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No Kidding—Why Grass-Fed Is Good for Kids
No Kidding - Why Grass-Fed Is Good for KidsThere are few things that are more important to me than being a good dad. That means getting home in time for games, acting as chauffeur when required, being there to help with homework, counseling through crisis—the list goes on. And as you might expect, I can't help but have my family—and what's good for them—in mind when I think about what's good for brgr.

It was a flurry of articles about problems with traditional meat processing—stories about E. coli, tainted meat, and hamburgers made from things that I certainly wouldn't want to feed my kids—that got me interested in grass-fed beef. Because while grass-fed is the better choice for everyone, it's a particularly great choice for kids.

Why?

1) I know better than anyone how hard it can be to get your kids to eat things, but most (with the exception of one of my sons) kids are pretty happy to sit down with a burger. So if you can give them a healthier option for food that they'd eat anyway, that's pretty great.

And 2) Kids are one of the most vulnerable groups out there—they're fragile, they're susceptible, and the idea of feeding them something that might hurt them is just not okay for me. From farm to table, we at brgr know exactly where our meat comes from, how it was handled, and what's in it. Eating a hamburger shouldn't feel like a risk, and I like the idea that our grass-fed brgrs are genuinely good food.

Plus, the basic fact is that there is a lot about grass-fed beef that parents can feel good about:
  • High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential building blocks for body chemicals promote cell growth, blood clotting, brain development, and cholesterol and fat metabolism. They are also necessary for a child's brain and nervous system to properly develop. (A side note: Studies have shown that low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to attention deficit disorders. Children with low levels were significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and to display behavioral problems. http://www.mercola.com/beef/adhd.htm)
  • Lots of beta carotene. Yes, yes, you know this is good for you. That's why you eat your carrots. But since grass-fed cows eat lots of natural forage that's rich in beta carotene that gets passed on to our grass-fed beef brgrs. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A (retinol) by the body, which is necessary for good vision and eye health, and helps build a strong immune system.
  • Contains the cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Whether you've heard of CLA or not, it's worth knowing that experiments have shown that CLA lowers body fat percentage in children between the ages of 6 and 10. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
  • Virtually no risk of E. coli. Since kids are especially susceptible to any illness, it's important to feed them the safest burger possible. While food-borne illnesses can be terrifying, studies show that grass-fed cattle, with their low levels of stomach acid, have dramatically fewer E. coli in their intestines than grain-fed cattle. That means there is virtually no-risk of E. coli in grass-fed meat.

I know these facts aren't going to thrill your kids (but the thought of a brgr and a milkshake will!), but they are pretty thrilling to a parent. I'm not sure when it became the norm to accept a certain amount of risk when enjoying a simply hamburger, but my feeling is that's just not the way it should be. I should be able to take my kids to a restaurant where I feel good about what they're eating. And that is behind everything we do at brgr.
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