own health. So the next time you go to the grocery store to get some meat, don’t forget to ask for 100% grass-fed meat. It is only logical. If you live in Central Arkansas you can always get quality pasture raised meat products at Hillcrest Artisan Meats in Little Rock or Butcher and Public in North Little Rock. If you are balking at the higher price per pound of pasture raised meat, perhaps a shift in perspective will help.  Rather than looking at the cost per pound, look at the cost per ounce. You will see that

If you are balking at the higher price per pound of pasture raised meat, perhaps a shift in perspective will help.  Rather than looking at the cost per pound, look at the cost per ounce. You will see that high-quality pasture raised meat packed with valuable nutrition is actually about the same price per ounce as a candy bar.

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