Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZ’s grass-fed livestock a missed marketing opportunity


26 October 2011

NZ’s grass-fed livestock a missed marketing opportunity

Leading British ruminant nutritionist Dr Cliff Lister says that “you are what you eat” is as true for livestock as it as for humans.

For New Zealand’s sheep, beef and dairy industries, he says that translates to meat and milk with a higher omega-3 content, thanks to a grass-based diet, and a “missed marketing opportunity.”

“Grass-based diets encourage lean muscle development rather than fat, meaning that grass-fed beef and lamb is typically leaner than meat produced from silage or grain-fed stock and contains a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids.”

Omega-3s are essential fatty acids for human and animal health with vital roles boosting immunity and disease resistance, creating an anti-inflammatory response to infection and reducing the risk of heart disease and blood clots. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found at high levels in certain fish oils and linseed, or flaxseed.

Dr Lister says this not only means the animal is in better health and condition throughout its life, but also contributes to a leaner source of meat with a more healthy profile of fatty acids, making the meat produced from the animal a healthier choice for the consumer. He said the same was true of dairy cows, which when fed a grass-based diet produce milk with a higher omega-3 content then that of grain-fed counterparts.

He shared the grass-fed opportunity during a speaking tour talking to farmers about the benefits of the Crystalyx range of dehydrated molasses blocks exclusively distributed by farm nutrient supplier Altum in New Zealand.

“Crystalyx enhances grass intake and digestibility, therefore the animal makes better use of the omega-3 content in the grass,” Dr Lister says.

A study from RMIT University in Melbourne demonstrated that only grass-fed beef reached the target of more than 30 mg of long chain n-3 FA/100 g muscle as recommended by Food Standard Australia and New Zealand for a food to be considered a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

“Omega-3s in beef that are fed on grass represent 7% of the total fat content, compared to 1% in grain-only fed beef, Dr Lister says.

“That’s because around two-thirds of the oil found in grass and clover is omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid), which is known to have huge health benefits not only to stock but also to humans.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Fuels Rushing In: Govt "Ready To Act" On Petrol Market Report

The Government will now take the Commerce Commission’s recommendations to Cabinet...
• A more transparent wholesale pricing regime • Greater contractual freedoms and fairer terms • Introducing an enforceable industry code of conduct • Improve transparency of premium grade fuel pricing... More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank Capital Review Decision: Increased Bank Capital Requirements

Governor Adrian Orr said the decisions to increase capital requirements are about making the banking system safer for all New Zealanders, and will ensure bank owners have a meaningful stake in their businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Aerospace: Christchurch Plan To Be NZ's Testbed

Christchurch aims to be at the centre of New Zealand’s burgeoning aerospace sector by 2025, according to the city’s aerospace strategic plan. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Spill Sees Abatement Notice Served For Tamarind Taranaki

The notice was issued after a “sheen” on the sea surface was reported to regulators on Thursday 21 November, approximately 400 metres from the FPSO Umuroa. A survey commissioned by Tamarind has subsequently detected damage to the flowline connecting the Umuroa to the Tui 2H well. More>>

Taskforce Report: Changes Recommended For Winter Grazing

A Taskforce has made 11 recommendations to improve animal welfare in intensive winter grazing farm systems, the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor confirmed today. More>>

ALSO: