Over the past twenty years, grass fed beef has gone from being a new fad to being a recognized part of the modern American diet. Take a walk through the meat section of any upmarket grocery chain, and you’re sure to find plenty of cuts advertised as “grass fed,” from steaks and ground beef to roasts and ribs.
But while grass fed beef is clearly here to stay, many people still have questions about whether it is really all that different from any other kind of beef. After all, aren’t all cows raised eating grass?
The truth is that grass fed beef has measurable advantages over more conventional varieties. Unlike other types of beef cow, which spend the last part of their lives on a high-calorie grain diet, grass fed beef are leaner and less calorically dense, which makes them superior in three key ways: flavor, health, and sustainability.
1. Grass Fed Beef is Tastier
While taste in meat might be subjective, there is no question that grass fed beef has a stronger, earthier flavor than many gourmands prefer. Because the meat is leaner and darker, it lacks the blander, sweeter flavor that grain finished beef often has. Grass fed steaks, for example, need much less seasoning because of their richer taste.
If you want to try some grass fed steaks for yourself, you might want to order grass fed beef online so you can try a variety of different cuts to see which ones you like most.
2. Grass Fed Beef is Better for Your Health
The debate about whether grass fed beef is actually better for your health is a lively one, with some arguing that it isn’t significantly healthier than grain-finished beef. But is this true?
The health claims behind grass fed beef are based on three scientific facts:
- Grass fed beef contains less overall fat and fewer calories than grain finished beef
- The fat grass fed beef does contain is healthier, and contains more Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid
- Grass fed beef is richer in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin E, and antioxidants
Obviously, grass fed beef is still red meat, and eating large amounts of grass fed beef can still lead to higher cholesterol. But if you are going to eat beef, it is still better to choose grass fed than grain finished.
3. Grass Fed Beef is More Sustainable
Thanks to numerous books, films, and pieces of long-form journalism exploring the problems of the beef industry, it is now common knowledge that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are bad for the environment and bad for human health.
Grouping thousands of cows into small enclosures creates huge amounts of animal waste that can easily pose a risk to air quality and the local water table. Keeping beef cattle on the land for longer and letting them graze on ranges or pastureland reduces these risks and, when done with sufficient care for woodland preservation, can make cattle farming more sustainable.
For thousands of years, grass fed beef was the only kind of beef one could find. And while industrial approaches to raising beef might yield a higher output in terms of quantity, there is a clear cost to doing so.
This month, why not consider making the switch to grass fed beef and start putting together your first online order? You might be surprised at how much you like it!