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Is standard ground beef a horrible decision?

by 5332 · August 19, 2011 at 04:11 PM

I am on a budget and do not have access to grass fed beef. I in fact even have to eat a decent amount of pork/chicken because of this and I try to go for the leaner cuts of meat. I know that that most of the issues with conventional meats are in the fat, so how does this translate to ground beef? Aren't ruminants the best choice?

Main question is: How bad is it to eat 90% lean ground beef from conventional cows due to the fact that ground beef is fat/muscle mixed throughout and there is no way to "trim the fat" here? Would I be better off eating the chicken/pork cuts due to being able to cut off the n6-heavy fat?

Edit: The meats I get come from wegmans and this link shows how they treat their animals. http://www.wegmans.com/pdf/AnimalWelfareChart.pdf

It seems my best bet would be to get the "food you feel good about" beef. I will do some looking around next time I am in the store.

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7 Replies

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7936 · August 19, 2011 at 01:11 PM

It's certainly better than eating a loaf of bread.

You have to do what you can do, and a big part of paleo is avoiding (as much as possible) the big 3 NADs, (Neolithic Agents of Disease) - wheat, sugar, and vegetable/seed oils.

Grass fed beef is a bonus, but standard beef is almost there. And still better than standard chicken/pork.

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2027 · August 19, 2011 at 12:59 PM

For me, it's not the idea of conventionally fed cows that makes me shy away from eating "generic" ground beef. It's the idea of eating all the chemicals that may go into that stuff. Please google "pink slime" to learn more or read the information at this link: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/pinkslime-ammonia-ground-beef.html

I buy ground beef only from trusted sellers for this reason.

You could also buy large roasts from conventionally fed cows and grind them yourself, or ask your butcher (if you have one) to grind it in front of your eyes.

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5619 · August 19, 2011 at 04:11 PM

The kind of beef you're talking about buying, that everyone says, "Oh, it's ok, just do what you can..." is a slap in the face.

Grass-fed beef is a priority for me. I think it should be a priority for ALL Paleo people. We're a large enough group as a whole, that if we ALL decided we only wanted to eat grass-fed beef, I think the Agribusiness would sit up and take notice.

You realize that with every dollar you spend on conventional CAFO ground beef, you are voting to support and continue the old, sick CAFO system. Do you believe in the way Wegman's does things? Why give them your money then?

Where do you live? You can actually save money in the long run, with a small investment in a chest freezer (check craigslist), and a 1/4 or an 1/8 side of grass-fed beef from a local farmer. If it's far away, drive to the farm.

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678 · August 19, 2011 at 02:52 PM

I bought a meat grinder a few year back and won't go back to buying ground beef again. Buying less-expensive cuts and doing it yourself is much safer and more satisfying imo.

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77322 · August 19, 2011 at 03:19 PM

not sure if this qualifies as a purely paleo concern, but it's an 'ick factor' concern of mine: ground beef is often made of meat from multiple animals from different locations. it's not like the stuff you buy in a store is a ground up cut of beef from an animal, at least if your buying the conventional stuff. ick factor!

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30 · August 19, 2011 at 01:34 PM

Agree with barefeet on the issue of conventional store-bought ground-beef -- it's the additives, and more importantly, the safety issues. The risk of e-coli goes up significantly with factory-farmed pre-ground beef. Grinding beef yourself is not hard and you can even do it in a food processor. If you own a KitchenAid mixer, you can buy a grinding attachment for under $50 -- which is expensive but you will make up the savings by buying full cuts on sale and then grinding.

There is a locally owned grocery near us that grinds their own meat, so if you can find something like that, it is also an option.

Personally, if I were in your situation, I would eat steaks, roasts, etc. over typical store-bought ground until I could find a way to obtain safely-ground meats. Good luck!

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2119 · August 19, 2011 at 03:25 PM

i dunno.... i keep having bad experiences with store bought meat. i have access to angus beef and hormone free chicken/pork. EVERYTIME i buy beef(tried different stores) i have hideous reactions. i tried again last night, and woke up at 3am with hideous hay fever coughing and i could barely breathe. it was obnoxious and i still feel it this morning.

how else can i get carintine in me without beef?

this country, haha, pisses me off to no end. i cant wrap my head around it being 'okay' to sell the sh*t they do at the store and call it food. episodes like this hay fever reaction seriously make me livid

but to answer, i hate and try to stay away from store bought anything

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