All the Answers to Your Questions
What is the difference in grass fed and grain fed?
In the past, cattle roamed free and ate grass. However, today cattle are often fed grains. When calves are born they drink milk from their mothers and then roam free, eating grass, weeds and other edible plants. Typically, they do this for about 6-12 months at which time they are then sold and moved to feed lots. There cows are rapidly fattened up with corn or soy based grains and frequently given drugs and hormones to grow more quickly. Many are given antibiotics to counteract disease due to unsanitary living conditions. The nutrient composition of beef is largely determined by the way cows are fed.
Grass fed cows continue to live on grassland their entire lives. They are given no corn, soy or other grain based products. They are given no drugs, hormones or antibiotics. The cows have a better quality of life and are slaughtered humanely, therefore, releasing no stress hormones which can taint the flavor of the meat.
Does grass fed beef taste different? Is it tough or chewy?
Yes, it does. The extra omega 3 and beta carotene will definitely make a difference. That’s the main reason all wild game tastes different than supermarket beef. It is ultimately a combination of the breed, age and how the beef was raised that determines the quality. Grass fed beef generally needs to be cooked at a lower temperature than a grain fed beef for a 30% shorter length of time. For best results, cook your grass fed steaks as rare as possible. For roasts and ribs, cook them at a lower temperature and 30% longer.
Ultimately, grass fed beef is a matter of taste and cooking technique. If you wish to try some before making a purchase, we would be happy to supply you with a free sample to help you make the decision.
Why is grass fed beef more expensive than grain fed beef?
Grass finishing beef takes a longer amount of time than grain finishing. Cattle don’t fatten as quickly on grass as they do on grain and growth hormones. They average steer from a feedlot is slaughtered at 14-16 months of age. We slaughter our steers at 24-30 months of age. This translates into carrying them through 2 winters which means we must feed them hay for 2 winters.
As with anything, you get what you pay for. You don’t choose a medical doctor by who is least expensive. You want who is best. In the same manner, your health is largely determined by what you eat. Hippocrates stated “Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.” Short term, grain fed may be less costly but in the long run, grass fed may be less costly.