The main difference between grass-fed beef and regular beef comes down to the diet of the cow itself. Grassfed cows, also called grass-finished or pasture-raised cattle, are grass-fed their entire lives and never subjected to finishing on grain in feedlots. Regular beef cows, which make up about 90% of the United States beef supply, are typically raised on grass until they are about 15 months old, then sent to crowded feedlots and finished on corn, soybeans and other grains so they will gain more weight before they are slaughtered.
Why eat more grass-fed beef?
There are many reasons why you should eat more grass-fed beef, not just because it’s better for the cows but also because of its benefits to your health. Grass-fed beef is an excellent source of omega-3s that are shown to help with mood disorders, like depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety; make people smarter; improve eye health; reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity; decrease inflammation in the body which can lead to arthritis pain and other autoimmune diseases; control blood pressure; lower cholesterol levels; reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like dementia later in life due to improved brain function from eating more omega-3s earlier in life. It also tastes better!
How much more does grass-fed beef cost?
You may have heard the term grass-fed beef, but what does that mean? Grass-fed beef is meat from cows that are fed only grass or hay, never grains; it’s the way cows were historically raised for centuries. If you live in a rural area or near an organic farm, you might be able to find fresh pasture-raised beef at a local grocery store or farmer’s market; otherwise, you’ll have to order online. The cost of grass-fed beef is around $6-$7 per pound as opposed to $3-$4 per pound for conventionally raised beef, which includes grains in their diet. But there are many benefits! The nutrient content of grass-fed beef is much higher than regular beef–for instance, the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is almost 1:1 with grass-fed cattle. Grasses like clover and alfalfa provide compounds that convert alpha-linoleic acid into conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), whole grain feed doesn’t. And CLA has been shown to help prevent cancer cells from growing and even fight existing cancers! Grass-fed cattle also produce more conjugated linoleic acid than grain-fed cattle, making CLA supplements less necessary with this type of diet.
Is grass-fed beef more tender?
Cooking with grass-fed beef can be more challenging because it’s leaner than regular beef. That means it doesn’t have as much fat to keep the moisture in, so it can be tougher to cook without drying out. Grass-fed meat is more likely to stick to your grill, which can make for some messy hands at the end of a meal! But there are some upsides too! For one thing, this type of beef has less cholesterol than regular beef – especially if you eat organic or raw grass-fed beef. It also has more Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a compound that helps prevent cancer in humans.
Do you have to cook grass-fed beef differently?
In general, it is recommended that you cook grass-fed beef at a lower temperature for a shorter amount of time. This is because the fat in grass-fed beef has fewer omega-6 acids than regular beef, which can cause heart disease when over-consumed. Grass-fed beef also has more omega-3 acids than regular beef, which are healthy fats with many benefits for both physical health and brain development in children. Grassfed beef has fewer calories per serving because it is leaner, which is an important factor if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight.
main photo: unsplash.com/Jason Leung