Not all beef is created equal. While grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef may look the same in your supermarket’s meat case, the truth is they are a totally different animal - pun intended.
To fully understand and appreciate the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, we must start with understanding the unique nature of cattle. Cattle are ruminants and have a very unique digestive system. You may have heard that cows have four stomachs. That’s not entirely true; cattle have one stomach comprised of four separate compartments designed to convert grass or cellulose into energy and protein. As cattle graze, their bodies convert grass into muscle.
Now, in a grain-fed cattle system, cattle may have started out grazing on grass in pastures but when the cattle reach the yearling stage, they are typically shipped to a feedlot to be “finished out.” During the “finishing” process, the cattle are fed a corn-dominated feed in order to quickly get the cattle to the desired weight for processing. In theory it doesn’t sound so bad. Corn is basically candy for the cattle. But, candy is not good for you, and corn is not good for cattle. By nature, cattle are not equipped to process the starch in corn. They can not digest grains as well as grasses and forages which can lead to further digestive problems.
Instead of being sent to a feedlot, grass-fed yearlings are rotated through pastures and graze on grasses and forages at their own leisure. Allowing the cattle to graze naturally gives the animal’s ruminant system or “gut” the opportunity to work as it was designed to do.
Here at The Simple Grocer, we’ve partnered with Western Grassfed Beef to bring you natural 100% grass-fed beef that is humanely raised with no antibiotics or added hormones and always raised on open pasture. Western Grassfed Beef believes in supporting the American ranchers’ way of life by raising cattle the right way.
The Western Grassfed Beef system takes longer for cattle to reach the desired weights for processing, but it produces beef that is significantly more nutritious than grain-fed beef. Studies conducted and reviewed at universities have shown that cattle that are raised humanely on grass and are 100% grass fed from birth produce healthier beef.
Don’t believe us? Here’s the proof: Western Grassfed Beef contains 60 percent more Omega-3’s than conventional grain fed beef, two times more Vitamins A & E than grain fed beef, three times more conjugated linoleic acid, and a higher concentration of unsaturated fats (the good ones) versus saturated fats (the bad ones).
The USDA defines “natural” for meat, poultry, and egg products as minimally processed (or processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product) with no artificial ingredients. However, the USDA’s definition does not include any standards regarding farm or animal-raising practices. Western Grassfed Beef goes a step further and not only meets, but exceeds the USDA’s definition.
They believe that natural beef must start from the time a calf is born and speak to how the animal is raised throughout it’s life, as well as how it’s processed. Western Grassfed Beef cattle spend their entire lives on pasture and are never confined to a feedlot. The use of added hormones and antibiotics are strictly prohibited, and their ranchers are required to raise their cattle humanely in low-stress environments.
All of Western Grassfed Beef’s cattle are 100% grass fed and are born and raised by American ranching families right here in the United States. Why does that matter to you? They know their ranchers by name. They know the quality control and care practices that go into the raising of the cattle, and that means a better product on your table. By purchasing US raised 100% grass-fed beef, you are supporting quality ranching families who are dedicated to providing you with excellent quality meat.
Information from www.westerngrassfedbeef.com