What's so special about grass fed beef paleo primal health benefits-min

What’s so special about grass fed beef?

Grass fed beef gets plenty of recognition on the Paleo diet, and rightly so. We know our ancestors would have undoubtedly eaten copious amounts of wild fed ruminants; not the sort that were shuttled in their droves into giant feed-lots, devoid of natural light and space to roam, and fed with industrialised slop made from genetically modified corn, barley and soya. But, ideology aside, what is it that actually makes grass fed beef superior to ‘modern’ grain fed beef? Is it worth paying extra for – sometimes double the price? In a short answer, yes. And here’s why…

What's so special about grass fed beef paleo primal health benefits-min

As the demand for beef (and meat in general) rose significantly throughout the 20th century, ‘farmers’ began to reassess their production methods with one goal in mind. Profit. These beef barons were prepared to stop at nothing to decrease the production costs of each cow, with no concern for the animals’ welfare or for the welfare of the people eating the meat; and thus, factory farming was born. There were, of course, many who still wanted to do things the right way, and a divide became apparent. As factory farming has developed throughout the years, and cheaper, nutrient void food has become more available, this divide has become significantly greater.

One reason we eschew grains on the Paleo diet (apart from lectins, gluten and phytic acid), is the distinct lack of nutrient density that they offer in comparison with whole foods. If you genetically modify these grains, the nutrient density becomes even lower; practically non-existent. When cattle are fed a diet that is so devoid of nutrients, the meat they offer is therefore much less nutritious than that of an animal fed on a natural diet. This shows in the nutritional profiles of grass fed vs grain fed meat; grass fed is significantly higher in vitamins (in particular B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B12), minerals (including magnesium, selenium, zinc and calcium), CLA and Omega 3. We’ll come on to that last one again shortly. The lifespan of the cows also plays a part in the nutrients they offer; as factory farmed cattle have a much shorter lifespan (as they are overfed and under-exercised so that they reach the slaughter house in double quick time), they do not have time to build up the nutritional profile that they should do naturally. Quite simply, unhealthy diet + overeating + lack of exercise = nutritionally depleted beef. The same formula would also mean a nutritionally depleted human as well, which isn't really much of a shock.

We've spoke about omega 3 and omega 6 before, and how it is important to maintain as close to an even ratio as possible to reduce inflammation in the body. Thanks to their diet, grass fed beef is significantly higher in omega 3 than its grain fed counterpart. On average, grass fed beef has a ratio of around 2.5/1 (omega 6:omega 3). Depending on the grasses they graze on, it can be as low as 1:1. The ratio of grain fed beef, on the other hand, can exceed 20:1.

To decrease the production time, factory farmed cows are fed artificial hormones to fatten them up more quickly. The presence of these hormones have been linked to hormone irregularities in the humans who eat a lot of grain fed beef – which is another reason to source your meat carefully.

To summarise, grass fed beef is better for you, better for the environment, better for the economy, and better for the animals themselves. It’s the way that beef should be eaten, but sadly, it is expensive. If you are limited in how much grass fed beef you can buy for financial reasons, opt for leaner cuts of meat when you buy grain fed. There will be less of an omega 3:6 imbalance as the all-round fat content is lower. Toxins are also stored in the fatty deposits of the animals, so by choosing leaner cuts you’ll minimise the toxins that you consume. If you’re completely against buying grain fed, look for cheaper cuts of meat like shin and chuck roast, and cook them slowly. Offal is a great bet too.

Do you eat grass fed (or pastured) meat? Is it important to you?

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you?

If your local butcher is anything like mine, they might have a big secret…

Is your butcher keeping a secret from you

Since I moved out of Sydney last year, I've struggled to find a good butcher. I used to have an amazing organic butcher just a short walk from my house. My butcher would make me up paleo sausages to my exact requirements (pork and apple were my favourites), order fresh turkey for me (something I find surprisingly difficult to find in Australia) and always had super cheap grass-fed bones I could use for making bone broths.

I've not seen words like “grass-fed”, “pasture-raised” or even “gluten-free” at all in my new local shops. It’s not really practical to buy meat in the city and travel back home with it – and I don’t yet have a big enough freezer to buy half a cow from a local farmer. So what’s girl to do?

I'm ashamed to say I've been walking past my local butcher for quite a few months without stopping. I glanced at the display and made a lot of assumptions.

Well yesterday, I stopped.

I've taken to roasting a piece of pork rind in the oven and filling the tray with veggies to roast in the delicious fat (try it!). Pork rind is really cheap (in keeping with my $50 budget challenge) and using good quality pork it’s a great fat source. Anyway, I couldn't find any pork rind, so stopped to have a chat with the butcher.

I asked her if they ever get in any grass-fed meat, or can order some – she told me that all of their meat is grass-fed! She pointed to an old black and white photo behind the counter, and explained that her grandfather was in the photo – and that they've been buying all their meat from the same local farm for the last three generations. It’s all naturally raised. Could she make me some gluten-free sausages? All of her sausages are gluten-free – she just never uses words like gluten-free or grass-fed because she’s found those words put people off!

What a revelation!

I bought two giant pieces of pork rind for just $3 and am so pleased to finally have a local butcher again.

So if you've not found anywhere locally, my advice is this – speak to your butcher. Chances are they too don’t realise how much of a good marketing feature their naturally raised, organic, grass-fed meat is!

Would love to know if you've had a similar experience with your butcher too?

6 Unusual Meats You Should Try paleo diet-min

6 Unusual Meats You Should Try

One of the many luxuries of a Paleo diet is all of the high quality meat, fish and poultry there is to enjoy. For me, it doesn’t get better than a grass fed fillet steak, a crisp wild salmon fillet or a couple of juicy chicken thighs. However, there are times when it feels like you have hit meat monotony; which is the perfect time to shake things up and introduce something new to dinner times. There are plenty of exciting, more unusual meats just waiting to be enjoyed…

Which of the following have you tried?


Ostrich is a delicious, rich red meat that is a brilliant alternative to beef or lamb. The meat actually comes mainly from the legs and back of the bird – there isn’t any breast meat available! It makes excellent burgers, and the steaks are lovely simply pan fried and served rare. It’s a very good source of protein, iron and calcium – and almost always free range too.


Like Ostrich, Kangaroo meat is almost always free range – I'm still yet to visit a kangaroo farm! It has a texture that is somewhat like liver, and is best served rare and paired with rich flavours like garlic, sun dried tomatoes and caramelised onions. I've also seen kangaroo sausages, although they were made with wheat flour and some strange looking ingredients, so I decided to give these a miss – but making my own is definitely on the to do list.

6 Unusual Meats You Should Try paleo diet-min


A mild tasting meat, Zebra has delicate ‘gamey’ flavours similar to venison. As it has a low fat content, it’s important not to overcook it and make it too tough – serve the steaks medium rare and enjoy with roasted root vegetables or a big green salad. Demand is increasing for Zebra year on year, so it can be pretty expensive. Make sure it’s from a good source with humane hunting methods and fast shipping from its country of residence.


Bison is very similar to beef, but it’s always wild – so not subject to any of the artificial hormones, drugs and feeds found in modern day beef production. For this reason, it’s more expensive, but definitely worth it. Bison mince makes excellent burgers and Paleo Bolognaise, and the steaks are perfect just as they are. It has a more well-rounded amino acid profile than beef as well, and is very rich in Iron and Vitamin B 12.


Likened to chicken, crocodile is a mild tasting, lightly coloured meat that works well in curries and stir-fries. You’ll find most of the good meat in the tail, which means it’s very lean. Make sure you source this meat sustainably though, as some species of crocodile are at high risk of extinction.


Camel has been enjoyed for centuries across Africa and Asia, and is a popular choice with Muslims as it is considered Halal. The flavour is slightly sweet and similar to mutton, and it benefits from slow cooking as it can be rather tough. One camel yields an exceptionally high amount of meat, as almost the entire animal (including the hump!) is edible. Camel blood is also consumed by many indigenous tribes in Africa – but I’d recommend staying clear of this one!

Are there any unusual meats that you have tried that I've missed? Please feel free to share them with me below!

paleo sausages

Paleo Sausages

I've found an amazing organic butcher, really close to where I live.  I've used them for almost all of my meat for a while.  I was there earlier this week buying some bacon (the best bacon I've had in Australia, actually) and pork, when I mentioned what a shame it is that all of their sausages contain flour (though they only use rice flour, which is obviously a lot better than many alternatives out there).  He asked me if I wanted some special grain free Paleo Sausages made up for me!  I had no idea they would do this.

I could choose whatever I wanted to go with the organic beef, but he suggested capsicum (bell pepper), shallots and salt – I thought that would be a great combination for my first batch.  Even more exciting the castings for all of their sausages are made the proper way – from intestines, instead of synthetic castings, which can be made of all sorts of materials like  collagen, cellulose, or even plastic.  I certainly don't fancy eating any of those!

I picked up my order today, which worked out at about 30 sausages for the 2kg batch.

Paleo sausages and eggs-min

I've just had my first taste – and they were fantastic!

This is the ingredients for one of the better ranges of supermarket sausages: –

Ingredients: Beef (76%), Water, Potato Starch, Sea Salt, Dehydrated Vegatables (Onion & Garlic), Dextrose (Tapioca or Maize), Mineral Salt (451), Sugar (Cane Sugar), Preservative (223), Spices, Herbs, Natural Colour (160c), Natural Flavour, Yeast Extract, Herb Extract

And this is the ingredients for my Paleo sausages: –

Ingredients: Organic Beef, Capsicum, Shallots, Salt

There's no comparison is there?

Have you made your own Paleo sausages, or had them made?  I'd love to hear your suggestions of ingredients for my second batch!

The Great Aussie Meat Pie paleo diet primal recipe pastry grain-free gluten free-min

The Great Aussie Meat Pie – Paleo Style

Australians love their meat pies, apparently 260 million a year are eaten here.  For a county with a population of just over 21 million, that’s a lot of pies!

A meat pie just wouldn’t be the same without some sort of pastry.  So I thought it was time to give the Paleo treatment to the Aussie Meat Pie.

The Great Aussie Meat Pie – Paleo Style
Recipe type: Beef
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • For the Crust:
  • the_great_paleo_aussie_meat_pie-min
  • 400g Almond Meal
  • 4 Eggs (free range, organic, obviously)
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • Pinch of salt, onion powder, garlic powder & any other herbs you fancy
  • For the Filling:
  • 500g minced beef (I always try to get grass fed)
  • Approx 500ml Beef Stock (I made this a few weeks ago with lots of bones, and froze lots of batches)
  • 1 red onion (only because I’d run out of brown onions), diced
  • Half a sweet potato, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 mushrooms
  • Pinch of garlic powder, salt, oregano & any other herbs you select
  1. Mix the crust ingredients together to form a big ball of dough
  2. Roll the "pastry" out and form into paper cupcake cases, reserving about a third of the dough mixture for the lids. You should be able to make about eight individual pie cases, more if you roll it out a bit thinner.
  3. the_great_paleo_aussie_meat_pie_filling_the_cases-min
  4. Cook these for ten minutes at 200 until they became hard, but not golden.
  5. Ssauté the onion in a spoonful of coconut oil, and add the minced beef after a couple of minutes. Once browned off, add the sweet potatoes and carrots and let that cook for a few minutes.
  6. Add the stock, mushrooms, seasoning and herbs and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so, until it had a good “pie” consistency.
  7. Take the filling off the heat and spooned it into the pie cases.
  8. Once filled to the top, roll out the remaining dough and cut it into lid shapes to match the cases.
  9. Put lids on all of the pies, forming a seal around the edges.
  10. Return the pies to the oven for another ten minutes, until they started to turn golden.
  11. the_great_paleo_aussie_meat_pie_finished-min


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I then took the meat pies along to a picnic in the sunshine this afternoon.  I didn't even need to tell my non-paleo friends I hadn't used conventional ingredients – they got fantastic reviews, despite having only good ingredients!

Have you given the Paleo treatment to any Australian or New Zealand dishes?

The Great Aussie Meat Pie paleo diet primal recipe pastry grain-free gluten free-min

Grass fed beef in Australia and New Zealand-min

Grass Fed Beef In Australia & New Zealand?

I was talking to an Australian Doctor at the Ancestral Health Symposium about finding grass fed meat in Australia. He was explaining to me that Australian meat is almost all grass fed, unlike America where grass fed meat is a lot harder to come by.

Grass fed beef has a far better omega 6:omega 3 ratio and far more vitamins & minerals than grain fed beef.

Since I got back I've been trying to find out if more about beef quality and availability. Until I make friends with a farmer, if I could be certain I was buying grass fed meat, I’d be very happy!

It seems that grass fed beef is dependent on the season; meaning springtime meat is more grain than grass fed.

On their website Coles state: –

Coles source both grass and grain fed cattle depending on seasonal quality. When rains are good, cattle are fed on grass. Being high in beta carotene, this is transferred to the meat and is why the fat is cream in colour. During drier times, grass is substituted with grain feed, and the fat has a whiter appearance. We offer both grass and grain fed cattle depending on the seasonal conditions to source the best quality available.

Woolworths doesn't go into much detail on their site, so I wrote to them, and have just received this reply: –

Woolworths has a number of different types of beef on offer. Our Riverine and standard Woolworths beef range are from grain fed animals, our market value and Macro branded beef come from grass fed animals. We are currently in the process of working on new labels and stickers which will help customers to be able to identify the difference between our beef range. You will notice these changes over the coming months.

So, whilst I’ll always strive to source my meat from a farmers market, or a good local butcher, it’s nice to know at a pinch there are some reasonable options in the supermarkets. If their new labelling enables me to see exactly what type of meat I'm eating, then that will be even better.

Where do you get your meat from? If you've found a good source of grass fed meat in Australia or New Zealand, share it in the comments.

Grass fed beef in Australia and New Zealand-min