Ever since I read these books about healthy eating (not the grass chomping sandal wearing type) and they all suggest that having more Omega 3 in your diet has loads of positive effects on your health including being anti inflammatory, which means it’s anti-ageing too.
Why do you need high levels of Omega 3 in your diet? Omega 3 oils are polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A diet high in Omega 3 oils has been shown to prevent and reduce cancerous tumours. You can get omega 3 from fish too but if you have to eat beef, by choosing grass fed, you will increase your Omega 3 intake and reduce Omega 6. Other foodstuff that has high Omega 3 is cold pressed rapeseed oil (not canola oil which is usually a GM crop) so I have swapped my cooking oils as well.
I have been slowly switching over to produce which is supposed to be healthier or higher in Omega 3. With a couple of close friends having cancer scares prompted me to read up more on the subject on how food is medicine too. This is very much inline with the Eastern Medicinal training that I’ve done. The books that most influenced me were:
Grass Fed Beef has a Higher Omega 3 Content
I do like a nice hunk of rare meat.
Since I’ve learnt about grass fed beef, I have been looking out for them in supermarkets, food shows and butcher shops. Waitrose sells Aberdeen Angus meat at their meat counter and they have a nice little book that tells you who the farmers are. However, it doesn’t tell you what the animals were fed on. Recently, I asked the butcher who didn’t know and he called the buyer at head office and they had no clue either. A really poor show if you ask me. So I now buy meat from butchers who state very clearly whether the meat is grass fed or not.
Here is how to identify Grass Fed Beef, a few things to look out for
Grass fed beef is more dense and it won’t fall over when it’s cut.
The marbling and fat should be ivory and not white
Grass fed beef will get gamey if it’s been hung for longer than28 days, 21 days is perfect.
Where to find grass fed beef producers in the UK
Hardiesmill is a farm in the Scotish Borders who produces top quality Aberdeen Angus Grass Fed only beef. Their herd is fed on grass only and they don’t fatten up their beef with grain like some producers, which takes about 6 months longer and results in meat that is more tender. Beef fed with grain will end up having higher levels of Omega 6, the colour of the fat will be white and will have a completely different flavour.
I met Robin Tuke at the Real Food Festival a few months ago. I was looking for a grass fed beef producers at the show and had a nice chat with Robin and his wife Alison. They won the SCOTLAND Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2008 & exhibited for Scotch Beef at Bocuse d’Or in Lyon 2009 and supplies the Orient Express.
I am off to visit the farm soon for the 10 Steak Experience where we get introduced the farm and get to taste 10 different cuts of steak. They do this once a month and details are on their website where you can buy their meat and pies too.
There are quite a grass fed producers who don’t finish their beef off with grain and I will add to the list here.
If you are a producer or know of any, do leave a comment below.
Updates: Some comments from readers:
@SlowFoodKitchen Your site is very enjoyable (so much to explore). Re grass fed beef, find Wild Beef stall at Borough Market – excellent.