Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Apr

The Differences Between Grass-Fed Beef and Grain-Fed Beef

cowsWhen making the transition into the Primal way of life, a lot of people get tripped up on the question of grass-fed beef. Is it necessary? (No.) Is there really that big a difference between conventional beef and grass-fed beef? (Kinda.) What does grass-fed actually mean? How do conventional cows live and what do they eat – and does that matter enough to me to make the effort to incorporate true grass-fed beef into my diet?

Hopefully, the following article will shed a bit of light on the subject, making it easier for you to make an informed decision based on your preferences, your needs, your budget, your personal ethics, and the objective information provided.

Cow’s Diet

You’d think this would be a simple, single sentence section – grass-fed cows eat grass, grain-fed cows eat grain. Bam. Done, right? Not quite.

For the most part, all cows start on grass. Well, calves drink milk, obviously, and then “milk replacement” (which appears to be a sort of high-powered protein shake made of milk proteins, lard, lactose, added minerals, and several choice supplements) upon separation from their mothers, but even the most CAFOed out cow probably started with grass before being switched to concentrated feed. Concentrated feed can mean any number of things, but the base food is always a grain slurry, typically of corn and corn byproducts (husks, cobs), soy and soy hulls, spent brewery grain, spent distiller’s grain, and other cereals. CAFO nutritionists can get pretty creative, though, sometimes including cotton byproducts, old candy (including wrappers), beet and citrus pulp, and peanut shells in their cows’ diet.

To say grass-fed cows eat grass isn’t telling the entire story. It’s more accurate to say they eat graminoids, which comprise hundreds of different species of sedges (found in wild marshes and grasslands; a famous sedge includes papyrus), rushes (a small but plucky family of herbaceous and rhizomatous plants), and true grasses (cereals, lawn grass, bamboo, grassland grass – the type of grass that produces the leaves Walt Whitman writes about). And that’s just the graminoid. Cows will also nibble on shrubs, clovers, and random leaves if they can get to them. Basically, they’ll eat whatever’s in reach, green, and leafy. Legally, grass-fed cows may also eat cereal grain crops in the “pre-grain stage,” hay, silage, and non-grain crop byproducts (one of my favorite farms gives their cows leftover veggies, for example, and it’s fantastic; that would qualify).

There’s yet another hazy category: the pasture-raised cow. These guys get steady lifelong access to open pastures, but those pastures are supplemented with feed bins containing grain feed. Not technically grass-fed, but not quite sucking down gumdrops like Grandma. Purveyors of pastured cattle who include grain in the feed are usually pretty conscientious stewards of their operation, and I’ve had great meat from cows that were fed grass and grain concurrently.

Living Conditions

While both grass-fed and CAFO cows start out on grass and milk (many of those cows you see grazing on open grassland along highways end up in feedlots eventually), only exclusively grass-fed cows live out their entire lives on grassland. CAFO cows move to feedlots once they hit 650 or 750 pounds, a weight it takes the average cow twelve months to reach on pasture. Feedlot life lasts three to four months, plenty of time to boost the animal’s weight above 1200 pounds and increase intramuscular fat deposition (marbling). Feedlots have the potential to be pretty grim places. While I’m sure “good” feedlots exist, nondescript, bleak pens crowded with sick, overweight cattle and their manure are the norm. The purpose of the feedlot, after all, is to maximize weight gain and minimize overhead. You don’t do either by recreating the cow’s natural habitat.

Whenever I drive up the I-5 to Northern California, I pass the Harris Ranch feedlot in Coalinga. The Harris ranch feedlot is the largest I’ve ever personally seen – up to 250,000 head of cattle annually, 100,000 head at any one time, about 200 million pounds of beef produced each year – but it’s actually considered to be a moderate sized feedlot. If it’s above 80 degrees, you smell the lot long before you see the signs for it. Now, I’m not citing any studies here, but I think it’s a safe assumption that cows prefer a grassy paddock to a pond of their own manure. You don’t have to care about the animal’s welfare – after all, we’re going to end up eating them – but I enjoy my meat more knowing that it comes from an honest operation that respects its participants’ living conditions.

Does it matter?

I think so. I make no bones about my primary reason for supporting grass-fed beef (I, ahem, want to eat delicious animals and buying delicious animals promotes their production), but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about their welfare while alive. I’ve been to grassland farms with families of cattle ranging, and if you get to close to a calf the mother will stomp and chase you down. I didn’t even know cows could run like that. Are they cud-chewing ungulates with minimal brainpower in the grand scheme of things? Sure, but they care about stuff in their own beefy way. And I find that pretty touching. I’ve also hiked through cattle farms and watched the cows roam and range all over for acres, contrary to the grass-fed detractor’s claim that cows prefer to be confined to a single, safe spot.

Nutrition

I’ve been one to bang the omega-6 in feedlot beef drum, perhaps as loudly as anyone, but I think a revisiting is in order. Simply put, while the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in CAFO beef is worse than the ratio in grass-fed beef, it’s not because the omega-6 content of beef fat skyrockets with grain feeding; it’s because the omega-3 content is basically nonexistent. The absolute totals of omega-6 in grass-fed and grain-fed are roughly similar. Grass-fed is even richer in PUFA by percentage, owing to the increase in omega-3s. As long as you’re avoiding or limiting the real big sources of linoleic acid in the diet, like seed oils, bushels of nuts, and conventionally raised poultry fat, the omega-6 content of conventional beef fat won’t throw your tissue ratios off by much (if at all). What will, however, is the lack of omega-3 fats in grain-fed. Eat some fatty fish or take some high quality fish oil to round it out.

Grass-fed beef is also higher in B-vitamins, beta-carotene (look for yellow fat), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin K, and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Studies show grass feeding results in higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, the “good” naturally occurring trans fat. Studies also typically show lower total levels of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats in grass-fed cows, but that’s just looking at the trimmed cuts. If you look at the whole carcass post-slaughter, you’ll find it’s encased in a thick shell of saturated animal fat that gets removed because consumers are scared of it and many grass-fed producers love to market their meat as low in “bad fat” and low in cholesterol. Kurt Harris, who regularly hunts “lean” wild bucks and miraculously discovers ample stores of body fat, just put up a post dealing with this exact issue. Long story short: grass-fed beef has plenty of fat, it’s just distributed differently. More subtle marbling and more subcutaneous deposition.

Grass-fed truly shines in the micronutrient profile for one reason. Grass-fed cows get more nutritious food. Remember: they aren’t munching on monoculture lawn cuttings (let alone soy and corn). They’re eating a wide variety of (often wild) grasses, sedges, rushes, shrubs, and herbs, each with its own nutrient profile. Of course, how nutritious those graminoids are depends on the quality of the soil, or the terroir. If we care about what our food eats, we should also care about what the food that our food eats is eating, right? Grass-fed isn’t just miraculously higher in selenium because of some magic process; it’s higher because grass grown in good wild soil patrolled by plenty of mobile, self-perpetuating organic fertilizer machines contains more selenium than soybeans or corn grown on nutrient deficient land. It should follow that pastured, grain-supplemented beef raised on good soil by good ranchers also contains higher levels of micronutrients when compared to the CAFO cow, albeit not as high as the purely grass-fed.

Eat beef, first and foremost. Get the highest quality beef you can afford, whether that ends up being premium grass-finished from the farm up the road or USDA Prime from Costco. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Man cannot live on wild caught canned sardines and crushing angst alone.

Cost and Accessibility

For the average grocery store shopper, conventional meat is cheaper and easier to get. You drive your car to the grocery store parking lot, walk twenty feet to the entrance, walk to the meat counter, balk at the $9/lb grass-fed ground round, grab a few Styrofoam containers of ground beef for a few bucks per pound instead, and you’re done. Not much thinking, hard work, or money required. This is how most people handle their meat acquisition.

If you want that same deal for the grass-fed beef, you have several options.

  • Wait for a sale at the grocery store and stock up. It probably won’t hit $3/lb, but you might save a few bucks.
  • Find a farmers’ market nearby (if any exist and the season permits) that has a grass-fed beef vendor. Hope they sell for a reasonable price, haggle if not. Buying large quantities might lower costs for you.
  • Buy direct from a farm. Search Eatwild or browse the list from this post for the nearest provider. Oh, and you’ll need a freezer to store all the meat, since you’ll have to buy in bulk to reduce costs. If you go this route, you can sometimes get a quarter, half, or entire cow for as little as $4/lb. (Hint: remember to ask for the fat!)

Each route involves more effort, more money, and/or more time. All three are worth pursuing (grass-fed is that much better, in my opinion), but I can understand why the barrier to entry appears so high – a combination of price and time. To reduce the former requires more of the latter, usually. And if you do it right and get a freezer to go with your side of beef, you’re still incurring a big initial investment. Not everyone can do that.

To my knowledge, “average” price figures don’t exist. Grass-fed from one Whole Foods can be a dollar cheaper per pound than in another Whole Foods two zip codes over; the same farmer who gives me grass-fed ground round for four bucks a pound at the Santa Monica farmers’ market might charge five dollars at the Beverly Hills market.

Bottom line? Paying $12/lb for grass-fed flat iron steak regularly isn’t worth it, to me, but spending extra time researching farms/visiting farmers’ markets/scoping out sales to obtain affordable grass-fed beef definitely is worth doing.

Availability

From 1998 to 2009, the number of serious grass-fed producers in the United States grew from just 100 to over 2,000. Market share grew in the same time frame from just $2 million to $380 million (to over $1 billion if you include imported grass-fed beef). Today, you can find grass-fed beef (and lamb and bison, even) in standard supermarkets, not just your specialty upscale grocers. Farmers’ markets are exploding (I gotta arrive earlier every weekend, it seems), and the Slow Food/locavore movements are picking up steam. Clearly, the availability of grass-fed beef is growing with growing consumer awareness and demand – funny how that works out, eh?

Taste

In the end, what else matters? The final arbiter of a food’s worthiness is always taste. Food should – must – taste good for us to eat it, especially food that is responsible for a big portion of our caloric intake. Typical grass-fed beef is intramuscularly leaner, more robust, and “beefier” than typical CAFO beef, which I find to be somewhat mushy and bland.

Still, stringy, tough, unpalatable grass-fed beef exists along with incredible grain-finished beef. I’ve had both. I’ve eaten great conventional chuck roasts purchased for a few bucks per pound at the Hispanic supermarket and I’ve had excellent steaks from Prather Ranch, a Northern California producer that goes purely grass-fed until the last few weeks of a cow’s life, when its diet is supplemented with chopped forage, rice, and barley. While good grass-fed is better than anything else, the grass-fed label can’t make up for a bad rancher (or poor foraging) and a good rancher can make up for some grain in the diet (taste-wise; perhaps not nutritionally).

For me, the clearly superior version of beef comes from the grass-fed and –finished cows raised by ranchers committed to providing excellent stewardship of both soil and cattle. Next, cows that have been grass-fed, pastured, and grain-finished by similarly committed producers with similarly maintained soil quality.

After that? Just eat beef. Whatever you can get on a regular basis. Grab the occasional grass-fed cut when you can, see how it tastes, and figure out if it’s worth it to you.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. we buy steer calfs for $25.00, raise them on pasture only and after a 1.5 years there hanging weight is 1100 pounds. we also raise are own pasture feed lamb, once you eat pasture fed there is no other. we feed no grains at all.

    Floyd wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • What do you do? Graft them onto nurse cows? Bottle feed? Milk replacer?

      Garth wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • Not being an expert, I am going to guess that because it’s a steer, the lack of testicles means a different hormonal profile and probably a tendency to put on more weight. Think about eunuchs as portrayed in literature, movies, etc.–they’re usually fat, right?

        Dana wrote on April 8th, 2011
        • Steers do put on weight differently from bulls, but my question was about feed during the early portion of the calves’ lives. A calf that’s going for $25 is probably a dairy bull calf. Castrated or not, it would need to be fed milk or milk replacer for at least a few months, and ideally more like seven. I asked about feed because we did this last summer, and the cost of milk (even purchased by the hundred weight from a friendly farmer up the road) was far greater than the cost of the calf. An then there’s the feed required to carry a growing animal through the dormant season. It’s still cheaper than buying it, but it’s also a lot of work to do well.

          Garth wrote on April 8th, 2011
    • Rainbow Ranch Farms is our grass fed CSA in Southern California. We took a day trip out to one of the pastures with about 15 members and it was incredible. We fill a freezer every 2 months and so glad to have found them. The beef is amazing and so is the pork. Next month we are picking up 20 chickens.

      Tom Stevensen wrote on September 4th, 2011
    • Im confused. I was under the impression that Pastured raised or pastured finished was the best quality. It has the highest prices in stores, (if you can find it) and I though grass-fed meant YES its fed grass, but not exclusivly. Just like Free-range means YES they have access to roam free (But not all day. Maybe 20 minutes to an hour a day)

      What am I missing? What is the meat discription hierarchy?

      Chris wrote on March 7th, 2013
      • Chris – I’m just now skimming this article – nearly two years after its original post – and came across your comment. Your question is a good one – there’s so much industry and marketing jargon out there, how do you tell what’s what?

        Based on my experience as a small, family farmer serving primarily local markets, pastured or pasture-raised is the term coined by the smaller, alternative farmer. Too often, larger, conventional farms have picked up on a term – for example, free range – and put their own spin on it. What does the labeling “free range” or “free roaming” mean when you see it on a carton of eggs, or cellophane wrapped chicken breast in the grocery store? Per the USDA’s website, it means:

        “Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”

        So, “free range” chicken in the grocery store can mean a confinement operation, with literally thousands of chickens under an industrial-style chicken house, with a little access door at one end of the building to a small, dirt lot. That’s outside, right? Far from what you imagine when you read free range on the packaging.

        Conversely, smaller, sustainably-focused farms picked up the term pastured to describe raising animals out on pasture – not in a confinement operation. However, there’s no doubt this term could get snatched by larger producers with fancier packaging and big marketing budgets. I’m not sure if it’s already happening, but it’s possible.

        So, I’m sure I confused you more. What’s the labeling mean? Currently, chicken and pork deemed pastured or pasture-raised is probably coming from a smaller farm, with animals on pasture. Grass-fed, forage fed, or “Salad Bar Beef” (as Joel Salatin at Polyface Farms calls it) is often raised the way it should be – on pasture, not in feedlots. All this said, even small, local farms can exaggerate, or bend the truth.

        What’s a guy to do? My suggestion – don’t shop at the grocery store based on labels. Find a local farmer – and then visit the farm. Vet the raising practices yourself, and know where and how your food dollar is being put to use. Spend some time to get out in your community building a real relationship with those who produce food, and then patronize those who do it well. If you don’t know of any farms and don’t know where to start, head over to localharvest.org. They’re a great resource for finding local.

        Moral of the story – if you’re concerned about where you food comes from, don’t lean on the labels. Get to know your food, where it comes from, how it’s raised, and who raises it.

        Hope this helps.

        Tyler wrote on March 9th, 2013
  2. I really love your reasonable, real world approach to these issues. I would love to eat only grass-fed beef, but I simply can’t afford it all the time. Thank you for all this great and free information. I’ve just started primal in the past couple of months, and it’s making a huge difference in my life. This site is a lifeline for me.

    Tigerflower wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • In my twenties I used to eat a steak every day, thinking it might improve my
      sporting ability.

      But later I stopped eating meat and found that not eating meat, made no differenceat all to my physical performance.

      I have not had a Steak in decades and don’t miss them.

      Jim Bernard wrote on April 13th, 2011
      • Just out of curiosity related to this article:

        Were you eating grass-fed meat and getting plenty of healthy vegetables(not grain) along with a low-carb diet?

        If not, try it for a few months and see if you feel better or worse. We only get one shot at this, so why not take a shot at feeling the best you can.

        jeff_the_curious wrote on April 13th, 2011
      • Wow made you should get a metal you trendy loser. No one cares about what you eat, or what you don’t eat, your a loser

        ok wrote on December 7th, 2013
    • I would suggest more posts on low cost healthy foods – since I agree with Tigerflower about high cost for good food. If someone could write a reply to my comment with the link on this site in case I missed these kinds of posts I would be very thankfull.

      Thank you!

      Valeriu wrote on March 13th, 2014
  3. Thank you for explaining this. I had no idea it was so complicated.

    For taste and my own peace of mind, there is no comparison with grass fed and finished.

    And I know that feedlot well. It is quite a sight (and smell.)

    Alison Golden wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • I have a friend who declared herself a vegetarian after the first time she drove past that feedlot. She now touts the wonders of carbs, incorporating them into every single meal and urging others to do the same. (often using pictures of white bread cut in the shape of a heart)

      It makes me want to cry.

      Karin P wrote on April 15th, 2011
  4. BEEF FTW

    Pandadude wrote on April 7th, 2011
  5. My husband and I are lucky enough to live in a farming community in New Brunswick Canada. We are able to buy sides of barley fed, pastured pork for $1.50 a pound Canadian. We also get pastured, grass fed, corn finished cows from a relative for only $2 a pound Canadian. At the farmers market in town we can buy a dozen jumbo (I’m talking one egg omlettes they’re so big) eggs for only $2.50. The yolks are rich dark yellow and delicious.

    With these prices and the superior quality, we will never go back to conventional meat.

    If you’re willing to put in the work, there’s normally a source out there willing to meet your price.

    Christine Crain wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Grass fed beef is what I raise because of the documented health benefits. However the logical benefits are unsurpassed. A cows natural diet is not growth hormones, antibiotics, corn or grains. Water is also natural. So I want to know the water, the feed, and the care. I want to know the ancestry. I raise purebred Angus from stock that was ultra-sounded for marbling traits. Adding growth hormones and grain adds a thicker layer of fat onto the carcass, and does not change the meat composition just adds fat between the fibers which makes for mushy “tender” junk food.

      fraser wrote on April 22nd, 2012
    • You are quite fortunate to be able get this quality of meat and eggs at those crazy low prices. Here in the DC/Baltimore metro area, grass fed beef is usually ~$6.00/lb a pound and pastured pork is over ~$7.50/lb, and about $5/dz of pastured eggs. These prices, compared to the prices for conventional product prices, are extremely higher, especially the pork. I paid almost $30 for a 3-4lb pork shoulder roast from a local farmer. I can get a 9lb pork shoulder roast at the store for ~$12! I’m willingly to pay more for local & pastured, but I was taken aback by the price difference on the pork shoulder roast (~500% markup). The mark up on the should roast was very excessive and left me a little bitter. For this reason, I stopped purchasing local and pastured until I can find a more reasonably priced farmer (not easy to do around here).

      Sean wrote on January 31st, 2014
      • It’s not really a “markup”, it’s a reflection of the difference in production costs between CAFO hogs and pasture-based pigs (which are supplemented with a lot of good-for-the-pig foods that doesn’t just grow in the pasture). Believe me, the pastured pig farmer is not exactly getting rich raising pasutred pigs. Most do well just to cover their costs and eek out a reasonable profit for their efforts!

        PH wrote on April 14th, 2014
  6. Just want to add an entry for local options for southern Cali folk… there’s another local grass fed beef seller I’d recommend, his name is Frank Kirpatrick and his operation is called 5 Bar Beef (5barbeef.com). He’s based in southern Orange County, his cows are raised in Silverado Canyon as well as Mojave. He can be found at the Irvine and Laguna Hills farmers markets and they now have a stand at the Beverly Hills farmer’s market as well. He’s got a vid on his website on what sustainable farming and management really is about. Good stuff!

    Joe Brancaleone wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Another So. Cal option: I also just picked up my first order from Creston Valley Meats (crestonvalleymeats.com), a processing facility in Santa Margharita. Most of what I bought came from Nick Ranch (http://www.enjoygrassfedbeef.com/) and is all grass-fed. They make the trip down the 5 and then back up the 15 every couple weeks, with stops along the way. I picked up my meat in the Fry’s parking lot in San Diego. It was all very clandestine :o) You can check the calendar page on their site to see when they’ll be making another trip. Contact them to see where exactly the stop, they were very responsive to my emails and phone calls.

      lucy wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • I also buy 5 Bar Beef (Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market), but mostly stick to the burger, which is WONDERFUL. The other cuts I’ve had from them have been a little tough and I think that’s because all grass-fed cattle use their muscles grazing, whereas corn-fed just stand there and eat. If you have any ideas on how to cook other cuts, or if you can recommend some more tender cuts, I would appreciate the info. Thank you, Joe.

      Margo wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • To cook leaner cuts? The pressure cooker. Fast and it really results in tender, moist meat! Second choice is the slow cooker.

        Ruth wrote on April 8th, 2011
      • Keep the heat a couple notches lower when you cook it, and give it an extra minute or two in the pan. I usually toss chopped veggies (celery, onion, peppers mostly) into the pan with my steaks and that flavors them while cooking and adds a little extra moisture to cook the meat gently.

        Bevie wrote on April 11th, 2011
      • Never cook grass fed beef above 145 degrees F. Some cuts need to be marinated for at least 4 hours. Never microwave even to defrost. Sear then, turn the heat down. Avoid BBQ sauces with chemicals.
        Tender cuts are tenderloin, and T-bones, Buying the T-Bone steak in Canada assures the animal is not over 30 months old. However smoking the meats is the ultimate pleasure in eating. My store is theranchbbq.com

        fraser wrote on April 22nd, 2012
  7. I will admit that I never realized that those cows grazing on the hillsides often times still end up in feedlots anyway.

    On occasion I will buy the organic beef at Costco, but I do prefer the organic grassfed from my local supermarket. I definitely appreciate your approach that yes, situation A is certainly best, but B and C are not going to harm you if that’s all you can do. Thank you.

    Lisa wrote on April 7th, 2011
  8. Amen brother, great post and message Mark.

    Thanks!

    Steve wrote on April 7th, 2011
  9. Good article.

    Last month I called the local butcher and he said they had grass fed beef finished on grain.

    Not quite exactly what I was hoping for.

    Luckily there are grass fed & finished cows/farms not too far away from here in southern Virginia and North Carolina. And the stuff in local health food stores is usually frozen.

    Robert wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Even that is still better than some of the other inferior meat, thats pumped full with some kind of water to make it “juicier”, that also has artificial food coloring in it, and is gased to give it a more reddish color, irradiated and whatnot.

      If the cow stood most of its life on pasture and than gets fattened up with corn and corn ONLY for 90-150 days, I’d take that over the other ‘alien’ crap any day.

      Suvetar wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • “If the cow stood most of its life on pasture and than gets fattened up with corn and corn ONLY for 90-150 days…”

        You do realize that’s exactly the model of “conventional” (CAFO) beef production, right?

        PH wrote on April 14th, 2014
    • If you’re in NC, have you tried Baucom’s Best? I have sampled several sources across the US, and more in SoCal where I live, and Baucom’s had the best tasting beef, hands down. Not even close. Sometimes the grassfed has a slightly, um, “richer” taste than I prefer. Baucom’s says they dry age – whatever they do, it’s like a backyard BBQ from my childhood. (That was back when “Grain Fed” was a premium label on meat packages.)

      In SoCal, 5barfarms is good (but sometimes borders on gamey for the ‘stew’ cuts – like shanks), more accessible, and not outrageously priced. Also Rainbow Ranch Farms has several CSA options for beef, pork and poultry – or a combination of all three. All of their meat is very good. I find them to be not outrageously priced – and within the closer SoCal area, the shipping option is VERY reasonable. Nice people, excellent food. (BTW they are currently taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys!)

      Diane wrote on April 13th, 2011
    • This is all too common and something that anyone who is looking for high-omega-3 grass finished beef needs to watch out for! Even if they are local, farmers can be pretty ignorant. A lot of farmers can’t get their mind around selling animals that haven’t been fattened with corn, so they keep doing it. but they are happy to tell you ‘Sure, this beef ate Grass!’ but if they fattened with corn, you lose the omega-3 advantage and the CLAs and who-knows-what-else?

      Allan Balliett wrote on August 29th, 2011
  10. It’s what’s for dinner.

    Brianna wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Lol I was thinking the same thing Brianna

      Jeremiah wrote on April 8th, 2011
  11. I hopped on the grass-fed beef train without any real reason other than the fact that you said it was good but it’s comforting to know there’s science behind it. The alternative methods of attaining are also very useful — good stuff.

    Nicky Spur wrote on April 7th, 2011
  12. In Portland, OR, one can easily get 1/4 of a grass-fed cow for less than $3 lb.

    Jennifer wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Less than $3 in Portland? Oooh, where?

      Lori wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • I would also be interested to know where this happens in Portland!

        Emily wrote on April 7th, 2011
        • I don’t know about $3/lb but I love Harmony JACK Farms for pastured beef… no I don’t work for them but their beef is super yummy and I want their business to stay strong!! :)

          Ely wrote on April 8th, 2011
        • You can also get grass fed beef grading exceptionally high in Yelm Wa. not far from Portland , from Lazy G Lowline.

          M Hansen wrote on September 3rd, 2011
        • We sell 1/2 or whole grass-finished steers for $4 lb. Carcasses average 200 for 1/2; 400 whole. We just finished a couple steers that our butcher raved about (and he’s a hard sell when it comes to quality beef. He thought the steers were finished on grain and when we told him no, raised on grass-only he was totally taken aback. They had great marbling, and we eat it all the time. It doesn’t require any special cooking instructions as was mentioned in this post. Lean meat requires special cooking.

          Lazy G Lowlines wrote on September 5th, 2011
      • You should know there is live weight and finished. $3 per pound is probably live (on the hoof weight) s you can expect about 50% percent less for finished. Still a good deal at $6 per pound.

        Just understand sale weight = live weight; processing charge is for live weight; and butchering is an additional fee.

        Half a steer is not a good deal unless you split it with someone you know.

        Whole steer is less than half a steer (per pound) and quarter of a steer is even more – problem is if you don’t get a fair split… rear is more desirable & pricey than the front.

        Some folks get ripped – information is key.

        l v wrote on October 9th, 2011
  13. Industrial feedlots and slaughterhouses are quite possibly the most hateful crime against nature humanity has ever devised.

    Grass fed and ethically raised are worth it for that reason alone.

    Carson wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Slaughterhouses are not necessarily all evil, but knowing which slaughterhouse is used is an important part of choosing a farm for us. Unfortunately, the government is on the warpath to shut down the smaller family owned slaughterhouses, so that is just another reason to support your local farmer.

      Steph wrote on April 8th, 2011
    • Having raised grass fed cattle (and still do), I’d have to say the most hateful crime against nature is white bread. Glazed donuts are a close second…

      Robert Worstell wrote on April 9th, 2012
  14. Buying all or part of a cow is the way to go. We found a great farm, close enough that they’ll deliver to us for $20. We’re splitting a whole with my brother and it comes out to be about $3.50/lb. We often can’t get conventional ground beef for that at the grocery store. Sure it’s a lot of money upfront, but saves soooo much overall and saves time by limiting how often i have to go grocery shopping. I haven’t done the math, but i know deep freezers can be as cheap as $100, so even if you bought a freezer you’d probably still save money overall.

    Emily wrote on April 7th, 2011
  15. $3 per lb in Portland? That’s great.

    Here in Virginia Beach, I saw $10 per lb for frozen grass fed ground beef.

    Robert wrote on April 7th, 2011
  16. Very good article. Most beef calves will never consume milk replacer though… although most dairy calves will. Agree totally about the feedlot pens becoming nothing more than a big manure puddle… it’s downright disgusting! Grass Fed Beef is certainly the best way to go… healthier on both the cattle & the consumer. Just be sure to find a beef producer who knows what they are doing. It takes the right genetics (this is the often the most neglected), the right grazing program, fertile soil & a minimum of about 20 months to produce the very best quality grass fed beef. Above all, visit their operation if can.

    Been raising & consuming grass fed beef for a few years, but just getting started with the Primal lifestyle. Already lost 18 lbs. in just 2 weeks with more energy than ever! Thanks & keep up the good work!

    TJ wrote on April 7th, 2011
  17. sigh…i ve just been researching grass fed beef local sources – i keep seeing posts like the one above where folks end up paying 3 -5 bucks a lb but the prices i am getting are 8-10 bucks a lb buying half the cow – i unfortunately can’t afford that right now so i appreciate the 3 alternatives.

    barb wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Where are you located? I haven’t looked into all the in’s & out’s of shipping it yet, but I am sure that something could be worked out. Plenty of grass fed producers who sell quality grass fed beef in 1/4′s or 1/2′s for $5 or less & probably one fairly close to you.

      TJ wrote on April 7th, 2011
  18. Great info. That’s always been on my mind. And I love this:

    “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

    The mindset of “well, since I can’t have a perfectly perfect diet, I’m just going to eat crap” seems rampant.

    I’ll take “good” over the average American diet any day.

    Danielle wrote on April 7th, 2011
  19. I’ve only got 1 acre in front. If I could I would fence it in for one cow. Got chickens in the back, would love to have another food source on the micro farm.

    Poppabear wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • IMHO, I would not try a full sized animal, but you could easily finish a Lowline Angus steer or a mini Hereford steer on one acre of grass. Depending upon where you are located (growth rate of the pasture & size of the steers), you could probably even finish 2 of those type of steers on 1 acre with rotational grazing. Lowline Angus are the size Angus cattle used to be 50-100 years ago. Mini Herfords are typically even smaller than the older model Herefords. Most full Lowline Angus cows are only about 700-800 lbs. mature & most will marble well on only pasture. They are ideal for micro farming. The only downside to finishing a steer yourself on “only pasture” is that it typically will take you approx. 20-26 months to get them properly “finished”. But, most good things do take time, yet, they are well worth the wait.

      TJ wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • We have a breeder who’s finishing their lowline steers at 18-20 months. They’re averaging 375-425 hanging, which is much better than buying a whole ‘traditional size’ steer.

        Lazy G Lowlines wrote on September 5th, 2011
      • Don’t forget Dexter cattle, which are traditionally small.

        Robert Worstell wrote on April 9th, 2012
    • What about a pig? They fatten up pretty fast, and you can feed it all sorts of scraps.
      Are you raising chickens for meat? I have laying hens and ducks, but I’m considering adding meat birds too someday.

      lucy wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • It’s a great combination to have chickens and a ruminant (cow, lamb, etc.) on the same land – let the chickens follow along and clean up the worms and spread the poop. On your front acre, you could try portable electric fencing if you don’t want permanent fencing. It’s a great way to build the fertility of your soil also.

      Sarah wrote on April 8th, 2011
    • I appreciate this information. My dream is to have a small farm that will at least sustain my family. I never knew how feasible some it was. Who knew there were minis?

      Lara wrote on June 22nd, 2011
    • Check out Lowline angus! perfect for small acreage

      M Hansen wrote on September 3rd, 2011
  20. With no local sources, I drive 90 minutes round-trip to the closest Whole Foods store once a month to buy all of our meat. I load coolers in the trunk to keep them cool. I just freeze it all and use it up. It’s worth it for my family of 4!

    Karen wrote on April 7th, 2011
  21. For those of you in Northern California, I’ve been extremely happy with Morris GrassFed Beef near San Juan Bautista. About $6.30/lb. Half a beef will fit in one small freezer in the garage (about $100 on sale) with some in the house side-by-side freezer.

    Kathleen wrote on April 7th, 2011
  22. Here in MN we’re lucky enough to have several meat only CSA’s that deliver to the Twin Cities and do the farmers markets.

    My favorite delivers year round to a drop off just 2 miles from my house. Beef, lamb, eggs, chicken and happily they just added pork as well.
    A quarter beef from them is about $540 for the quarter and processing, so usable meat ends up being $5.80 a pound, less if you get the bones and organs as well.

    My gluten intolerance extends to the meat I eat as well. I’ve had a couple times where I’ve eaten conventionally raised meat for a week straight and couldn’t figure out why my gluten signals were going off – finally tied it back to the meat because I’d been gluten free otherwise.

    Kethry wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • According to this thread and others at this site http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/32303-grain-fed-beef/ and other threads here there is no gluten in grain fed beef. Something else must be setting off your gluten signals.

      Lynna wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Oh, can you share the name? I’m in MN too and looking for a good meat CSA!

      jeepifer wrote on April 13th, 2011
      • I’m wondering the same thing. I live in the Twin Cities and have been primal since last June. Huge difference in my life. But really want to pursue large quantity of grass fed beef.

        Andrew wrote on April 13th, 2011
        • Jeepifer and Andrew -

          I’m going in on a whole grassfed cow from a local farm through with CrossFit Minneapolis gym. Email me if you are interested – I think we still have 2 quarters left. They also do a pig share if you are interested.

          Cheers-
          Casey

          Casey wrote on April 17th, 2011
    • I’m in the Twin Cities. Been about 70% primal since last June. Down 25 pounds and feeling great. But I digress…

      To what meat only CSA’s are you referring and where/what Farmer’s markets can they be found?

      Andrew wrote on April 13th, 2011
    • Hi Kethry,

      My husband and I sell grass-fed beef in the Chicagoland area, we are located 50 miles NW of the city. I see that you belong to a beef only CSA, will you send me your CSA providers program or website, we are interested in offering a beef only CSA program, the information can be helpful in creating our own program. I have a lot of info on vegetable CSAs, but minimal on beef only.

      One more thing, why do you like the beef only CSA program you are participating in?

      Your information and assistance is greatly appreciated!

      thank you, fran

      fran morgan wrote on April 13th, 2011
  23. My husband and I live in a condo in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We eat (almost) completely primal and (almost) completely natural. We get beef ($2.60/lb), pork ($2.00/lb), various poultry, bison, fish, lamb, and venison from various local farmers who raise their animals as naturally as possible. We also get produce, nuts, honey, cheese, etc. from local individuals.

    At first it was a lot of work to find what we wanted at the prices we wanted to pay, but now it is as easy as picking up the phone and placing an order, then getting the food when it is ready. Most of the farmers who produce such high-quality goods are in it for more than the money and will do their best to make their product accessible to everyone. I get 17 dozen eggs delivered to my house weekly; 15 dozen are picked up by other families who pay $3/dozen, and my 2 dozen are free in exhange for providing business and a drop off point. In the spring my husband and I spend a Saturday working at our CSA farm in exchange for a discount on the season’s share. Certain natural things, like honey, can be purchased at a grocery store, but we will pay 1/2 the amount to get it directly from a supplier.

    When we go to a grocery store it is only for milk (hubby) and almond milk (me). What an amazing feeling! I pass the people in line with carts piled high with junk and want to invite them for supper so they can taste food the way it should be!

    Sure, it’s hard at first, but anyone can do it. All obstacles can be overcome with a bit of ingenuity. (We “rent” a deep freeze in the basement of a nearby home in exchange for cutting the grass once a week during the summer.) Put in the effort, reap the amazing benefits, and you will never go back!

    P.S. We spend $250-$300 a month on all food-related expenses. It doesn’t have to break the bank :)

    Shann wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Shann;

      I live in the same city, and although I’ve been sourcing local beef, pork and eggs, it’s been more than what you’re paying. I’d love to find out where your sources are! I did get in on a summer CSA for this year, but missed out on the work share option, might be the same place.

      Greensprout wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • Absolutely. Send me an email at shanncavey@live.ca and I can write out a quick list.

        Shann wrote on April 8th, 2011
        • Can you send me a list also please. Have been looking to fine better meats and eggs

          roni wrote on September 25th, 2011
    • I commend you for your creativity in lowering your costs in exchange for your labor… good for you!

      Sarah wrote on April 8th, 2011
    • Just wanted to give a shoutout. My wife and I are Paleo Peeps that live 25min south of the city near Steinbach!

      Brenden wrote on June 1st, 2011
    • I also live in Winnipeg. Will you share the places you get your eggs and meat please.

      roni wrote on September 25th, 2011
  24. My wife runs a veterinary hospital and animals are a big part of our lives. For no other reason than respect for their sacrifice do we eat the best-raised meat we can find. They should be happy while they are alive, we feel.

    To me, I find that once you factor in buying in bulk (many grass-fed suppliers have packs to meet any needs, and $6-$8/lb for grass-fed steaks, roasts, and ground beef is a pretty good deal), using cheaper cuts and organs, and the money you save by NOT buying empty calorie drinks, snacks, desserts, etc. it works out to not be as big of a sticker shock as people fear.

    Kris wrote on April 7th, 2011
  25. Awesome post. Thanks for covering sustainable meat economics here, Mark! I am all about that.

    I pay about $5.50/single pound ground at my farmers market and get about the same through my CSA this summer. FYI (this is rural appalachia)

    Ada wrote on April 7th, 2011
  26. I know it’s funny, but sometimes I wake up dreaming about steak. Just picked up a ribeye from Trader Joe’s–organic, raised without antibiotics, etc., that pan-fryed up wonderfully. Cost $10, but it was large enough that I made it into two meals. Sometimes when I can splurge, I’ll go to Whole Foods (a/k/a Whole Paycheck) for some grass fed/finished beef or steak, but when the budget is more stringent, a regular steak from the local supermarket will do. Gotta love steak!

    Kim wrote on April 7th, 2011
  27. I am happy to say I just bought a quarter of beef (122 lbs. with offal included) this Tuesday! The total came out to about $3.08 a pound. There are many reasons why I chose to get some grass fed, even though there is a higher upfront cost and more legwork.

    I get to help support local farmers and the local economy.

    I get to actually see where my food comes from.

    I get more nutritious, better-tasting food.

    I support an operation that ensures its livestock are healthy and happy till the day they die (which is very good for my conscience), AND that supports a healthier ecosystem in the form of open-range pasture maintained and nourished by cattle.

    Plus, it’s cheaper!

    If you can get grass-fed beef, by all means DO IT! But don’t sweat it if you can’t. It took me a while before I could secure my quarter cow, and sometimes you just have to realize that circumstances are out of your hands, and you’ve got to do the best you can.

    Thanks for the informative and inspiring post, as always, Mark.

    Adam R wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • I just got 121 lbs front quarter myself. Worked out to be $2.59/lbs. It was a three hour drive each direction for us, so about $3.01/lbs with gas included (adjusted for local gas prices now, $3.25/lbs).

      Our local supermarket offers beef specials at $2.50/lbs and buy one get one free. After eating grass fed for a month now, no thanks – I like my grass fed!

      Our next plan is to save up an get a half once we have eaten our freezer down, or get 1/4 beef and 1/2 a pig from the farm we are buying from (which is most likely the route we will take).

      I work with people that say they hate the taste of grass fed; I tell them they need to cleanse their taste buds for a while and then try again and understand what beef is SUPPOSED to taste like. Lamb too.

      Tesen wrote on April 11th, 2011
  28. Wondering if anyone has found a steakhouse that serves grass-fed beef. I’ve been able to get a good local supplier but its been for naught when dining out . .

    Craig wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Tom Colicchio’s steak house, “Craftsteak” uses grass-fed beef… the Vegas location is AWESOME.

      He’s also an amazing celebrity chef, so the service ambiance, and food are pretty much to die for.

      Danielle wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • I did an investigation on Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak in Foxwoods. It turned out they had mislabeled grass-fed beef on their menu for a while. I called them and brought it to their attention and they got upset at me. They refused to change their menu until I made an in-depth video on them. They later thanked me for catching their typo.It wasn’t a typo until I called them out. They blamed Foxwoods for their mislabeled menu. They even blamed their sales rep. It was everyone’s fault but theirs. Buyer beware in restaurants. It happens all the time. I am so frustrated that I made a truth in menu website that calls out these chefs for deception.

        Marcus wrote on May 19th, 2013
    • Depends on where you live. I know there are a few restaurants in and around San Francsico that do. Not necessarily steakhouses, but you you can get a good steak at a nice restaurant regardless.

      Medallion Steakhouse in Burlingame does. It’s a decent place, pricey but nice. I do not know anything about the source of the beef, though – whether it’s grass finished, local or NZ, etc.

      Kris wrote on April 7th, 2011
  29. While grass-fed and grain-fed beef may not be severely different on nutritional grounds as far as we know it, it’s still important to take into account that we don’t know everything there is to know about nutrition. There may be nutrients absent in grain-fed beef and abundant in grass-fed beef that we have yet to identify. And what about the *nature* of the nutrients we already know about? Could we be more able to utilize the minerals in one and not the others?

    Still, a good article with sound points.

    Benjamin wrote on April 7th, 2011
  30. I think it was Freakonomics that goes into how much methane is polluting our world far more than the entire transport environment put together… I think it was that book. Don’t quote me!

    Johnny Palmer wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • from – http://www.redmeatgreenfacts.com.au/Myth-Bust

      “While the livestock industry makes a significant contribution to methane emissions, livestock emissions are only one contributor to methane levels in the last decade. Other contributors are wetlands, termites, fossil fuel use, landfill and industrial processes.

      Livestock farming also helps to absorb carbon emissions through sequestration – the ability of plants, shrubs, grass and soil to store carbon.

      A worldwide analysis on the effects of land management on soil carbon showed that comparing forests and well-managed pastures there is, on average, about 8 per cent more soil carbon under well-managed pasture than under native forests.

      It is also important to note that atmospheric methane concentrations have remained relatively stable since 2000, despite significant increases in livestock numbers globally.”

      Peter Ballerstedt wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • um, you do realize that website you just quoted is written by the meat industry, don’t you? I would hardly point to them for fair and balanced information.

        Denise wrote on May 12th, 2011
    • There are some recent studies showing that under intensely-managed grazing (moved every day, concentrated numbers in pastures) cattle can actually help pastures sequester more carbon than is emitted.

      Also, corn-fed beef creates more gas unless very well balanced – as it’s quite acidic to cattle’s stomachs. Feed lots don’t sequester much of anything.

      Robert Worstell wrote on April 9th, 2012
  31. Can you say more about the chickens having Omega-6? Is this because of how they are raised? If the chicken is free-range, would the Omega-6/3 ratio be balanced enough to be healthy eating?

    What are your thoughts on duck, goose and swan? The 1950′s toxicity tests classed those 3 birds as “clean” meats, but I found them to be very greasy, and minimal meat for the size of the bird.

    Timothy Webster wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • I know Soy does to chicken, what grain does to cows….very bad.
      And I just found out that the big chested chicken (organically raised on organic “non-gmo” soy (so they claim but it’s a lie) is actually a genetically modified chicken.

      I asked my local grass farmer about it and he assured me it’s totally true.
      True chicken look like roadrunners. Long skinny chest with long and strong leg bones and giant feet.

      Suvetar wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • The usual, large-breasted chicken is a Cornish Cross – a cross between 2 breeds, and I don’t think it is genetically modified – it is specifically bred for the meaty growth. We raise pastured Cornish Cross and try to avoid corn and soy completely because of the GMO factor. Although they were originally bred for the confined, crowded poultry houses, they still love to get out in the sunshine, chase bugs, play, and make happy sounds. Heritage breeds tend to have less meat and a stronger frame – but are not necessarily “truer” chickens.

        Sarah wrote on April 8th, 2011
        • Cornish Crosses are not genetically modified, but it’s not a cross between those two breeds despite the name of the bird. They use male and female lines specially bred to cross to make the chicks and the lines themselves are proprietary. You can’t just go out and buy the parent lines. It’s a very specialized industry that way.

          Jennifer wrote on April 8th, 2011
  32. Far and away the best beef I ever ate was bull meat from an animal that spent its entire life in a pasture. (The only time it left the pasture was the two hour trip to the butcher.) The meat was dark red, the fat was yellow, and the flavor was amazing. I’ve tried a couple of times since then to acquire pastured bull meat but the producers, one of whom is a friend, look at me as though I’m nuts.

    According to several books I’ve read, our Native American brethren preferred bull buffalo meat to cow, heifer, or calf. (In season that is. Just prior to and during rut, the meat would be less than ideal.)

    Phocion Timon wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • Not to be pedantic or anything, but every tribal group I’ve ever been in contact with strongly prefers “Indian” to “Native American”.

      mixie wrote on April 7th, 2011
  33. If you live around Chicago, you can get grass fed beef delivered to the Chicago area 3-4 times a year from Flying S Beef in Central Illinois. They charge $3.75 a pound, hanging weight, for grass-fed beef bought by the ¼ side, and a modest delivery charge. It works out to about $4.50 a pound or so when you take the hanging weight and delivery charge into account. They also have chickens, and the chickens are awesome!!!

    And they are really nice.

    Duncan wrote on April 7th, 2011
  34. 90% of the meat, fish, and fowl my family consumes is wild harvest. This takes a considerable amount of time and physical stamina, it’s worth it and we do it as a family. We’re city dwellers in Southern California; my wife is a school teacher (LAUSD) and I’m a Marketing Projects Manager for a lighting manufacturer. We live for the weekends in the outdoors and make the most of family vacations hunting and/or fishing; most recently a wild goat and pig hunt in Hawaii. We’re in the middle of spring turkey season – keeping my fingers crossed. All the beef in our freezer is Novy Ranch Grass-Fed. Dr. Novy is a great guy and I feel fortunate to know him.

    Bryan Tanger wrote on April 7th, 2011
  35. Well done, Mark. Thanks for this post and for all you do.

    Perhaps you’ll find some interesting information in these posts:

    http://grassbasedhealth.blogspot.com/2010/12/whats-limiting-factor.html

    http://grassbasedhealth.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-conventional-wisdom.html

    Regards,

    Peter Ballerstedt
    Grass Based Health

    Peter Ballerstedt wrote on April 7th, 2011
  36. I’m delighted to say that we had our first (probably since I was a kid, anyway) grass fed Wyoming beef rump roast last night and it was DEEELISH!!! Super tasty served cold for lunch with a bit of mayo/mustard. yum.

    We live in Wyoming where health food stores are pretty much unheard of. Well, we have a couple here but they sell mostly vitamins.

    so where’s the beef? I’m sure you’re all familiar with the name “Sackett” (as in in the Louis L’Amour books and the movie). Weeelll.

    One of their descendants has moved back home and opened Sackett’s market. Seems the original Sackett was a storekeeper out in Big Horn and the Big Horn Mercantile was started by him. Anyhoo. Said descendent and wife are big on good REAL food and I make it a weekly trip to drool over the meat case, buy heavenly cheeses and their own roast beef and ham.

    Anyway. Two thumbs up (or is that 2 forks and 2 knives) for some might good eatin’!

    Darleen wrote on April 7th, 2011
  37. What about bison?

    The Davis, CA co-op almost always has *some* bison for sale, and sometimes has a wide variety, depending on — I dunno, demand, supply, something.

    It’s hard to imagine that bison are “finished” on grain in feedlots, but in 2011 who knows.

    danthelawyer wrote on April 7th, 2011
    • I was at a restaurant the other day (in CO), and the menu boasted “grain-fed bison.”

      Dawn wrote on April 7th, 2011
      • I’ve seen that too.. meat being advertised as “grain-fed”… I don’t get why they’d point that out.. I had to read it twice, thinking they had meant to put “grass-fed”..

        The Primalist wrote on April 7th, 2011
  38. A beautiful and informative post, Mark. Thank you! I enjoyed reading how you watched cows roam free among the grasses, one of my favorite things to do each day. We have a wild mixture of cattle, not the norm up here, but I consider my cattle smarter than the “average” bovine. They seem to follow a regular daily schedule and I love watching how the herd will place three or four “babysitters” among the calves while rest of the mothers go down to the creek for a drink. I do think the quality of their lives (and all animals we eat) should be considered, and I am sure it is reflected in their meat. I am happy knowing that my cows and bulls are happy, and I think that’s probably how it is supposed to be!

    Thank you for reminding us that perfection should not get in the way of being good, I think that’s one of the most important tenants of living according to the Primal Blueprint.

    Well, I’m off to cook a grass-fed and finished beef roast!

    Sara wrote on April 7th, 2011
  39. Mark,

    As a grass-fed farmer in Fl I think it is important to note that many of the proven health benefits of grass-fed beef can be completely wiped out by feeding grain even if it is for a short time at the end of the animals life.

    Jim wrote on April 7th, 2011
  40. Not sure where you are getting your information on selenium, but if you are in an area that is naturally selenium deficient, it doesn’t matter if the animal is grass fed or not, it will be selenium deficient. There are large areas of the country that simply don’t have a lot of selenium in the soil. If you want to know about your area, talk to your local Cooperative Extension office in the US. This isn’t because of depletion by cropping, the mineral simply has never been there in great amounts in those soils.

    Other than that, hell, yes! Grass fed. One thing no one seems to mention so much is that the beef from the supermarkets is tasteless. Same as the pork. No flavour. If you want good meat, you get pastured meats. For that reason alone I raise my own beef.

    Jennifer wrote on April 7th, 2011

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