I recall there being a question about this, but I can't seem to locate it. Anyway, there have been a lot of studies recently claiming "red meat causes X", and people typically like to refute it with "grassfed beef is different." However, I'm currently a college student and I'm pretty sure Aramark (the company in charge of the dining halls) ain't buying grassfed beef for the meals. Yet they have a monopoly on university dining, and most dorms have no kitchens. Do you think it's better to skip the meat when it's lower quality (especially red meat), or do you think the benefits outweigh the negatives?
When the meat quality is low.. Eat lean meats and supplement with fat from other sources.
Kurt Harris @ Archevore has an interesting take on this: here
Here is a snippet--
A New fat Taxonomy
LCSFA - long chain saturated fatty acids - best
Monunsaturates - Oleic acid from animal fats and olive oil - good
n-6 PUFA - Technically essential but in huge excess due to technology - bad
n-3 PUFA - necessary to balance excess n-6 but otherwise bad - contextual
MCT - Medium chain saturated fats - good in reasonable amounts
NTF - Natural trans fats like vaccenic and rumenic acid - good
ATF - Artificial trans fats like Elaidic acid -not found in nature - bad
The preceding would be the chemically based, "nutritionist" taxonomy. But we can construct a real-food based taxonomy by recombining the nutritionist elements into a 6 part scheme like this...
Grass finished ruminant animal fats. LCSFA and Mono in roughly equal amounts. Same small amounts of n-6 as IRAF, but more n-3 to balance. More NTF. Best.
Industrial grain-fed ruminant animal fats - LCSFA and Monounsaturates in roughly equal amounts with smaller amounts of PUFA - may be deficient in n-3 PUFA. Has less NTF. good
Non-ruminant animal fat. Highly variable. Has LCSFA but may be very high in n-6 and if grain fed poor in n-3. More sensitive to diet of the animal than IRAF or GRAF. fair if pastured but poor otherwise. Think factory chicken.
Temperate plant oils. Artificially abundant due to technology. excess n-6, effectively no n- 3. Some MUFA. Little LCSFA bad
Tropical Plant Oils. Coconut and Palm oils. Good source of MCT and/or LCSFA - lower in n-6 and n-3. These are also made available by processing technology, but their content is better than TemPO. Good.
Frankenfats. TemPO chemically modified by hydrogenation. Very bad - avoid completely.
Robb Wolf says:
"Consider the following: Hippy Excuse for Failure #1: “I can’t always find grassfed meat, so I’ll eat a bagel!”
Hippy Excuse for Failure #2 “I can’t Always find organic/local vegetables, so I’ll eat a bagel!”
NO! We do the best we can, where we are, with what we have. Nicki and I lived on less than I did in grad school for 2 years getting the gym going. I bought bulk meat, bulk olive oil and tons of onions and cabbage because they were CHEAP. In a scenario like this I could make the argument for a 50lb bag of rice get some cheap/decent carbs If you are training. buy a can of fish oil to round things out…you are good to go.
Here are the things to get from all this: 1-You will NEVER see affordable, locally produced food if we do not push that agenda. 2-In the interim, you can do very well, on very cheap.
I’m helping some folks locally who are on disability and a fixed income of less than $8k/year to make smart choices in all this. they are looking, feeling and performing better (both have wicked autoimmune issues which are rapidly resolving) and it is cheaper than the wonder bread and other foods they were eating before.
HANG in there!! You have community here, but you just need to take care of yourself and family, and make it all work for YOU."
people typically like to refute it with "grassfed beef is different."
The other half of how they refute it is "and those studies typically have people (or mice) eating the equivalent of a Standard American Diet - loads of carbs along with lower quality meats".
A study can include a traditional, commercially processed hamburger (complete with giant multi-grain hamburger bun) and call it a meal of red meat. Not the same as grass-fed beef, but also not the same as "standard" beef either. Eating fresh lean cuts of standard beef is better than eating a processed hambuger.
Do the best you can with what you have available.
I agree with Eric. Toxins such as antibiotics and such tend to get stored in the fat. Since these toxins get stored in fat, if you buy conventional meat then you'd want to opt for the leaner cuts. For the fat I'd opt for coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, macadamia nut oil, etc.
being a poor student, my staple is cheap australian ground-meat of "mixed" variety (i humbly hope that there is (at least) not much rodent meat in it), but i believe it is better than "no meat" - and i can always detox by doing a water fast
Can you have a crockpot in your dorm room? I've talked to many people who are in college who opt out of the dining plan altogether and just get a mini fridge and cook huge batches of paleo foods in a crockpot in their room.
A programmable one would be best if you're gone from your room a lot.