Research demonstrates the human health benefits of Pasture for Life Meat


In recent years there has been increasing scientific evidence of the benefits of eating pasture-raised and grass-fed meat and dairy. These are not just limited to animal welfare and the environment, but also include health benefits for humans.

Meat from animals fed only on a grass diet tends to be lower in total fat and also has a higher level of ‘good fats’ such as omega-3 fatty acids.

Many scientific studies have been carried out comparing the crucial ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids in grass-fed compared to grain-fed beef. In all cases, the grass-fed ratio was better than the recommended level of 4:1, while most of the grain-fed were well above this level.

Sixty per cent of the fatty acids found in grass are the omega-3 fatty acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), which is formed in green leaves. When cattle are taken off grass and fed a grain-rich diet, they lose their valuable store of ALA and other useful fatty acids (see graph above).

In 2011, the British Journal of Nutrition published a study, which concluded that eating moderate amounts of grass-fed meat for only four weeks, would give consumers healthier levels of these essential fats.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), another type of fatty acid, exhibits significant antioxidant activity and may be one of the most potent defences against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Beef is one of the best dietary sources of CLA and 100% grass-fed beef contains significantly more than beef from animals fed on grain.

Meat from fully grass-fed animals also contains considerably more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, than meat from grain-fed animals.

Although by no means a complete list of all research on pasture-raised and grass-fed meat and dairy, this summary prepared by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, gives an idea of the range of different benefits that can be expected when buying Pasture for Life produce.

Click the link below to download the full report, with references to the published studies that support these attributes.

Download the full report (PDF)The Human Health Benefits Report


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