Grass-fed Goodness Right Here In Ocala!

Posted by Dr. Jonathan Walker on August 6, 2009 under Uncategorized | Read the First Comment

Those of you who have been patients of mine for any length of time know what a passionate advocate I am of anti-inflammatory eating. What on earth is that? For those of you new to the practice or who are not yet(did you catch that…not yet) patients, here’s a post from several months ago where I cover this in detail:

So you can see why I am such a rabid carnivore- because this is what our bodies are designed to eat! However, because of the widespread use of steroids, antibiotics and growth hormones, finding the right type of meat to put into your body can be nearly impossible. Incidentally, these substances that are found in virtually all of the milk and meat we consume are emerging as a culprit for the rapid onset of puberty we are seeing in children. Is it just me, or does the fifth grade look like it’s full of 17 year olds? We have dosed an entire generation with these hormones and we are just now seeing the effects (ok, the rant is over)!

Even if you are able to find meat that is free of these chemicals (Greenwise meat at Publix, etc) you are only half-way there. The type of food the cattle, chicken, pork, etc eat is just as important as the chemicals that are being used. Grandma used to tell you that “you are what you eat”, and the same principle applies to animals. Livestock that are fed large amounts of grain and corn (sources of omega-6 fats) become massive omega-6 delivery systems! Cattle are designed to eat grass- those 4 stomachs are there for a reason.

So why do we feed cattle food that makes them sick (why do you think they need all of those antibiotics) and ultimately makes us sick? Sing it with me class, “Money, Money Money Money”!

The average cow takes several years to grow large enough to provide meat. By pumping cattle full of steroids, growth hormone and large amount of corn the process can be shortened to around 14 months. It’s really quite sickening to see where our beef actually comes from (if you think this is bad you don’t even want to know about chickens). Michael Pollan, author of several great books, including “The Omnivores Dilemma” goes into even more detail about the process of how most cattle are raised in an interview with PBS that you can read here:

If the human body optimally functions on fruit, vegetables, and healthy proteins and fats (grass-fed beef, bison, cold water fish, free range chicken, etc) then is it even possible to get these kinds of foods? Publix has an entire section devoted to them (kudos to them by the way), but even they don’t stock all of the essentials.

You have several options as to how you can handle this. You could simply throw in the towel. Decide it’s just too hard to worry about the type of food you eat and give in. Swing by the golden arches several times a day and load up on high fructose corn syrup (this stuff is literally almost in everything and despite what the commercials say should be avoided like the plague) and corn-fed beef.

Option number two would be to forage through the dozens of sites online that promote or sell grass-fed beef and other natural foods. You better be ready to invest some serious time price checking (prices range from $3.50 a pound to $12 a pound for grass-fed ground beef) as well as doing your homework on the farms to find out if they are feeding the cattle NOTHING but grass (many are supplementing with corn). This is exactly what I did until recently, and I had a great family-owned farm in Kentucky that I was purchasing grass-fed beef, sausage, roasts, and steaks from.

Or you could choose a third option (of course I’m saving the best for last)….Rosas Farms. I’m sure those ofyou who have lived in Ocala for any length of time have heard of them, but they are new to me (I guess I’ve been slaving away too many long days at the practice to get out much)! Chef Al Rosas and his wife Erin produce the only organic, grass-fed beef in the entire state of Florida! And they do it right here in Marion County. In addition to grass-fed beef they also stock grass-fed poultry and pork (yes, they will eat grass too), organic produce, artisan cheese, and much more.

As if this in and of it’s self was not great enough, their food is affordable enough that anyone can incorporate it into their diet. Grass-fed chicken breast is only $5 a pound, and grass-fed ground beef starts at around $3 a pound. I often hear patients say they can’t afford to eat healthy…hogwash (I don’t usually say this to my patients)! The same people who say this will push their cart into the grocery store and load up on processed lunch meat at the deli that runs $7 a pound and fill the rest of the cart with highly processed foods like potato chips and cookies that are certainly not cheap!

It might sound like I’m a paid spokesperson (apparently this is becoming common on blogs now days), but I’m not getting a dime for telling my patients/readers about this place. I simply couldn’t be happier with the vision that they have and the value that they are delivering. Plus, I’m supporting a local business and boosting the economy of Marion County. We’ll call this my own personal grass-fed stimulus plan (and it’s a whole lot cheaper than the governments)!

Check out the farm at for updates on their products, specials, and classes they offer. I’ll be heading out there soon for a family field trip, and anyone interested is welcome to join me- the more the merrier!

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