Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed Beef
As demand for sustainable, responsibly raised meat and poultry has increased significantly in recent years, grass-fed beef has become a popular preference among well-informed consumers. Grass-fed beef differs from traditional grain-fed beef in several important ways both ethically and nutritionally.
Where’s the Beef (Raised)?
From an ethical consideration of animal welfare, grass-fed beef is a much more responsible method for raising cattle. Traditional cattle begin their lives in pastures, typically for six months. They are then transferred to feedlots, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, with unsanitary conditions. These feedlots are detrimental to the cattle due to overcrowding, limited mobility, and lack of access to grass, light, and even fresh air. These factory farms sacrifice the quality of life of the animals in the interest of expediting the process of fattening the cattle to market weight so they can be sold. In contrast, grass-fed cows spend their lives grazing in pastures with abundant sun, fresh air, diverse nutrient-rich grasses, and space to roam. They mature naturally for at least two years until they are ready to be sold.
Cows and Chemicals
In addition to sub-standard living conditions, traditionally raised cattle are fed mixtures of corn, soy, grains, and other artificial supplements. In many instances the grains are derived from genetically modified organisms. These mixes cause the cattle to gain weight rapidly and artificially. Grain-fed cattle are also given antibiotics and hormones. Grass-fed cattle graze in pastures that are not treated with any chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and they do not receive unnecessary drugs or supplements. Although the long-term effects of hormones and other supplements in food have not been extensively researched, choosing responsibly raised, grass-fed beef significantly reduces the possibility of any adverse effects, and offers a healthier alternative to traditional, grain-fed beef.
Better by Nature
The natural diet of grass-fed cattle yields several important health benefits for consumers. Researchers at California State University analyzed three decades of research and determined that beef from pasture-raised cattle fits more closely into a preferred diet lower in saturated fat and higher in good fats and other nutrients. Specifically, grass-fed beef contains higher quantities of omega-3 and other healthy fats, as well as higher levels of antioxidants, vitamins A and E, and up to seven times the amount of beta-carotene found in traditional beef. Grass-fed beef is also leaner overall than artificially fattened cattle in concentrated animal feeding operations. An identical portion of grass-fed beef has significantly fewer calories than a comparable portion of traditional beef.
Christophe’s To Go offers grass-fed beef options because we believe in responsible farming, and always strive to provide the freshest, healthiest options for our customers.