For years, we have heard about the benefits of grass fed beef and how much better it is than grain-fed beef. The reality is: it isn't. It's all a matter of preference, taste and whatever you choose to believe. This is why Meat N' Bone offers beef from both grain fed and grass fed beef.
The only thing that we can certainly tell is that there is a LARGE disconnect between consumers and producers of beef in terms of knowledge. Which is why we write posts like this.
Is Grass Fed Beef Better Than Grain Fed?
Grass fed beef can be extremely rich in flavor. It is lean, and some studies claim it offers more vitamin A and E, as well as Omega 3 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Other studies say the opposite and the reality is, if you want Vitamin A, E or Omega-3, you could do much better than beef. Other foods such as plant-based foods or Salmon will add much more Omega-3 and vitamins to your diet. So it doesn't make sense to choose your cut of beef exclusively on its omega 3 content.
It is also difficult hard to define what grass fed actually is since nearly all cattle spend a portion of their lives on free range grazing. The typical steer or heifer raised for beef in the US will be slaughtered at 24 months of age. The final finishing portion in which the steer is fed a diet high in corn and other grains is usually for just the last three or four months. Up until then, it was almost all grass. Also, inside the feedlot they get fed a lot of hay, so basically any US beef could make a 90% grass fed claim and be pretty honest.
At Meat N' Bone, we don't really believe in all the claims for and against grass or grain fed beef. We find both extremely tasty!
Our recommendation? Don't buy into the hyperbole and don't justify your beef-eating habits. Buy whatever you think tastes better.
At the end of the day, perhaps comparing Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed is the wrong way to look at it. The world isn't black and white and most cattle is fed a mix of both grain and grass.
If you put a grass fed and a grain fed steak side by side, you will see a big difference in look. Grain finished beef will have significantly more marbling while Grass fed beef will be leaner. Just like humans, if cattle eat salad, they will be skinnier and leaner. If they eat grains, they will be fat. The feed will yield a different flavor. You just need to find out what you like.
In this video we compared NY Strip Steaks, Grain vs Grass Fed:
This is the reason grass fed beef requires extra care when cooking; steaks can be chewier than what you’re used to and could benefit from shorter cooking times or marinades.
Both are rich in nutrients and full of flavor, so buy whatever you prefer!