“What do you think about raising lambs?”
My husband asked me that question last fall. It definitely caught me off guard.
“Lambs? We’ve only ever eaten lamb once. I thought we were going to try raising pigs?”
Well, here we are 6 months later with five adorable sheep munching away on our grass!
Is Lamb Healthy for You?
My husband is so smart. He had already done quite a bit of research about the raising aspect. But whether he truly knew it or not, lamb was a perfect choice.
Even though we made the decision to raise lambs because they are a lot less work than other animals (they just walk around and eat grass…that’s it…though they do enjoy a treat from your hand once-in-a-while), it turns out that lamb is actually a very healthy animal protein.
The term lamb refers to a sheep that is less than one year old. If the animal is older, the meat is called mutton.
Lamb is considered red meat, just like beef and pork, due to its myoglobin content.
Whether or not lamb is a healthy option does depend on the quality. If you are going to eat lamb, make sure it is pasture-raised. This ensures the animal has a broad nutrition profile and high-quality, healthy fat. It also means the animal was able to eat the way God intended.
Benefits of Lamb Meat
Until this year I had never looked into the benefits of lamb meat. I didn’t grow up eating lamb, and it’s not something I have ever served to my kids. So why bother?
Turns out I should have given lamb a try a lot sooner!
I recently discovered a very valuable reason to eat lamb – its copper content.
Having just done a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis on each of my kids and myself, I saw that we are all low in bio-available copper. Taking my usual food-first approach to nutrition I wanted to find ways for us to get copper from food. Lamb is actually higher in copper than any other meat!
Most people do not have enough bio-available copper, and it is essential for the proper functioning of the circulatory, skeletal, nervous, reproductive, and endocrine systems. So eating lamb is a great way to add some to your diet.
In addition to copper, lamb is a great source of:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
With a wide array of B vitamins, lamb can help with energy production and the functioning of the nervous system. This includes benefitting brain function.
Is Lamb Healthier Than Beef?
When it comes to beef vs. lamb, it’s not an either/or situation. The more diverse your diet, the more diverse your nutrient profile. So I say eat both!
But let’s look at them side-by-side for comparison’s sake.
Lamb tallow is higher in conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fats than beef tallow. Lamb tallow actually has a very balanced saturated and monounsaturated fat content.
Lamb is a better source of L-carnosine than beef. Carnosine may have anti-atherosclerotic effects. It also may help reduce the glycation of sugars and proteins, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Lamb is also a good source of glutathione, creatine, and taurine. All three of these are essential for optimal health.
As you can see, lamb scores higher than beef in several categories.
On the flip side, pastured lamb is more expensive than grass-fed beef. If a whole or half lamb doesn’t fit into your budget, consider including individual cuts in your diet occasionally.
Where to Find High Quality Meat
Having trouble finding good quality meat locally? Would you like to fill your freezer with local and pastured options?
If you’re in Canada, check out TruLocal.ca.
If you’re in the US Midwest, Chicago to Milwaukee to Detroit to New York, and select cities across the country, check out TruLocalUsa.
If you’re west of the Mississippi, check out Wild Pastures.
If you live in any of the 48 contiguous states, I recommend Butcher Box!
I’m grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A subscription from Butcher Box includes grass fed, organic, pastured, and free range = all the labels important to your family’s health! And I’ve got a special deal for you!
They almost always have great deals for new customers. Click below to see what the bonus is right now. Don’t miss out!
(free shipping too!)
How Should You Cook Lamb?
Much like beef, lamb can be served medium-rare, medium, or well-done.
In general, my favorite way to use lamb is in ground form. Ground lamb makes amazing meatballs or tacos. Add a little desiccated liver to the ground lamb and you’ve really got a boost of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and copper!
Is Lamb Meat Healthy?
In a nutshell, yes! Lamb meat is a wonderful choice for animal protein.
Lamb is a complete protein with healthy fats, an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, and critical amino acids and antioxidants.
We’ve had lambs for a few months now. The kids love showing them to everyone that visits our farm.
It took about 2 hours from the time they arrived for them all to be named. So the hard part will be saying goodbye come September. Why do lambs have to be so cute?
We really do value caring for God’s creation from the plants we grow in our garden to the animals we raise on our farm. But we also value caring for our Holy temples! And we are thankful for the nutritious food both plants and animals provide for us.
I love empowering kids to take responsibility for their own health. So from a very young age, my kids understand where their food comes from and why it’s important. Raising lambs is one more learning adventure for us.
This journey has also introduced us to some other local farmers that are passionate about regenerative farming and raising animals well.
We’ll see what the future holds about continuing to raise lambs each summer or possibly even creating a flock of our own. For now, we are eagerly anticipating the first meal of our home-grown lamb and appreciating what it has to offer us.