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Grass-fed Vs Hay-fed

by (240) Updated February 18, 2010 at 8:05 PM Created February 18, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Any ideas on the differences in nutritional values between "fresh grass fed" (summer) and hay-fed (winter) beef and especially butter and dairy.

I remember my grandfather in Normandy freezing the beautiful, deep yellow butter of the summer to eat eat later and seem to remember the different in color has to do with beta-carotene levels.

Any other differences in micronutrient profiles (lipids, vitamin D etc.) between the two? what about the meat?

I'm talking specifically about hay here, and NOT about corn/wheat fed animals.

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13928 · February 18, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Weston A Price, in his book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" says that the dairy products (especially the butter) generated by cows in spring are the most high-vitamin products. When the grass is growing, young and green, this is when the volume of nutrients in it are most high.

As an aside, have you noticed how many people are drinking wheatgrass shots these days? It's better for cows. They are the ones who are designed to digest the nutrients in fresh young wheatgrass!

So the dairy from cows in the spring and summer is more high-vitamin than the dairy from cows in the fall and winter. Check out the chart on this page called "Why Grassfed Butter Is Better."

The same goes for the meat!

There's a chart on that same page called "Afternoon hay may be better than morning hay, but fresh grass is best!"

Here's a quote:

Once the grass is cut and dried, there is a dramatic decline in vital nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and the carotenes (beta-carotene and related antioxidant vitamins.) ...typically, the animals are harvested in the early fall when the animals are fresh from green pasture. This insures that their meat will have its full allotment of health-enhancing vitamins

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240 · February 18, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Allan, I answer you in a separate post, as it is slightly too long for a comment.

I do make my own ghee. No special steps, except leave it on the fire long enough to make sure that all the water it contains evaporated (the hue changes to a clearer, more transparent yellow) get rid of as much of the milk solids as possible, and keep it in an airtight recipient, protected from the light.

According to that article, if you are using raw butter and want to preserve all its vitamins (unnecessary if all you're going to use your ghee for is frying food), you might want to keep the temperature below 150, or possibly 115 Fahrenheit (respectively 65.5 and 46.11 °C).

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2593 · February 18, 2010 at 5:03 PM

That's interesting about your Normandy grandfather. After being introduced to Weston Price over this winter, I've been thinking about making my own ghee with local butter (Pacific NW) come spring and also freezing several pounds of butter.

Has anyone else tried "putting-up" ghee themselves? Any necessary steps to preserve it for long-term, room-temp storage?

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