by Kevin Rutherford 0 Comments

First of all, this blog will only talk about GRASS-FED (and finished) BEEF and its benefits, uses, recipes, etc.) 

Whew, this one is a biggie...!! Not only is this a biggon, but it has the potential of being a VERY long blog... the never-ending kind. With that in mind, I think that's how I'm going to approach it as an article that you can always come back to and add to. 

I remember a road trip a few years back, along the coast Hwy 1, the scenery, of course, breathtaking. The coast is where the earth and water collide, sometimes with great force and then times with grace. It's also a place where color abounds dominating that is blue skies and GREEN GRASS. Further down the road, as the water gets further away, you start to see beautiful open pastures with peaceful cows grazing on the green grass. This is what we call HAPPY COWS!! However, most cows are raised confined in an overcrowded lot, not able to move, and forced to eat food that is un-natural to get them big and fat, yielding the most money. Hold on, there's more, let's not forget the diseased part of this, they are then pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.

I'm hoping you get the point.

Before we get started.. here are a few definitions that I wanted to share:

  • CLA - Conjugated linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid - Naturally, CLA is a product found in grass-eating animals such as cows. Thus the reason for using grass-fed beef and dairy products.
  • CAFO - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation - as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is an intensive animal feeding operation (AFO). Over 1,000 animal units are confined for over 45 days a year. An animal unit is the equivalent of 1,000 pounds of "live" animal weight. A thousand animal units equate to 1,000 cows, 700 cows used for dairy purposes, 2,500 pigs weighing more than 55 pounds (25 kg)s, 125,000 chickens, or 82,000 egg-laying hens or pullets.

OK, Let's talk about the benefits of BEEF.. !!

Beef is a Cancer Fighter

Any discussion about beef nutrition and its benefits requires a focus on CLA. If you haven't heard of CLA or conjugated linoleic acid yet, it's a powerful polyunsaturated fatty acid. It's an "essential" fatty acid, meaning we must obtain it from our diets. It has many benefits, including fighting cancer, supporting weight loss, helping build muscle, and much more. There are increasing numbers of human studies – for example, one from Finland showed that the greater the CLA blood serum levels, the less the risk of breast cancer (Aro A, Mannisto S, Salminen I, Ovaskainen ML, Kataja V, Uusitupa M. Nutr Cancer 2000;38:151-157). CLA has been shown to decrease skin, liver, and colon cancer in many animal studies. But the results with breast cancer are the most impressive. After animals had received chemically induced breast cancer, CLA not only prevented the disease but was shown to be incorporated into the breast tissue itself. When animals already had breast cancer, CLA uptake resulted in decreases in tumors

Beef Reduces Heart Disease

We've been told for decades now that red meat is bad for your heart. Isn't it wonderful to learn that not only is it NOT bad, but beef is loaded with heart-healthy nutrients? 

Here are some of the reasons you should be eating beef for heart health:

    • Higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
    • More CLA
    • More heart disease-fighting antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin E
    • Higher levels of vitamins and minerals necessary for heart health than almost any other source.

Beef Improves Blood Sugar

The single best way to improve blood sugar levels is to replace the carbohydrates in your diet with good healthy fats and maintaining a moderate intake of protein. Beef is your go-to food for doing just that. But there is more to the heart-healthy story of grass-fed beef. Research published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolismin 2016 looked at the effects of the healthy fat CLA on insulin sensitivity in obese children. The randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled study found that 37 percent of the patients treated with CLA exhibited improvements in insulin sensitivity. The subjects treated with CLA's muscle biopsies showed an upregulation of the protein molecule IRS2 that mediates insulin's effects on the body.

More Antioxidants and Vitamins

Human health is all about nutrients. You have heard the saying, "You are what you eat." That's not totally correct. It's more accurate to say, "You are what you eat, eats." Every living thing should be eating its natural diet. Cows are ruminants, and their natural diet is grass. When animals eat the proper diet, they will have the proper nutrients and higher amounts than animals eating an artificial diet.

Antibiotic and Hormone Free (grass-fed)

80% of all antibiotics used in this country are given to livestock animals. They are used to treat diseases from a poor diet and living conditions and increase the animal's weight and, therefore, the profit it will sell for. Giving animals antibiotics to increase food production is a threat to public health and should be stopped, the FDA said today. Even the FDA finally gets it. "We see the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens," FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, MD, said at a news conference. "FDA believes the overall weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not appropriate," Sharfstein said it's a public health issue when antibiotics important for human health are given to animals on a massive scale. Such use encourages the growth of drug-resistant bacteria that can cause hard-to-treat human disease.

Just what we need in a world of Covid-19 right, another hard to treat human disease.

Better for the Environment / Reducing the Carbon Footprint

I could write an entire book on this topic. There is so much to unpack and dissect. Many books have been written on this issue, including the most recent, "Sacred Cow." There is also an excellent documentary to go with the book. The evidence is overwhelming that CAFO's are destroying the environment and the planet. Raising livestock would not be a problem if it were done correctly. If you would like to dive deeper into this topic, try reading the above-mentioned book, or anything by Joel Salatin. The argument that we need to eat less meat or the push towards fake meat will only make us sicker and will not help the planet or the environment. The answer to our health and the health of the earth is not to give fake meat to humans. It's to provide real food (grass) to our ruminants.

Sourcing Beef:

  • POLYFACE FARMS, it's all about Joel Salatin, aka "The Lunatic Farmer." As I was writing this blog, I came across the best description for Joel, (Joel's blog) "Joel Salatin brings a unique eclecticism to the food/farm discussion. In love with the land, dubious of government, quintessential entrepreneur but distrustful of anything that diminishes the commons, his perspective brings depth and breadth to the table."
Joel has joined the show many times, sharing his beliefs and how he leads Polyface Farms with his guiding principles. One of my favorites and one that we share is, "As we grow, we must never compromise quality. Plenty of great small businesses grow up to be ho-hum big businesses. Whatever growth occurs, it can never happen at the expense of quality."
Amen, Joel, and thank you for what you do !!


  • US WELLNESS I'm sure this company sounds familiar as it's one of the companies used often at the Rutherford's, and John Wood, the leader and founder, has joined us several times on the radio. Every family in the US Wellness Meats network is committed to sustainable, humane farming practices. They take care of the land and the animals with a simple mission: to produce delicious, healthy meat, dairy, and other products that our customers love.

Sourcing good quality beef is not a hard task anymore, especially now with Covid in the air. These folks are normally busy filling orders from the hospitality industry but we all know that has been put on hold/closed so orders have changed to direct to consumer.  

There is so much that could be written about BEEF… All of this comes down to us making conscious decisions about us. How profound! No, really. Every day we are making decisions about what is best for us—knowing that every choice dictates our well-being. Our goal each day is to try and make the best decision at the time! Do the same with FOOD..!!

There you have it, powerful reasons and no excuses. Now it's time for a bad joke… A cow, a pig and a chicken walked into a bbq, THE END…  
Ha, that's all I got.

Be SAFE, Be HEALTHY and fire up the bbq, 


Kevin Rutherford
Kevin Rutherford


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