The Grass is Always Greener
The cicadas are singing, summer is finally in full swing, and with Independence Day right around the corner, it's safe to assume that most of us are trying as hard as we can to get outside and grill as much of our food as possible. With so many items to grill, and so little time, it's difficult to remain sane.
Of course, everyone has a favorite ingredient to cook over flames that excites passion in them more than any other. I happen to be a card-carrying member of the club that holds a thick steak in the highest possible grilling esteem. More specifically, steaks cut from the rib or short loin areas ( "primals" in butcher-speak) of the beef carcass; rib eyes, t-bones, porterhouses, and New York strips to name but a few. These two "primals" happen to do the least amount of work during the animal's life, thereby leaving the flesh more tender and better suited to fast, high heat cooking techniques.
Not only is it important to know from where on the animal your favorite steak is cut, but also to know about how the animal was raised and what it was eating before it became your dinner. The question here is "grass or grain?" Over 99% of the beef for sale in your area grocery stores is fed primarily with corn. There are many reasons why this is a terrible idea, the most basic being that bovines are ruminant animals, meant to eat and digest grass with their complex system of multiple stomachs that can convert cellulose into valuable nutrients.
Cows fed an all grass diet throughout their lives are eating what they are supposed to eat, and provide us steak lovers with specific benefits because of it. Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fat than its conventional grain fed counterpart, and it also sports a healthy amount of omega three fatty acids. In short, it might actually be good for us to be eating grass-fed beef! Not so with grain fed. Additionally, the flavor of a grass fed steak is something of a revelation. Instead of tasting like charred beef fat and not much else, a grass-fed steak has a truly beefy, fleshy, mineral-rich flavor that lets you know you're eating something that was raised as nature intended. Search out a grass-fed beef retailer in your area, and let me know what you think!
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