Shortly after my post outlining my effort to honor the earth by going vegetarian for a month, I received an email from reader and fellow blogger, Robyn Goddard. As a South Dakota rancher who details her adventures (and yummy recipes!) on her site, The Ranch Wife Chronicles, Robyn commended me for doing some research before eliminating meat and pointed me to some wonderful resources on the misconceptions about her field. Recognizing the importance of seeing both sides of this issue, I invited Robyn to share some of her thoughts on beef’s benefits with Nourishing the Soul readers. I so appreciated her taking time to give beef another voice!
As a cattle producer, beef runs deep in my blood. My husband and I are the fourth generation on his family’s South Dakota ranch. I grew up raising cattle in south central Nebraska.
Our family business is raising wholesome, safe, and healthy beef to feed America and the world. Equally or more important to raising cattle is environmental stewardship. Ranchers and farmers are dedicated to protecting natural resources and passing our legacy on to future generations. If we do not take care of the land, we can not produce high quality meat for your family or our own.
Ranchers work hard everyday to ensure that the land and animals in their control are treated with the utmost respect and care. A few examples we carry out on our ranch include conservation and anti-erosion practices, grass utilization and water quality maintenance. Without compassion for the environment, my husband and I would not be able to carry on our family business. A rancher’s primary goal is to improve the environment. If we take care of the land and improve our natural recourses, they will take care of us and the next generation.
Not only that, but calorie for calorie, beef provides some of the highest quality nutrients the body can get. Beef adds “ZIP” (zinc, iron and protein) to your diet, so you can fuel up with a complete, high-quality protein that provides all the essential amino-acids the body needs.
Zinc, Iron and B vitamins are important in cognitive development and functioning. They play a vital role in brain function, including memory health and the ability to learn and reason. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get in the memory department!
Beef helps the body remain healthy as zinc aids is maintaining a properly functioning immune system and assists in healing the body. B6 assists the body in defense against infections.
My own body needs high-quality protein when I work out. Iron aids red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to vital organs and muscles. Proteins are essential for normal growth and development, in addition to building muscle mass. Protein is an essential energy source and assists in regulating metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight.
Beef’s fatty acid profile is commonly misunderstood. About half of the fatty acids found in beef are monounsaturated — the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil! Only about 40% of fat in beef is saturated. The body needs some saturated fat to function properly. Saturated fat helps to increase the feeling of satisfaction after a meal and transports fat-soluble vitamins.
Beef has 29 cuts of meat that meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s requirements for “lean meat.” I recommend you grill a steak or hamburger and enjoy the great taste of American raised beef. Take advantage of all the nutritional benefits of this red meat powerhouse.
When you buy American raised beef, you are not only purchasing nourishment, but also sustaining a treasured way of life. You are supporting the American rancher and the traditions we work so hard to preserve.
What do you think about the impact of animal agriculture? Do you share Robyn’s passion for beef? Did anything she said surprise you?