In the past three posts we took a close look at our Pasture Grazed beef when compared to typical beef.  Thanks to the folks at Mother Earth News, we can see how our beef compares with other grassfed beef from around the country.  We were fortunate enough to have DS Family Farm beef included in the recent Mother Earth News pilot Omega 6 to Omega 3 test study with other grassfed beef farms from around the USA.  It is an honor to be included with the list of grass based farms that participated.  From looking at the list of participating farms I am guessing many of these farms raise grassfed beef similar to our farm.

To clarify, when people ask me about our “Pasture Grazed” beef, my first point is “yes, we are 100% grassfed”.  So what is the difference?  Basically “grassfed” just involves what feed the animal consumes.  In that sense, yes, we are 100% grassfed.  When we say “Pasture Grazed” we mean that our herd spends their entire life on our pasture, never confined to a feed lot.  For more information please refer to our blog post “Pasture Grazed vs Grassfed Beef“.

Our Pasture Grazed beef compared with the Grassfed beef – Omega 6 to 3 Study

Here is the Data Analysis Summary for beef from the Mother Earth News, 1/11/2016, pilot study.

omega fatty acid testing grass fed beef Mother Earth News

Beef Data Analysis Summary, Mother Earth News 1/11/2016.

In the table below I take the pilot grassfed beef values from the table above and compare them against our Pasture Grazed beef findings:

Grassfed beef omega-3 and omega-6 data

Our Pasture Grazed Beef Omega-3 & 6 data versus all grassfed farm averages in the Mother Earth News Pilot Study 1/11/2016.

A few points about the above chart:

  1. We are humbled that our beef expresses 60% higher anti-inflammatory Omega-3s (above average).
  2. We recognize also that our beef has 24% higher of the inflammatory Omega-6s (above average).
    • It is the Omega-6 LA that holds conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), the anti-cancer fatty acid.
    • LA was the primary Omega-6 component of our sample.
    • Since our animals live their entire lives on grass, we estimate ~75% of our Omega-6 LA is CLA.
    • Potentially our sample was above average for CLA, but that is only a guess based on research data.
  3. Again we are humbled that our beef expresses a better Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio (above average).
We went into great detail on the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the O-6 to O-3 ratio and estimating CLA in our previous three blog posts.  We put together a one page summary “Fatty Acid Analysis” PDF with the main charts and links to each post.  Consider printing out the PDF so you have the charts in front of you while you review each blog post for detailed analysis.
The first time I heard of Mother Earth News was back around 2008 when we were really researching our opportunities in grass based animal production.  I remember they created a stir in the health community when they claimed that not all eggs were created equal (Meet Real Free-Range Eggs – Mother Earth News 2007).  Again we feel fortunate that our pasture grazed beef was part of this pilot 2015 grassfed study and thank Josh Brewer for his encouragement and insights with this project.