Grass-Fed Beef Facts

The growth in the grass-fed beef movement has arisen out of ranchers’ desire to improve the quality of life for their animals, their employees and the people that eat their meat. In the last twenty years, a select group of ranchers have chosen to send their animals out to well-managed pastures to graze on high-quality organic grasses rather than to a commercial feedlot, where they are fattened on grain, soy, by-product foodstuffs, supplements, antibiotics and hormones. These ranchers have embraced the “grass-fed” philosophy and consumers are quickly following suit.

Grass-fed and grass-finished beef is from animals that have never eaten anything other than their mother’s milk and grass their entire lives. They are not given hormones or growth-promoted additives and are allowed to grow at a natural pace, living low-stress, healthy lives.

As a result, the meat you consume is far healthier than feedlot meat. Meat from grass-fed beef has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. It is rich in omega-3 acids, which are linked to blood pressure reduction and healthy brain function. Grass-fed meat is higher in CLAs, one of our most potent defenses against cancer, and boasts more vitamin E and beta-carotene than feedlot beef.

This philosophy is far different than that embraced by the factory farming industry. Animals fattened in feedlots, known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), incur endless stress and abuse. They can become afflicted with a variety of disorders, including subacute acidosis, a painful condition that causes them to kick at their bellies, lose their appetite and eat dirt. In reaction, the animals are given chemical additives and antibiotics.

Also, animals raised in CAFOs are given diets designed to boost their productivity, featuring hormones, animal proteins, genetically modified grain and soy and can even be given feed that contains by-product foodstuffs including municipal garbage, stale pastry, chicken feathers and candy.

These animals also deposit large amounts of waste in a small amount of space. The manure must be collected, transported and dumped, causing ground and water pollution. Further pollution is caused by the gasoline- and diesel-powered equipment used to farm commercial grains.

The cost of factory farming convenience and slightly lower prices can be easily summarized as follows:

* Animal stress
* Animal abuse
* Environmental pollutants
* Hormone, antibiotic and by-product foodstuffs additives passed on to the consumer
* Low-paid, difficult farm work
* Food with higher fat and less nutritional value

The choice to eat grass-fed beef is a choice to improve the welfare of the animals; decrease air, land and water pollution; aid family ranchers in their quest to provide a better product; and feed your family a superior, delicious and more nutritious food.