What's the Deal with Grass-Fed Beef?
Most of the beef you’ll find in the average supermarket is grain-fed. If you want grass-fed beef, you’ll have to hunt for it. (Not literally.) But is it worth it? And is there really a difference between the two? Everyone has different tastes, so find out for yourself by sampling a grass-fed burger or two .
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed
All calves start out nursing. Once they are weaned off their mother’s milk, usually at seven to eight months of age, they eat grass and forage. A grain-fed cow is really “grain-finished” because it’s moved to a predominantly grain-based diet to finish gaining weight. (Grain makes cattle gain weight faster, which increases profits for the rancher.) Grass-fed cattle, on the other hand, predominantly stick with grass and forage for the rest of their lives.
Raising grass-fed beef is often more humane, simply because of the location of the cattle. Grass-fed cattle spend most of their time grazing on pastures. Grain-fed cattle are often confined to cramped, dirty feedlots. However, proper livestock management is what truly makes the difference. Grass-fed cattle must be given shelter from snow and ice, for example.
A beef burger will never be as healthy as a fillet of salmon or a bowl of lentils. But if you’re going to eat a burger anyway, grass-fed is definitely the way to go. Grass-fed beef has less overall fat than grain-fed beef. It also contains higher concentrations of nutrients your body needs, like certain vitamins and antioxidants. Grass-fed beef has long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (the same kind found in oily fish), and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is thought to promote fat loss, and lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Are you a locavore who lives near Clark, CO? You’ll love the locally sourced, grass-fed beef burgers available at Clark Store . Ask about their current hours and specials by calling (970) 879-3849.
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