Grass fed Beef vs Grain fed Beef – Which is Better?
Both grain fed and grass fed beef are a fantastic source of nutrients and while there are many similarities, there also exists a number of important differences in each beef type. Both types of beef contain a small amount of quality protein as well as creatine. In this post we will explore the burning question of “Grass fed Beef vs Grain fed Beef – which is better?”. Both sides have their advocates and we hope that after reading this, the more casual steak-eater will gain a deeper understanding of what separates one from the other.
Grass Fed beef
Straight off the bat, there are a number of health benefits that you get when it comes to eating grass fed cattle. These include far leaner cuts of meat and a higher percentage of healthy acids. The famous saying “you are what you eat” not only applies to us humans, but also to animals. The types of foods that cows eat will have an impact on the way they eventually taste.
Grass fed beef cattle feed on …. you guessed it, grass (as well as a mixture of other forage such as thistles)! The general consensus is that grass fed beef is healthier for you and the main reasons for this belief are that there are higher levels of omega-3 acids as well as fewer calories per pound. Demand for grass fed beef has seen a large increase over the last number of years because of these health benefits. Many people advocate grass fed beef as the ONLY option because it is healthier and viewed as a more humane process.
One of the biggest reasons that many people believe grass fed beef is superior to grain fed is because a grain-based diet is not a species-appropriate diet. A lot of people question how ethical it is to feed cattle food which causes them to get sick. Grain fed cattle can develop digestive issues and this can lead to them becoming more likely to suffer from bacterial contamination. Grass fed cows on the other-hand spend the vast majority of their days eating grass, a far more natural diet for cattle. We here at TX BAR Grassfed cattle company believe that grass fed beef is far better for the animal. It means they can graze on pasture all day and move around at their own free will, not confined by cramped conditions!
As previously mentioned, grass fed cattle will have a much more natural diet. This means they are not as prone to infection or illness in comparison to grain fed cattle and are much less likely to need antibiotic treatment. By opting to choose grass fed beef, you are showing your support for small farms who raise their cows in a humane and more natural way.
Grain Fed Beef
Grain fed beef can be lower in fat depending on the feeding schedule and how much exercise the cow is engaging in. Generally, grain fed beef is cheaper to purchase in a supermarket compared to its grass fed counterpart. A diet that contains grain fed beef would be more beneficial than one that doesn’t include beef. If cash is tight, grain fed beef can be a great alternative to grass fed beef!
Whilst it can be common for many grain fed cows to live in small confinements, it is important to note that not all of them do and some grain fed cows do indeed have access to the outdoors. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are a common practice when it comes to the production of grain fed beef. Cows are kept in confined spaces and are fattened up in a much more unnatural fashion. They are often fed drugs and antibiotics to facilitate their growth.
If you care about the welfare of the meat you are eating or animals in general, then understanding the origin of your meat is important.
Again, as previously mentioned, “you are what you eat” and what a cow eats can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef in question. Grain fed cows are usually moved to a feedlot once they are approximately 8 months old. This is where they are fed grain, corn, and often soy to produce as high a quality beef as possible.
We hope that this blog post provided you with a deeper understanding when it comes to Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed Beef. We here at TX BAR Grassfed believe that grass fed beef is not only healthier for you and is of a higher quality, but it is also more humane.
If you have any questions about our grass fed beef, please get in touch or check out our FAQ page!