Grass fed beef has many benefits over meat that spent the last few months of its life in a feedlot.
It’s better for the cattle. Grass fed and finished cattle such as ours get to eat what they are designed to eat and live how and where they are meant to live for all of their days. Most cattle in our country spend the last few months of their lives in crowded feedlots, eating mostly corn-based feeds, which as Michael Pollan puts it, “wreaks considerable havoc on bovine digestion,” necessitating the regular use of antibiotics. Pastured cattle, on the other hand, are healthier, require fewer, if any, antibiotics, experience less stress over their lives, and are able to exhibit their range of natural behaviors.
It’s better for you. Grass fed beef is higher in good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acids and lower in saturated fats than it’s grain-fed counterparts. These fats can help reduce systemic inflammation, improve cardiovascular health and prevent cancer. It also contains more antioxidants and vitamins A and E and is less likely than conventional beef to carry E. coli 0157:H7. (Want to see some research? Here you go!)
It’s better for the planet. Our pastures contain a huge diversity of species, from grasses, forbs, and legumes, to insects and wildlife. Compare that to a corn field destined to feed cattle in a feedlot: the eco-system that preceded the corn is gone and entirely replaced by one species, Zea Mays. Cattle on pasture spread their manure around and improve soil fertility, whereas feedlot wastes are concentrated to toxic levels. Viable and profitable farms also reduce sprawl and maintain open space in our community.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of grass-fed beef, check out the following articles: