What's the Difference Between Grassfed, Grass-finished, and Grainfed Beef
Grassfed, grass-finished, and grainfed beef all refer to the diet of the cows that produced the meat. The diet of cows can have a significant impact on the nutritional value, flavor, and texture of the beef. Here's a breakdown of the differences between these three types of beef:
Grassfed beef: Grassfed beef comes from cows that have been raised on a diet of grass and other forages, such as hay and silage. These cows are typically raised on pasture and may be given access to a small amount of supplemental feed, such as minerals or vitamins, to ensure their nutritional needs are met. Grassfed beef is generally leaner and has a more intense flavor than grainfed beef. It is also higher in certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Grass-finished beef: Grass-finished beef comes from cows that have been raised on a diet of grass and forages for their entire lives. These cows are not given any grains or other supplements, making them the most "natural" option in terms of diet. Like grassfed beef, grass-finished beef is leaner and has a more intense flavor than grainfed beef. It is also higher in nutrients like omega-3s and CLA.
Grainfed beef: Grainfed beef comes from cows that have been raised on a diet that includes grains, such as corn and soybeans, in addition to grass and forages. These cows may also be given supplements to ensure their nutritional needs are met. Grainfed beef is generally higher in fat and has a softer, more tender texture than grassfed or grass-finished beef. It is also typically less expensive than the other two types of beef.
When it comes to local beef, it's important to consider where the cows were raised and what they were fed. Grassfed, grass-finished, and grainfed beef can all be found at local farms and markets, depending on the farming practices of the area. Choosing local beef can support small farmers and help reduce the environmental impact of transportation. It's also a great way to get fresher, more flavorful beef that is better for you and the planet.