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Health Benefits of New Zealand Grass-Fed Beef

Written by Aarti Gopal on September 25, 2015


New Zealand Grass-Fed Beef

If you look closer at the labels on beef in supermarkets, you'll see that a lot of grass-fed beef products are actually imported from New Zealand and Australia. How did that happen?

The benefits of grass-fed beef from New Zealand is a story about tradition, climate, and protecting people's health.

Size, Terrain & Climate

New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere, 932 miles southeast of Australia. Whereas New Zealand is about the size of Colorado, Australia is almost as large as the United States. Dramatically different in size and terrain, both countries are world-famous exporters of high-quality grass-fed beef products.

When you think of New Zealand, visualize the magical landscapes of the Lord of the Ring films—mystical snow-capped mountains, dense forests, sparkling lakes, rolling green hills and valleys, and Pacific Ocean vistas. It is a place where the human footprint is very light (three-million population), and the air is amazingly clean and pure. The temperate climate translates into mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers—good news for grass-fed beef producers.

A Tradition of Raising Animals on Non-GMO Grass

New Zealand, like most developed nations in the world (with the exception of the U.S.), bans the production and sale of GMO products (genetically modified organisms) in their country. They don't consider GMOs to be safe. Growing research and evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers' and consumers' rights.

New Zealand has a long tradition of growing high-quality Angus cattle on the country's extensive pasture lands. The cattle enjoy an idyllic life, free to roam in the sunshine doing what ruminant animals do best—eating healthy non-GMO grasses all day long. New Zealand cattle are pasture-raised and finished, meaning that they are fed on natural grass and vegetation their entire lives. They are never forced to eat grain.

As a result of the country's temperate climate, pristine air, and healthy, live non-GMO vegetation, New Zealand Angus beef is leaner and significantly higher in flavor, nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

GMOs and American Beef

In the U.S., where the majority of grass seed producers use GMO seeds, it's hard to find domestic non-GMO grass-fed beef. Consequently, a simple "grass-fed beef" label on domestic beef doesn't mean the beef is healthy or devoid of GMOs.

Additionally, harsher winters in the U.S. prevent a natural cycle of year-round grazing. Since fresh grass isn’t available several months of the year, cattle have to eat hay which is dead vegetation devoid of the natural nutrients of living grass and most likely grown from GMO grass seeds. In contrast, American consumers can confidently buy grass-fed beef from New Zealand because it is 100% GMO-free.

The Rise of America's CAFO Tradition

In the 1950s. American beef producers started feeding cattle a diet of grains instead of grasses to deliberately fatten them up. Eventually, growth hormones were added to accelerate the process. Conditions continued to worsen because it's not natural for ruminant animals to eat grain; it makes them sick.

Today the majority of American beef comes from Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). These inhumane facilities force cattle into unnaturally small spaces in filthy conditions where disease runs rampant.

The lower cost of American beef has come at a high price, producing products ridden with pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other dangerous additives. With the proliferation of CAFOs, the healthier alternative of free-range cattle nearly disappeared.

For American producers dealing with the higher costs of raising grass-fed non-GMO cattle, it's been hard to compete with New Zealand beef.

America's Growing Demand for Grass-Fed Beef

Faced with an obesity epidemic and more knowledgeable about the dangers of junk foods and GMOs, Americans are demanding healthier natural and organic foods including beef products. Thanks to New Zealand's robust grass-fed cattle industry, you can confidently dine on delicious and healthy non-GMO beef at a significantly lower price than our own domestic grass-fed beef.


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