The Difference Between Grain-Fed, Grass-Fed, and Grass-Finished Beef
We know our vegetables are better organic, but what do we know about the meat we consume?
As Americans, we consume a lot of meat. The United States is in the top 5 countries in the world in beef consumption, with Americans consuming 27.3 billion pounds of beef in 2019. Chances are – you and your family eat cow meat.
As health-conscious conversations are being had more frequently, more food options are emerging. America’s beef market is developing to give you a better look at the meat you’re feeding yourself and your family, by specifying how the cow was fed and raised.
Understanding how cattle is raised is very important when understanding what is in the meat that you are putting into your body. Currently, your main options for beef will be grass-fed, grain-fed, and grass-finished beef. Understanding the difference between all three will help you choose which beef you would rather feed your family.
Grain-Fed Beef –
As the beef market expanded, grain-fed beef was the main source of beef. These
cows are raised on soy and corn to help them grow. This is not naturally what cows would eat. In addition to the grain diet, they are fed hormones and antibiotics that allow them to grow larger to keep up with the demands of the meat industry.
Grass-Fed Beef –
Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that has been raised and fed mostly on grass – a healthy, and natural diet for their bodies. Grass-fed cattle also do not receive hormones, meaning they will typically take longer to grow and not get as “fattened up”. This results in a leaner beef.
Grass-Finished Beef –
Grass-finished beef differs because the cow only ate grass their entire lives. Beef from 100% grass-fed (grain-finished) cattle, will be the leanest and least fatty beef you can buy.
Is Grass-Fed Beef Better than Grain-Fed?
When you’re considering the type of meat you buy, grass-fed beef will be the better choice over grain-fed beef. Cows that produced this beef ate much healthier over the course of their lives than cows that were raised and grown on mostly-grains and hormones.
The lifestyle is evident in the quality of the meat produced, from nutrient content to marbling. In grass-fed beef, you will find lessened levels fats, as well as significantly more omega-3s. The lessened fat levels will give you more prime meat, while omega-3s can be accredited for a wide variety of health benefits.
Grass fed beef has also been proven to have higher levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). Vitamin A & E help to protect the body from cancer-causing free radicals – amongst other things – while CLA has been linked to weight regulation and disease prevention.
Knowing that grass-fed beef is the more natural choice for the animal and being able to see it in the meat composition, makes grass-fed beef the better alternative between the two.
How Does Grass-Finished Beef Compare?
While grass-fed beef is better than grain-fed beef, grass-finished beef is the better choice of them all.
Yes, grass-fed is better because their diet mainly consists of grass, but it’s not as great as grass-finished because the cow’s entire diet, their entire lives, consists of grass and forage. This lifelong healthy approach to raising cattle produces higher quality, more nutrient-dense meat than other options on the market.
Benefits of Grass-Fed & Grass-Finished Beef
Because of the better quality of meat, grass-fed beef is offers various long-lasting health benefits. Beef produced from cattle raised mostly or 100% on grass can potentially:
• Lower Risk of Heart Disease & Autoimmune Conditions
• Improve Muscle Health
• Contribute to Better Energy & Restoration
• Prevent Certain Cancers
• Reduce Chance of Anemia
• Reduce Chance of Sickness from Meat
All of these benefits stem from the nutrient quality of grass-fed beef. By feeding cows a better more natural diet, they are able to grow healthier and retain higher level of antioxidants, vitamins, and better fats in their meat.
As the nutritional benefits and ethical concerns of cattle raising are realized, the industry for grass-fed beef is growing considerably. The shift in education and demand will make grass-fed beef more readily accessible and an industry standard as the years go on.
Get Farm to Table Beef for Your Family in Frisco, Texas
We all know the old adage – “You are what you eat.” If that’s true (and we know it is), we should also take into consideration the fact that cows are what they eat as well.
It makes sense for the market to need to bulk up cattle as quickly as possible and to a maximum degree, but we also know that this often doesn’t make sense nutritionally. Taking the time to be selective with your meat ensures that you’re feeding your growing family quality products that offer the highest nutrients.
It can be difficult to attend to all of your health concerns and often requires frequenting several grocers to find what you need. Luckily, if you live in Frisco or Collin County, TX, there’s a farm-to-table option that not only cares about the quality of meat but will bring it right to your door.
Trusted Table cares about the quality of food you consume, and also cares about the community. Our unique partnership allows up to supply our region of Texas with locally grown, grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Not only does this help get great food into your kitchen, but by supporting our local farms, we’re keeping our dollars within the community and boosting our local economy. Feel good about the meat you buy and where your money goes with Trusted Table grass-fed beef.