Knowing where our food comes from has always been an upmost importance to us. What we eat reflects the quality of life we live. But just as what we eat is important, it is also matters what the food we eat, ate.
The way cows are fed can influence the nutrition composition of the beef. With more grass-fed beef readily available in supermarkets, this has spark the debate between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. So what is the difference?
Grass-fed beef are cattle that feed on grass pastures throughout their lives (and are not “finished” on a diet of grains and supplements for rapid weight gain). Grain-fed beef are cows that may have started out on pastures, but move to feedlots where they are fed a mixture of grains which consists of corn, soy, grains, and other supplements like hormones and antibiotics.
Let’s compare the meat quality, nutrition profile, and quality of life.
Grass fed beef have a leaner and juicier meat that is dark maroon colour with a beefy flavour. Grain-fed beef have a fattier and greasy texture with a pinkish colour and a buttery flavour.
Can you tell which is which?
Because grass-fed beef is leaner, it is lower in calories, contains two to five times higher in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, micronutrients likes iron and zinc, and about twice the amount of conjugated linoleum acid (CLA) which is known to help fight cancer.
However this doesn’t mean that grain-fed beef is “unhealthier”, but rather has a lower nutritional profile as compared to grass-fed beef. In fact red meat is nutritious and loaded with Vitamins B12, B3, and B6, high protein and various nutrients like creatine and carnosine, which are important for muscles and brains.
Quality Of Life
Cows are ruminants which means they are evolved to eat grass. They even have four stomaches to digest the grass to get the best nutrients from it. With the large demand for beef these days, most farmers choose to feed their cows with grain in feedlots as it bulks the cow faster (this makes them ready for the market sooner) and are often given hormones and antibiotics due to the unsanitary conditions they live in.
Grass-fed beef can be said it is better in terms of organic agriculture. If the cattle are rotated properly between pastures, cattle can actually help the grass to grow faster, and is more environmentally friendly and cost effective.
Despite all the controversies in beef nutrition, the best thing to keep in mind is to eat real food that eats real food.
Introducing our range of grass-fed beef from our newest supplier, Cape Grim. Featured on the Paleo Way with Australia’s celebrated chef, Pete Evans, Cape Grim is a pristine environment situated in North West Tasmania and has the title as the world’s purest air and rainfall. This makes it the ideal environment for beef production. Labelling themselves as grass farmers first before cattle farmers, their farmers grow the lushest grass pastures for their cattle to feed on as they range freely across paddocks - they natural way of raising cattle.