You’ve heard ‘grass-fed’ on tv, online and in the grocery store. However what walk that average for livestock that aren’t grass-fed? are they eat dead bugs? Tree bark? What is in your bellies if no grass?

Well, it’s not really that much of a mystery because virtually ALL cattle spend many of their lives grazing ~ above grass or eating some form of forage (hay, silage etc). The difference in between grass-finished and grain-finished cattle is what lock eat the last 3-5 months of their life.

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Nearly all livestock eat grass most of your life.

Grass-finished cattle will invest their entirety life grazing and also will generally reach slaughter load (~1200-1300 lbs) at approximately 17-19 months of age. Grain-finished cattle, on the other hand, spend many of their resides (roughly 75%) top top grass or eating hay but spend the critical 3-5 months of their stays in a feedyard wherein they will certainly eat a specially formulated ration of hay, grain, vitamins and minerals until they with a slaughter weight of 1200-1300 lbs. However, grain-finished livestock consume feed with much more energy and protein, for this reason they room able to reach slaughter weight more quickly than grass-finished cattle, generally around 14-16 months of age. This can vary based on the producer’s decision on as soon as to ship the cattle however it’s a good benchmark for those unfamiliar with the beef industry. An additional difference in between the two types of beef is the taste – grain-finished beef tastes various than grass-finished. No necessarily better or worse however different. I have eaten A the majority of grain-finished beef but I have also done a fair little of traveling approximately the civilization to locations where cattle are strictly grass-finished. I favor grain-finished beef, but I expect that is what i have consumed 99.999% of the moment so it’s what I’m provided to – various other consumers might prefer the grass-finished flavor. It’s all around your preference – just know the it’s all safe and also healthy, nevertheless of how it was finished.


Now that you understand that grass and also hay are part of every cow’s diet (it has to be, cattle NEED forage because that survival) let’s get down to the brass tacks of the cattle business. The beef. Below are the facts behind these 2 different, yet equally as nutritious and safe, varieties of beef for your plate.

Grass-Finished Beef

Cattle invest their totality lives eat grass or forageIs an excellent source the 10 essential vitamins and also nutrients (zinc, iron, protein, B6 & B12 – simply to surname a few)Half the fat in grass-finished beef is monounsaturated fat (the an excellent kind favor in avocados and olive oil)Can be organic, organic or traditionally produced

Grain-Finished Beef

Cattle spend the majority of their stays eating grass or forage; as soon as they come at the feedyard they continue eating hay and forage, along with grains.Is fantastic source of 10 important vitamins and also nutrients (zinc, iron, protein, B6 & B12 – just to surname a few)Half the fat in grain-finished beef is monounsaturated fat (the an excellent kind choose in avocados and also olive oil)Can it is in organic, natural or conventionally produced

So girlfriend see, the only far-ranging way in i beg your pardon grass-finished beef and also grain-finished beef differ is the last few months of their lives. Ns hope as soon as it’s laid the end this way, you deserve to feel comfortable supporting all beef producers – even if it is they advanced their livestock on grass/hay 100% of the moment or if they select to supplement their livestock with grain.

Now, as a reader request, we’re going to talk around how cattle grade. Much more specifically their high quality grade and also what that way to us as beef lovers and eaters.

When i say quality grade I’m talking around a grade provided to the carcass of one animal, based upon palatability the meat (tenderness, juiciness and also flavor). Some of the determinants that go into this decision space meat color, texture, maturity, firmness and the distribution of marbling. Ahhh, sweet marbling – aka intramuscular fat. A certified USDA meat grader (that is a genuine job) will evaluate the amount and distribution the the marbling in the ribeye muscle the a carcass to help determine the high quality grade (because marbling is no the only factor, together I pointed out earlier).

There are three main quality grades you probably notification in the marketplace – prime, choice and select. There are course breakdowns within this grades however for clarity and also length purposes, I’m just going to talk about the in its entirety grade.

Prime beef is from young well-fed cattle. The meat has abundant marbling and also is generally uncovered in upscale restaurants and also hotels (Morton’s, Del Frisco’s, Ruth’s Chris, etc). This roasts and also steaks are good for grilling and also are an extremely tender and juicy.

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Choice beef is tho high quality but has much less marbling 보다 prime beef. This meat will certainly be juicy and tender, very comparable to prime beef, and also is very great when grilled or dry-heat cooked.

Select beef is normally leaner (less marbling) 보다 its fancier an option and element cousins. It’s still relatively tender but may no be together juicy so i would highly recommend marinating it before cooking. Here’s a great one to try!