Thursday, June 3, 2010

Study Shows Grain Fed Beef Healthier Than Grass Fed

Study Shows Ground Beef From Grain-Fed Cattle Healthier Than Grass-Fed
05/27/2010 10:49AM

COLLEGE STATION – Grass-fed beef may not have as many healthful traits as some perceive, according to results from a recent Texas AgriLife Research study.

Dr. Stephen Smith, an AgriLife Research meat scientist, and a team of researchers have found that contrary to popular perception, ground beef from pasture-fed cattle had no beneficial effects on plasma lipid.

However, high monounsaturated fat ground beef from grain-fed cattle increased HDL cholesterol, increased LDL particle diameters, and decreased insulin, suggesting that ground beef produced by intensive production practices provides “a healthful, high-quality source of protein.”

"We wanted to see from this study if product from pasture-fed and corn-fed cattle had different effects on LDL or HDL cholesterol," Smith said. "We looked at the scientific literature and could not find any justifications for the statement that pasture-fed beef is better for you. All we found were rat studies in which they were fed omega-3 fatty acids, so we wanted to know if this applied to beef from grass-fed cattle."

"There really were no negative effects of feeding ground beef from the pasture-fed cattle," Smith said. "We did see many positive effects in men that consumed ground beef from corn-fed cattle. The ground beef from the USDA Prime cattle increased HDL cholesterol and LDL particle diameter. Both effects are protective against cardiovascular disease. The Prime ground beef also decreased insulin, so it may have some protective effect against type II diabetes." Read More

The biggest thing this study should provide for us is the fact that all beef is healthy for us. It doesn’t do anyone any good to vilify the type of beef our neighbor raises. It doesn’t matter what type of food you are raising, if you have to make up scary stories and spew misinformation about other products in order to promote your own, then you have a problem. All of us have preferences about what we like and don’t like but in the end we have a huge responsibility to provide food and fiber for the planet.


Allen Livingston said...

I couldn't agree more Troy. I've talked with producers and consumers on both sides of grain versus grass finished beef, and many throw the other product under the bus and claim their's is the best and should be the only way to produce beef. But it's still BEEF, no matter how you raise it or finish it, the fact remains the same that it all tastes good and we should all eat more of it!

Joey Jones said...

I will agree that we should not be slinging mud Troy. At the same time, let's quote studies that are real studies. Have you read the study? Can you verify that this is a real study? Dr. Smith, although I have asked, has yet to produce the "study". Any good scientist will tell you that 27 subjects does not make a conclusive study even if there is a study. So far, no response from Dr. Smith or his assistants that I spoke to (and I am an A&M fan). So, before we start waving our victory flag, let's make sure we have accurate facts. To learn more about grass feeding and finishing visit and

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Troy Hadrick said...

@F, you missed my point completely.

Anonymous said...

i have not been able to read the study either. This is unusual since he presented the findings the press relaease states "last year".

Grass fed beef is "supposed" to be more healthy becuase it contains more omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids exert their beneficial health effects directly and ther effects are not mediated though HDL or LDL.

I look forward to reading the article.