Q. What is the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef?
Here’s my version of the a heavy weight match up between
organic grass-fed beef versus, traditional feedlot (grain-fed) beef.
Grass-fed beef feeds in open fields of grass, eating what bison and other relatives to the modern day steer have always eaten . . . grass. Organic, sun ripened, natural grass.
Feedlot Beef stands (typically more than ankle deep) in stool and urine soaked feedlots with no room to move and eats whatever is put into the trough in front of them. This usually includes pesticide and herbicide enriched corn, stale bakery goods, heat treated garbage (yes, literally garbage) human refuse, gum wrappers and other discarded food stuffs, tater tots and French fries (I am not kidding) and other “feed expanders” which are FDA approved.
Round 1 goes to the Grass-fed beef.
Because grass-fed beef animals eat GRASS they are eating a rich source of chlorophyll as well as plant based phytonutrients. The result is meat that actually has omega 3 fats just like fish. True organic grass-fed animals receive no hormones and thus do not develop as much fat. In fact they have a third less calories ounce per ounce compared to feedlot beef because they have only 10% saturated fat. Grass-fed beef also offers a respectable amount of Omega 3 fat with 150mg per 4 ounce serving. They also have a healthy balance of omega 6 to omega 3 at “2:1” which is a significant difference and in fact healthy for us.
Feedlot beef has much more saturated fat, no omega 3 fats, and of course plenty of unwanted hormones to help make you fat.
Round 2 goes to Grass-fed beef
Grass-fed “organic” beef animals do not receive hormones or antibiotics. They don’t need them and so you don’t eat them.
Feedlot beef is made sick by the diet of corn which causes their stomach to become very acidic. Cows and steers were never intended by nature to eat corn much less heat treated garbage. This diet makes their stomach too acidic leading to abscess formation and infections. Therefore they need to receive antibiotics throughout their short lives to control infection. They also receive estrogen and testosterone and other hormones which are known to feed cancer cells. These hormones and antibiotics build up in the muscle tissues of the animals and then you eat them and you get a nice dose of antibiotics and hormones.
Round 3 goes to….well, you know.
Grass-fed beef eats a diet that promotes more nutrition in the meat. Grass-fed beef offers 4 times more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and 3 times more vitamin A and E over grain fed beef.
As we know, feedlot beef eats a diet of garbage, French fries, corn, and other nutritionally depleted foods. Garbage in = garbage out, as the saying goes. Nutritionally inferior to organic grass-fed beef but feedlot beef dose offer you that nice dose of antibiotics which will destroy the good flora in your bowel and increase your risk for digestive and immune issues.
Yes organic grass-fed beef costs more. My assumption, purely speculative, is that the health care cost of treating cancer and bowel issues that result from steady consumption of hormones and antibiotics and herbicides and pesticides and genetically modified foods (corn), are 100 times the tiny cost difference associated with buying good food. So I tell you now as we have all told our children when they find a piece of candy lying on the ground; “Put that down. Don’t eat garbage.”
Round 4 goes to…need I say more?
The Winner: Grass-fed beef by knock-out.