Why Should You Eat Lamb?

Lamb meat sometimes has a reputation for being “smelly” or just being “gross.” Unfortunately, what may have been labeled as “lamb” might really have been “mutton.” The difference is only in age. Lamb is categorized as a sheep under one year old. Mutton comes from any sheep over that limit. There’s some leeway there, but that’s the general rule of thumb. Older sheep, like any animal, tend to have more flavorful meat. The body accumulates a number of compounds, minerals, and micronutrients in the muscle and fat. These leads to a more robust flavor, whether that’s good or bad is usually down to preference.

Lamb meat is mild in its flavoring. It has a very similar taste and texture to that of beef, but there is a richness to lamb meat that beef just doesn’t have. Grass fed lamb isn’t just a delicious Sunday dinner. There are also many environmental and health considerations that make lamb a worthwhile purchase. There are benefits to eating lamb that other meats aren’t able to always match.

Lamb is considered a “complete protein” and contains all nine of the essential amino acids along with CLA in higher quantities than you would find in beef. CLA is considered to have many health benefits. In lamb, you will also find high quantities of vitamins and minerals such as B12, Zinc, Iron, and bioactive nutrients and antioxidants. Some of these include creatine, taurine, and glutathione. These are good for heart and muscle health. Overall, lamb packs a lot into a small space, providing an easily-digested protein that contains more beneficial nutrients than many other meats or vegetable proteins.

Environmentally speaking, lamb meat is a positive choice for regenerating the soil and improving pasture. More farmers are turning to sheep as a method for reducing parasite loads in both cattle and sheep, increasing variety in pastures, and improving soil health. Most sheep are raised on grass and do well even with poor-quality forages. Katahdins, with their goat-like qualities, also make do with browsing on low-hanging tree branches and chomping down on bramble leaves. While not as effective as goats, sheep can help to clear pastures of unwanted plants.

The split hooves of sheep also loosen soil and allow pasture seeds to gain a strong connection to soil and water, allowing thicker swards and a thicker sward means more CO2 absorption. Their manure is formed into small pellets that absorb into the ground slowly and don’t smother grasses. Running sheep and cattle together, either in the same paddock or one trailing after the other, reduces parasites since most parasites are species-specific and provides a more evenly grazed pasture since sheep and cattle prefer different plants.

In some places, sheep have their tails docked or their skin “crutched” on their rear to prevent flies from laying eggs in poo stuck to their wool. Katahdins, who have no wool, only hair, do not require tail docking. Crutching, now considered a cruel practice, is never done on the WPP farm. Male lambs are castrated humanely within two weeks of their birth so they have minimal discomfort. In addition to being a healthy protein source and a positive environmental support, you don’t have to worry about whether the lamb you buy is treated ethically and humanely when you buy from Wise Produce and Proteins.


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