Product Talk with Roland – Greener Pastures

July 2016 - Nutrition

Once upon a time, all over this vast land, cows roamed the fields, grazing on nothing but sweet, green grass and clover.

Sound idyllic? Not so much anymore. While it seems like the most natural thing in the world, as farming has become more industrialized over the past few decades, livestock are fed anything but their natural diet.

Instead of fresh pasture and dried grasses, cows in large-scale factory farms are fed soy and corn-based diets—and often “by-product feedstuffs”—waste products from the manufacture of human food, garbage, bakery goods, potatoes, pasta, and even candy.

“When cows are fed grain, and not their natural diet,” explains Roland Siegmund, our Director of Purchasing & Vendor Relations, “it can ruin their digestive systems, and cause a proliferation of E. coli which contaminates groundwater systems.”

This diet changes the quality of meat and dairy from these animals, and causes inflammation in our bodies when consumed.

Knowing this, and with a commitment to provide the healthiest possible food for our customers, Nature’s Fare Markets offers a variety of grass-fed meat and dairy products—and have for years, says Roland—even though they’re not always easy to find.

“We buy milk and cheese from grass-fed cows from Grass Root Dairies in Salmon Arm, and yogurt from Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt in the Comox Valley—and are lucky to have such great local suppliers. But because of our Canadian climate where grass may not be accessible all year, it’s a challenge to find farms that can produce enough to consistently supply any great quantity.”

And so, Roland looks further afield to source products like macaroni and cheese from Nudge, quark from Grass Roots Dairies, butter from New Zealand, and beef, bison, and cold cuts from the US.
Demand for these products is rising, he says, as awareness increases about how much healthier these products are—for humans and animals—and hopes that it becomes the new standard. After all, it’s the most natural thing in the world.

Why grass-fed?
Compared to commercial, grain-fed products, pasture-raised meat, eggs, and dairy offer more “good” fats, fewer “bad” fats, and:

  • Are lower in fat and higher in heart-healthy omega-3s
  • Have 10x fewer inflammatory omega-6s
  • Have 5x more heart-healthy conjugated linoleic acid or CLA (full fat meat and dairy)
  • Are richer in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene
  • Are higher in thiamin and riboflavin B vitamins
  • Are higher in calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • Are hormone-, antibiotic-, and drug-free

eggs

Pastured eggs
These eggs are from chickens that were truly raised as free-range, meaning that that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms.

Compare to Commercial Eggs:

  • 3–6 times more bone-building, immune system-enhancing, mood-elevating vitamin D
  • less cholesterol
  • ¼ less saturated fat
  • more vitamin A
  • 2x more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 7x more beta-carotene
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