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Is standard ground beef a horrible decision?

by (5516)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:28 PM
Created August 19, 2011 at 12:36 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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5629 · August 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

@JakeA why is your fiancee so opposed to a chest freezer?

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5629 · August 20, 2011 at 5:46 PM

@JakeA whu is your fiancee so opposed to a chest freezer?

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1967 · August 19, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I treat myself to 1 grass fed steak a week, and eat a lot of cafo ground beef. I usually get the highest fat % i can (usualy 80% lean) I'd love to eat all grass fed, but if its cafo or starve, I'm eating.

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827 · August 19, 2011 at 8:24 PM

So far, all my attempts to obtain a half or quarter of grass fed beef have been frustrating. All the local ones that I've contacted are sold-out (pre-order) for next year. The one at my local farmer's market is way expensive, and they have very limited cuts - and very 'wet' - making it even more expensive. And, it's not fully grass fed, as it turns out.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I agree. I'm in school and my wife is the sole bread winner right now. Thus we can't always afford grass-fed meat, but we can avoid the 3 big NADs.

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5516 · August 19, 2011 at 5:15 PM

my fiance is adamantly against buying a chest freezer. I will look into this option though. I agree with your comment about upvoting the conventional system by buying it.

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5629 · August 19, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Same here, I live in Manhattan with my GF, and we just don't have room right now. But we're planning on moving to BRooklyn, and once we have more room in the new kitchen, I will be getting my hands on a big 7cu ft freezer and a 1/4 side if I can swing the money. Right now I just buy locally sourced grass-fed beef from Commodities Market on 1st Ave.

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2231 · August 19, 2011 at 4:30 PM

good response, i agree but i dont have room for it

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5629 · August 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I think grassfed should be a priority, and once the message is heard that this is what we, as a large constituency want, maybe the powers that be in the ag-business will take notice.

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5629 · August 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I would stick with their organic style beef, if you absolutely HAVE to support this company.

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180 · August 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

do the best with what you can. Supplement with fish oil to help balance out the o3/o6 profile.

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2231 · August 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

thats debatable...

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a
5516 · August 19, 2011 at 1:29 PM

This is part of my concern for sure.

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7 Answers

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098
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7970 · August 19, 2011 at 1:11 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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1967 · August 19, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I treat myself to 1 grass fed steak a week, and eat a lot of cafo ground beef. I usually get the highest fat % i can (usualy 80% lean) I'd love to eat all grass fed, but if its cafo or starve, I'm eating.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6
3891 · August 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I agree. I'm in school and my wife is the sole bread winner right now. Thus we can't always afford grass-fed meat, but we can avoid the 3 big NADs.

Thumbnail avatar
5629 · August 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I think grassfed should be a priority, and once the message is heard that this is what we, as a large constituency want, maybe the powers that be in the ag-business will take notice.

6da513ec59c25531127912318fbf27d5
180 · August 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

do the best with what you can. Supplement with fish oil to help balance out the o3/o6 profile.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74
2231 · August 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

thats debatable...

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2028 · 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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5516 · August 19, 2011 at 1:29 PM

This is part of my concern for sure.

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5629 · August 19, 2011 at 4:11 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.

Thumbnail avatar
5629 · August 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

@JakeA why is your fiancee so opposed to a chest freezer?

Thumbnail avatar
5629 · August 20, 2011 at 5:46 PM

@JakeA whu is your fiancee so opposed to a chest freezer?

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3
827 · August 19, 2011 at 8:24 PM

So far, all my attempts to obtain a half or quarter of grass fed beef have been frustrating. All the local ones that I've contacted are sold-out (pre-order) for next year. The one at my local farmer's market is way expensive, and they have very limited cuts - and very 'wet' - making it even more expensive. And, it's not fully grass fed, as it turns out.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a
5516 · August 19, 2011 at 5:15 PM

my fiance is adamantly against buying a chest freezer. I will look into this option though. I agree with your comment about upvoting the conventional system by buying it.

Thumbnail avatar
5629 · August 19, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Same here, I live in Manhattan with my GF, and we just don't have room right now. But we're planning on moving to BRooklyn, and once we have more room in the new kitchen, I will be getting my hands on a big 7cu ft freezer and a 1/4 side if I can swing the money. Right now I just buy locally sourced grass-fed beef from Commodities Market on 1st Ave.

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2231 · August 19, 2011 at 4:30 PM

good response, i agree but i dont have room for it

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678 · August 19, 2011 at 2:52 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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78417 · August 19, 2011 at 3:19 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 1:34 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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2231 · August 19, 2011 at 3:25 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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