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A Case For Grass-fed Meats, Part 2 - By Daphne Olivier, R.D.

Red Meat Isn’t the Cause of Heart Disease
Red meat's reputation began its decline in the 1970s. With the increase of heart disease there were many studies undertaken to determine the cause.  It was during this time that Ancel Keys famed "Seven Countries Study" started gaining traction in the consumer world. To summarize, the Seven Countries  study suggested that saturated fat is what causes heart disease. This idea was adopted by the major medical and governmental agencies in the 1980s and has been viewed as valid ever since. However, the Seven Countries theory has been disproven numerous times. Just one example is this meta-analysis study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition which analyzed 21 previous studies and concluded that saturated fat is not associated with increased risk of heart disease. And this study in the British Journal of Medicine wants to “bust the myth of saturated fat’s role in heart disease.”

Red Meat Isn’t the Same as Processed Meats
Many early studies evaluating the correlation between heart disease, diabetes, and stroke included red meat and processed meats together, as if they were the same thing. By definition, processed meats are changed from their natural state, usually with the addition of a varying food additives. Once it was recognized that red meat and processed meats (like hot dogs and lunch meats) are not the same, they began being studied that way. This meta-analysis study  published in Circulation Journal evaluated 20 studies. They broke up processed meats and red meats into two different categories and concluded that processed meats, not red meats, did contribute to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  This study also differentiated between red meat and processed meats and concluded that processed meats increase the risk of diabetes, specifically in young and middle aged women.

Red Meat Isn’t Created Equal
When we recognize the difference between red meat and processed meats, we can then further differentiate them into conventional red meat (grain fed-what you typically find in the grocery store) and grass fed meat. Most studies look specifically at beef, since it is the most common type of red meat. Beef cattle are fed two different ways-the conventional feed is grain based (corn, soy, wheat), or what a cow naturally eats, which is grass. Grass fed beef is lower in overall fat than grain fed. And while the saturated fat content remains about the same, the specific fatty acids differ greatly. Grass fed beef is higher in stearic acid, which does not raise cholesterol levels. Grain fed cows have higher myristic acid and palmitic acid, both of which are known to raise cholesterol. In addition, grass fed beef is higher in CLA (conjugated lineolic acid), which is a fatty acid that protects against certain types of cancers and helps decrease body fat. And lastly, grass fed beef is significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids which are related to decreased incidence of depression, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancers. As if all of these were not enough, grass fed beef is a good source of the fat soluble vitamins A and D, and the beef has the appropriate amount of fat available to allow for absorption of these vitamins (Click here for more details about fatty acids in grain vs grass fed beef). 

Conclusion
So we can see that it’s easy to put a blanket statement out criticizing red meat, but the critics should distinguish between types of red meat (processed vs natural; and grain vs grass fed) because, like people, not all red meats are created equal. The quality of- and nutrition in meat is determined by what the animals eat, and often, by how they are analyzed in research studies. While it may all look the same from the outside, the quality of the meat you purchase will make a difference in your overall health and well-being.

Red meat is more than just a great protein source. It is filled with various nutrients that are essential for proper physiology and function of the body and brain. Grass-fed meats are a great source of not only proteins, vitamins, and minerals, but they are also significantly higher in Omega 3's and CLA's (the "good" fats) than grain-fed meats. When cooked right, grass fed meats offer a delicious source of nutrition. Shop for some of the highest quality meats (in terms of both taste and nutrition) here in our meat market.


Daphne is a food passionista, farm girl wanna-be, and registered, yet unconventional dietitian. She has worked in a variety of clinical nutrition settings before deciding to start her practice, My Food Coach in Lafayette, LA. Through her practice, Daphne focuses on providing the body with the nutrients it needs to bring itself into balance. Her practice revolves around providing education, empowerment, and support to allow you to make changes necessary to maintain optimal health. Click here to visit her website and read more about a variety of food and diet-related topics.






How To Cook Grass-fed Meats - By Mike Buck

Because grass fed beef is lower in fat than grain fed beef, it often presents challenges in the kitchen. If you’ve ever eaten grass fed beef that was tough or dry then you know what we’re talking about. Below are some tips to help you take advantage of all the health benefits that grass fed beef offers, while still retaining the delicious flavor!

Preparation

Preheat! Always preheat your oven or grill before cooking, this will ensure accurate cooking temperatures and an efficient cooking process.

Invest in a meat thermometer! We know you can “eye” a steak and know when it’s done, but these are much leaner and have much less wiggle room. A grass fed steak can go from perfectly cooked to over cooked within a minute! A thermometer ensures accuracy.

Always begin cooking your meat at room temperature. Plan ahead and remove the meat from the refrigerator before hand and allow it to reach room temperature. This way the meat will take less time to reach proper internal temp and every stays juicier!

Tenderize or Marinate. For tougher cuts of meat try tenderizing with a meat mallet or use a Jaccard meat tenderizer. Marinating beef in the refrigerator is also an option. Experiment with salad dressings, citrus juice, vinegars, bourbon, beer, or wine. The marinating process adds moisture and also tenderizes the beef.

Coat steaks in drawn (melted) butter or ghee. This enhances flavor and browning and also helps prevent sticking.

For oven roasting/braising, lower the temperature of the recipe by about 50 degrees but keep the cooking time the same. This lower temperature will not dry out the leaner grass fed beef.

Let’s get cooking!

First off, grass fed beef is meant to be enjoyed Rare, Medium Rare, or Medium. That’s all folks! Due to it’s low fat content, it is too tough and dry once overcooked. This is another reason why having a meat thermometer is so critical.

Your internal temperatures you are watching for are as follows:

Rare 120 F
Medium Rare 125F
Medium 130 F

When grilling, keep your grill temperatures the same as you would a grain fed steak. However your cooking time will be about 30% less! Sear those steaks on high heat and then reduce heat. Keep an eye on your thermometer and keep in mind that they will be cooking much faster than grain fed.

Don’t poke the meat with forks or prongs! Don’t pat your burgers down with spatulas either! Messing with your meat like this will cause precious juices to drip out, meaning flavor is lost forever! Be gentle! Use tongs!

Remove meat before it reaches that final temperature! Take it off the heat about 10-15 degrees before it reaches your goal temperature. It will finish cooking while it rests.

Always allow it to rest! 5-10 minutes depending on the cut. This gives time for the juices to redistribute. Otherwise they will spill all over the cutting board or your plate, when you first cut into the meat. That’s a lot of flavor you’re losing out on!

Don’t be afraid to add a bit of butter on top of the steak while it rests. It’s the perfect compliment in flavor to an expertly cooked steak!

The Case For Local Milk

So the folks from Feliciana's Best Creamery, Mike and Patty Brian, run a vertically integrated milk operation where they own the cows and the processing and bottling equipment, to produce delicious local milk for you, their customer. We wanted to take the time to discuss why their milk is not only delightfully delicious but also extremely nourishing for you and your family. If you drive to Mike's family-run farm, you'll find free-roaming cows grazing on grass (see image below) - According to World's Heathiest Foods (www.whfoods.com), grass feeding improves the quality of cow's milk, and makes the milk richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and CLA (a beneficial fatty acid). Plus, THEIR COWS ARE NEVER FED ANY HORMONES OR ANTIBIOTICS.

 

Not only is Mike's milk derived from cows that are raised primarily on natural pastures, but during processing, their milk is pasteurized at a lower temperature. The chart below shows the health benefits of consuming low-temperature pasteurized milk.

Further, the milk that is bottled is not homogenized - Homogenization takes any milk with cream (Whole, 2%) and breaks down the cream particles so that they are the same size as the rest of the milk. This allows for the milk to have an even consistency (no cream rising to the top of the milk).  There are 2 camps about the homogenization of milk out there: One camp (like Dr. Kurt Oster) believes that homogenization actually increases the risk of heart disease, their argument being when the milk is homogenized, the fats in these smaller cream particles are abosrbed through the stomach lining of our body and go straight into our blood stream and deposit in our arteries while non-homogenized milk allows these fats to get digested in the stomach and be used for energy and nutrients. In the other camp, there are several studies that assert, in layman's terms,  that correlation does not equal causation (like Dr. Andrew J. Clifford from UC Davis).


OUR THOUGHTS: Non-homogenized milk from Feliciana's Best Creamery just tastes super creamy and delicious. Way creamier than homogenized milk. If there are any additional health benefits...well that's lagniappe! So the next time you see cream in the milk, just dip your finger in it and relish the healthy goodness that Mike and Patty Brian work so hard to provide for you and your family (seriously....it tastes like fresh whipped cream).

30 Minute Meal Ideas - Berkshire Pork Chops and Cabbage

This meal idea is perfect for those days when you're tired and just don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, but still want to eat a fresh, tasty, and healthy dinner with your family (or by yourself). This meal requires minimal chopping and marinating - from fridge to plate in less than 30 minutes 


What You'll Need

1-2 pack(s) Berkshire pork chops
1/4 - 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped coarsely
3-4 Tablespoons Re: marinade
Coffee BBQ rub from Red Stick Spice Co. to taste
4 Tablespoons gourmet olive oil (garlic-infused)


How To Make

1) Season pork chops with the coffee BBQ rub generously on all sides
2) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat in a cast-iron skillet

3) Sear pork chops on both sides for 3 minutes on each side
4) Remove from skillet, wrap in foil, and put in the oven set at 170 F (Warm)
5) Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and scrape all the yummy goodness on skillet
6) Add chopped cabbage, Re: marinade, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar (helps with carmelization)
7) Cook 20 minutes on medium heat stirring every 3-4 minutes, until desired softness is reached

What You'll Get

2-4 delicious pork chops on a bed of deliciously fresh and crunchy cabbage

Beer-braised Goat Chops


These grass-fed goat chops are a meat lover's dream. Because they're grass-fed, the goat meat is very delicate and tender and prone to getting tough if over-cooked. On the bright side, the fact that the meat is grass-fed makes it very healthy for you and your family to consume, with a larger amount of unsaturated fats (omega 3's) and less saturated fats. When cooked right, the tenderness and flavor of these chops is incredible!!


What You'll Need

1 pack grass-fed goat chops
10-15 brussel sprouts
10-15 carrots, leaves removed
3 Tablespoons Re: marinade
1/2 cup dark beer/ale like a bock
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt, Pepper and other spices to taste (Use the Coffee BBQ rub from Red Stick Spice Co. if you desire)
2 Tablespoons fresh ghee

How To Make

1) Season goat chops with the coffee BBQ rub generously on all sides
2) Heat ghee on medium high heat in an oven-safe skillet

3) Sear goat chops on both sides for 90 seconds on each side
4) Add brussel sprouts on all sides of goat chops in the skillet

5) Top the chops with carrots
6) Add the Re: marinade, followed by the beer and the chicken stock
7) Cover and set in oven at 275 F for 60 minutes
8) OPTIONAL: After the chops are done, remove the meat and veggies from the braising liquid, add 1-2 teaspoons of flour and reduce the braising liquid over medium heat until a thick gravy forms (10-15 minutes).

What You'll Get

4-5 delicious goat chops
Soft, melt in your mouth brussel sprouts and carrots

Holiday Spareribs

Fingerlickin' good....use at your holiday party to wow your guests!


What You'll Need

1 Rack Berkshire pork spareribs
1 head cabbage

Dry rub:
1/4 cup of our redneck seasoning (salt, pepper, cayenne, onion and garlic powder, parsley)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Sauce:
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon melted fresh butter
½ squeezed fresh tangelo juice

How To Make

1) Rub the rub into ribs. Wrap in foil. Let sit in fridge for at least 2 hours, but upto 48
2) Bake uncovered in a roasting pan for 2 hours at 250

3) Pour 3/4 of sauce onto ribs, cover tightly with foil, and put back in oven for 2 hours
4) Take out ribs, uncover, add rest of sauce and broil for 3-4 minutes

5) Let sit for 10 minutes before serving
6) In the meantime chop cabbage coarsely
7) Use the pork juices to cook chopped cabbage for 10-15 minutes until tender

What You'll Get

12 large, meaty ribs or about 6 servings
6 servings cabbage

Fresh Christmas Ham/Pork Roast

Fall Harvest Smoothie by Mike Buck