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Where’s the Better Beef?

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The old saw that “you are what you eat” also applies to cattle, it seems. An investigation posted in April 2017 in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that if you throw a steak on the grill hailing from an animal raised on forage (that is, “grass-fed”), it’s likely to have a lower omega-6-to-omega-3 ratio than meat from a cow fattened up on concentrates (usually a mixture of grains and soy). That’s an important perk, considering that most Americans consume high amounts of red meat and way more omega-6s, which are thought to encourage disease-provoking inflammation, than omega-3s.

But the nutritionally superior beef comes at a price—it was deemed less tender (and therefore less desirable to the palate). Bathing a cut of grass-fed beef in a marinade (try a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard) and then cooking it to no more than medium-rare (around 130°F) can help to keep it tender.


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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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