Is grass-fed beef worth the premium price?

by Rich Coffman

I have made many improvements in my nutrition over the last year. Like most health oriented people, my goal is simple: to eat the best quality food possible. This article dives into the reasons why grass-fed beef is a healthier choice that is worth the premium price.

I had heard many times that grass-fed beef is better than conventional grain-fed beef. Initially, despite being told that it was more nutritious, I was not willing to fork up and pay more. I thought to myself, "meat is meat, it all tastes delicious to me."

When I began fine tuning which foods I put in my body to optimize my diet, I decided to take another look at grass-fed and did a little research.

Why is Grass-fed More Expensive?
Price is a big factor when considering grass-fed beef. I think it's important to understand why grass-fed is more expensive to get a better understanding of its true quality. Is grass-fed more pricey because it is more nutrient rich?

I’ve found that grass-fed meat’s added value is derived from the extra time and space. The life of modern day, conventional grain-fed cattle is different on all fronts from grass-fed cattle. The only similarity is that they both end up on the dinner plate.

Big Beef
Conventional feedlot operations are designed to put weight on cattle as fast as possible. The cattle are fed a dense mix of grains and... other things, which packs the pounds on faster than normal pasture grazing. Grass-fed ranchers choose to let the cattle grow and put on weight naturally. After all, good things come to those who wait.

The rapid weight gain that is standard operating procedure for feedlot cattle is good for revenue, but not good for the animals’ health or quality of life. The lifespan of a feedlot cow is much shorter, with operations regularly slaughtering animals just after their first year. Factory cattle operations generate revenue based on quantity, not quality. Large volumes of cattle are the only way to make a profit. In general, the principle of quality gets shelved.

Grass-fed cattle, on the other hand, have more time and space to fatten up naturally, commonly up to an extra year. This time and care plays into the price of grass-fed beef, as the ranchers of grass-fed cattle have higher expenses in maintaining the land, paying the mortgage and taxes on their vast grasslands which are required for a healthy and vibrant herd to graze.

Better Nutrients
If you’ve ever done any research for yourself you’ve likely discovered that grass-fed is more nutritious. While there are many benefits, I’ve highlighted those that I feel are most important.

Vitamins and Minerals
Grass-fed beef is rich in vitamins and minerals, more so than feedlot beef. This has been proven by a number of studies including one by the USDA and Clemson University and published in the Journal of Animal Science in 2009. Briefly, this is what they found:

  • Grass-fed beef usually has up to 7 or 8 mcg/gram of Vitamin E compared to 1 to 2 mcg/gram in grain-fed beef
  • Grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene. It is also higher in riboflavin and thiamine, common B Vitamins
  • Grass-fed beef shows a higher content of potassium, magnesium and calcium

CLA
Grass-fed beef is an excellent protein source for Conjugated Lineolic Acid (CLA). CLA has been shown to improve the body's immune system. The presence of CLA has also been correlated with the reduction in risk of obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Omega-3 Fats
Studies show that depending on conditions, grass-fed beef can contain between 2 and 7 times the amount of omega-3s compared to commodity beef. Grass-fed offers a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids as well.

Throughout history, man's intake of omega-6 and omega-3 was naturally at a ratio of 2:1. Since the Industrial Revolution, the ratio has been skewed upwards to approximately 15:1. The consumption of grass-fed beef offers a better ratio of these bioactive fats.

That said, all beef is very low in total PUFA, so while this part of the total equation is something to be aware of, your best approach is to reduce the amount of things you eat with high total PUFA and especially high omega-6 fats. Replace those foods in your diet with grassfed beef and you'll reduce both total PUFA and omega-6.

Bacteria
When cattle eat grass and other plants (as they were meant to), their immune systems stay strong. With a stronger immune system, grass-fed cattle have less E. coli in their system compared to their grain-fed counterparts, meaning people eating grass-fed beef are less likely to succumb to bacterial infection from E. coli.

A study at Cornell University by Francisco Diez-Gonzalez and James Russell noted that our digestive systems’ naturally occurring acids can kill E. coli from grass-fed beef far easier than beef from grain-fed cattle. Due an unnatural diet of grain, cattle for commodity beef have an abnormally high level of acidity, which E. coli become accustomed to. On occasions when that resistant E coli is passed into our body, the acid present in our system is not strong enough to kill it, increasing the likelihood for infection.

Antibiotics
There is no need for antibiotics among herds of cattle naturally grazing in open pastures. In large feedlots common with many factory farming corporations, the cattle are confined to small spaces with cattle given enough room to eat and possibly turn around. In some operations, hundreds and even thousands of cattle can be condensed to just a few acres.

Disease spreads easily in tight spaces such as this, and when conditions are unsanitary, disease can devastate a herd. To protect against the problems caused by these poor conditions, antibiotics are overused on the cattle. This overuse helps generate antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and unpredictable downstream effects.

It works like this: an introduced antibiotic will kill 99% of bacteria, but the strongest 1% of bacteria that remains has newly open real estate to multiply and spread to with no competition. The process is repeated–new antibiotics are introduced, killing most of the bacteria–and each time only the strongest of the strong survive. Drug resistant "super bugs" evolve out of this process.

Hormones
Many people might not know what exactly is in their beef, but if given the choice, most people would likely prefer meat free of synthetic growth hormones. Ranchers of grass-fed cattle typically do not use growth hormones because of their commitment to quality beef; many choose an all natural approach instead. While it’s not essential, you would be hard pressed to find grass-fed beef that is not proudly hormone free.

GMOs
The majority of grain feed for commercial cattle is now grown from GMO (genetically modified organism) crops. GMO food can be eaten directly or it can be consumed indirectly through eating GMO grain-fed beef. Despite their current popularity and overwhelming use, there have been no studies done on the long-term side effects of GMOs on the human body. There are many people against GMO use for many reasons, but that is another story altogether.

Research from France's Caen University which was published in 2012 demonstrates that rats which were fed a lifetime of genetically modified corn had a dramatically higher rate of cancer and tumors, and their lives were much shorter. Because of the unknowns and research like this, it is best to avoid ingesting anything that is genetically modified.

Safe to Say
I'm thinking grass-fed beef is worthy of its price tag. Money can be saved if it's purchased in bulk or if purchased on-site to avoid shipping expenses. In the last handful of years people have begun to wake up and understand food on a deeper level. Connections are again being drawn between the earth and the plate.

The choice was easy for me when I discovered the pitfalls of our modern day factory farms and feedlots that dominate the food industry. I support my local grass-fed beef rancher with my stomach and encourage others to do the same with theirs. From the pasture to the plate, grass-fed beef is better on all levels–it’s a full spectrum of goodness.

Rich Coffman eats and writes from the front range of Colorado. If you would like to learn more about grass fed beef please visit Teton Waters Ranch.

Comments

  1. michael says:

    I agree with all the nutrient critics of grass-fed vs conventional. Because I feel so strongly on this topic, I have budgeted in extra money for meat & dairy to be high quality, and cut back on a couple of things. When someone who is in roughly the same price income as me says they cant afford it, what they are really saying is ” i DONT want to spend more on the alternative (b/c i dont care), and I would rather spend my money elsewhere. ” It is an individualistic choice I guess, b/c on the whole, low income families do not have a choice. So massive fee lot operations will continue to feed a good portion of society, no matter how many studies come out.

    With corporations buying up all the organic farms, and turning them corporate (ie money is the bottom line), grass fed operations, especially local small farms, is one of the last places you can get some of these special minerals, hormones precursors, & vitamins.

    Conventional feed lot, grass fed, organic, etc are just sign post for grading systems & classes.
    Are you grade A, grade B, grade C
    from a monetary point of view, are you rich, middle class, poor
    as the saying goes, you are what you eat. plain and simple

  2. I agree with what has been written above. I grew up around cattle, my parents sold the ranch when I was in my 30’s. I am lucky to now live in Humboldt county, where I can buy local grass fed beef for the price of regular beef in SB/LA counties, where I lived prior to now. Another reason to eat grass fed beef, that often goes unsaid is; happy cows make better meat. Ever seen cattle on the range, in a feedlot? They act different, the “wild” ones just seem more relaxed, more happy. Until that ” black swan” day, everything is just right. I believe our food should be raised in a way that is best for our “prey”. I believe, without proof, that low stress meat, eggs, milk etc. is better for me, and society, and for our friends, our food.

  3. Gabriella Kadar says:

    I’m a stickler for detail, so it’s not ‘cows’ it’s ‘steers’. Prairie oysters and all that…. Calling it ‘mad cow disease’ is actually sexist since most of the beef brought to market as anything besides ground meat is from steers. They should call it ‘mad steer’ disease……..fehhh.

    When it comes to E. coli for sure grassfed cattle aren’t having issues since what they eat and the space in which they graze probably alters their gut bacterial profiles. It’s the same as us. People who do not consume grains have a different gut biome than people who live on pulses and grains.

    I know that wheat and pasta and other grains give me gas. That’s bacterial degradation in the intestines of whatever my own body can’t digest and absorb.

    Richard, aren’t grassfed cattle leaner than conventional feedlotted cattle? Is the meat as ‘marbled’? Also, doesn’t it take longer for grassfed steer to reach market weight than feedlot cattle?

    I don’t eat beef because I have trouble digesting it, so I don’t know.

    A while ago I did read up on lamb. Australian lamb are feedlotted. I checked because I’d bought Australian lamb at Costco and to me the flesh was bitter. New Zealand lamb is 100% grassfed and the farmers are very proud of the quality of the meat. In Ontario lamb are also fed grains to get them up to market weight.

    Recently I bought a frozen leg of New Zealand goat. It’s wonderful. But I don’t know anything about goat farming practices in New Zealand.

    I do know that removing the testicles of goats destined for market is not done for those that are for Halal. I bought a goat a couple of years ago from the Halal guys and it was disgusting. The testosterone taints the meat (as far as I’m concerned anyway). Which is why I’ve been looking into alternate sources.

    There’s mutton available here as well that is excellent. But again, I don’t know what the sheep are fed although the legs of mutton are not fatty.

    • I’ve spent the last year working for a small grass-fed ranch and of course get to eat a fair amount of it, so I thought I might clear up your question about leanness and marbling, since there seems to be a lot of erroneous hearsay stated as fact on the internet-

      Properly raised and managed grass-fed beef is well marbled. The marbling is in fact more “integrated” into the muscle tissue than on conventional beef, due to the longer timespan over which is was accumulated, and tends to be more flavorful fat as well.

      By properly raised and managed, however, I mean that the farmer rotates to a new paddock of high-quality pasture as soon as the premium forage is grazed off, and only sends animals to slaughter whose body condition indicates an optimal accumulation of bodyfat.

      The ribeyes I cooked from the farmer I work for were if anything more marbled than the ones I see at the supermarket.

      Unfortunately, there are quite a few farmers who choose to take advantage of the fact that trend-following consumers will buy anything with the “grass-fed” label on it, at a premium. So there’s plenty of grass-fed beef on the market that wasn’t kept on good pasture, or was slaughtered at the wrong time, and insanely enough there’s are even some who feed things like expired food from supermarkets and since such things are technically not feed grain, it can be labeled grass-fed.

      So you will find grass-fed beef that is mediocre in flavor, too tough, too lean, etc. and encounters with such products have led some I’ve encountered to be very dismissive of grass-fed. They’d be better off, of course, if they got to know their farmers before trashing the concept.

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      Thanks Eric. That was a very comprehensive informative comment.

      After posting my comment above, I checked around on internetland about New Zealand goat. It’s all good.

      As Dan remarked, New Zealand only has grassfed animals. Lucky climate. Sort of like Ireland except there it seems to rain an awful lot more.

  4. Richard,

    I wrote a short article about this topic and included pastured chicken, turkey, and pork too. We still supplement with wild fish, and some bacon and deli meats from our local, high-quality (read: gluten and crap free) deli, and I don’t know if this will last an entire year, but $4.44 per day is pretty cheap when you consider what people pay for coffee at a coffee shop.

    http://www.sturdyblog.blogspot.ca/2012/11/affordable-high-quality-food-1-day-is.html

  5. Keoni Galt says:

    I’ve been paying a premium for locally raised, grass fed beef for years now. But it is expensive, and times are hard. I’d like to say I exclusively eat grass fed meats, but it just isn’t possible with so many mouths to feed in the household.

    So…..

    Every week I buy about 4 lbs. of grass fed beef from my local farmer’s market- various cuts and some ground.

    I also buy grain fed beef at the grocery store from the clearance bin at least once or twice a week. With the grain fed, I usually pan fry in kerry gold butter. To me, that’s making the best of a bad situation in feeding.

    Another thing I’ll do is buy the soup bones from the grass fed ranchers at the market to make stock/broth for stews and such, while buying the cheap grain fed chuck roast or other tougher cuts. This way, we still get most of the benefits from the boiled bones of grass fed, with the protein of the lower fat, leaner cuts of the grain fed.

    If I ever get to the financial situation where it is feasible, I’d definitely eat grass fed 100% of the time.

    But one thing we must always remember is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good…that’s one thing about the paleo-sphere that irks me sometimes is the puritanical ascetic some folks fall into – this ‘aint a religion, and it ‘aint heresy to deviate or make do with what you gotta do to survive.

    PS – BTW Richard, just read your email. Thanks for the reference, I’ve already been contacted about that. You in on it?

    • Yep, Keoni. In on it. Face to face on the 16th.

      Hear ya about the grass fed and perfect being enemy of the good. In the first round of my book, this is one argument I had with one of the editors (she coming from the sustainable, humane POV). I said look, I have no problem at all citing all the benefits and how grass fed is better. But I’m not going to suggest someone isn’t “doing it right” if they buy supermarket. Also, give people a chance. I was no where near ready to pop for grassfed in the first year or so, and when I was ready, I went beef, lamb & hog wild. Even joyed a CSA with weekly deliveries not 5 minutes from my house.

    • Keoni said: “But one thing we must always remember is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good…that’s one thing about the paleo-sphere that irks me sometimes is the puritanical ascetic some folks fall into – this ‘aint a religion, and it ‘aint heresy to deviate or make do with what you gotta do to survive.”

      Agreed. If you adopt a paleo-style diet, cutting all or most of the processed crap in a bag, you’re way ahead of the game. I won’t be able to afford grass-fed beef or free range anything for a few more years, but I think I’m fairing a wee bit better than the Cheeto munching, lunchable crowd.

  6. ladysadie1 says:

    I just bought 1/2 a steer from a local producer. Buying that much beef all at once is a big price tag for me, but it was organic, grass-fed, no hormones, no antibiotics. Averaged out it was about $3.52/lb. Premium cuts, ground beef, organ meats, soup bones. I can’t do that with conventionally raised beef. buying it on an as-needed basis. It was quite the “score” in the big picture. Oh, and it was a small steer, but tender and delicious!

  7. These arguments always crack me up. I’m from New Zealand and so I am so used to seeing cows, and sheep, running around grassy fields. I mean you can’t really miss them they are everywhere!!! So it’s weird when I read people talking about grain vs grass fed because for me grass fed is the norm. Or was now I live in Canada.

    • Dan, it was instantly reminded of someone who grew up in Texas, came out west and wouldn’t sut up about the mountains. I’m like, oh, I never noticed.

    • Gabriella Kadar says:

      Dan, notice that we can’t get New Zeland (Anchor?) butter here or KerryGold Irish butter either? No grassfed butter available. We are trapped. So much for ‘free trade’.

  8. Elenor says:

    For me? It’s the taste! I order (Tallgrass Farms) 8-10 sirloins (the only steak-cut I actually like; well I love tenderloin, but can’t afford it) and 10-15 one-pound logs of ground beef… (Got a chest freezer downstairs.) On those occasions when I’ve picked p some Costco organic ground beef…. the taste does NOT please. (But then. I’m a freak about food…) I get chicken breasts at Costco (and cook them in my Sous Vide, thank you Dr Mike!) but I’m actually willing to do without beef until I have saved up enough for another beef order! Less than optimal, but yah havta buy what you can afford!

  9. Agreed and if your going to get grassfed anything and your on a budget, get grassfed organ meats (in my case it’s lamb kidney, liver, and sometimes heart, from one of the local farmers markets). I eat mostly grass fed beef, but sometimes I’ll have to buy grainfed (or eat it from the deli I work at) because of budget. I too can taste the difference and grainfed or non-pastured chicken or pork isn’t as filling as their grassfed or pastured counterparts. I still will not buy un-pastured pork or chicken though.

  10. Galina L. says:

    For me it is mostly NZ lamb (around $5/lb), grass-fed organ meat ($3.99/lb), and added grass-fed fat to conventional lean ground meats.

  11. Jordan says:

    I’m not an antagonistic person either online or in real life but there are times when I have to call someone out for espousing ideas based on over-generalizations and a plainly-evident lack of first-hand experience/critical fact checking. As a point of reference, my career has me working with the beef industry closely and I have spent time on everything from grass-fed beef operations to ranches that sell breeding cattle at a $10,000 per animal average to feedlots with several thousand animals. I’m not trying to be mean spirited, but I love this site for sticking to the facts, and I want it to stay that way.

    “The life of modern day, conventional grain-fed cattle is different on all fronts from grass-fed cattle. The only similarity is that they both end up on the dinner plate.”

    I can understand that there may be confusion on this topic as there is a significant difference in small-scale, pastured and/or organic poultry and pork operations and the vertically-integrated, centralized operations that raise poultry and pork. The beef industry, on the other hand, is highly decentralized and consists of numerous different types of independent producers with different specializations along the production chain.

    Almost all cattle, grain-fed or grass-fed, are born and raised on grassland for at least the first six months of their lives. They’ll spend their first several months on grass and are rarely fed any grains as their digestive systems are still developing. The ranches where cattle are born and initially raised are called cow/calf operations, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that they are almost indistinguishable from grass-fed operations. In essence, the beginning stages of life for grain-fed and grass-fed animals are surprisingly similar and that only changes once the grain-fed cattle grow to a weight of 500-700 lbs. and are moved to a higher-energy, grain-based ration. Even then, many animals spend a good amount of time grazing crop residues off of harvested fields before moving on to a feedlot.

    “Factory cattle operations generate revenue based on quantity, not quality. Large volumes of cattle are the only way to make a profit. In general, the principle of quality gets shelved.”

    This was true a few decades ago, but the demand for high-quality beef graded as choice and prime has grown so quickly that the industry as a whole rewards producers who raise cattle that yield higher quality meat. In recent years the choice/select spread (the difference in amount paid for meat graded choice over meat graded select) can be as high as $2/pound. Take into account that the average full-grown animal will yield roughly 800 pounds of beef. Cattle ranchers normally operate with razor thin margins, and numbers like these make it worth the investment for a lot of ranchers to seek out higher quality feed stuffs and utilize animal handling practices that minimize stress and improve carcass quality.

    “In large feedlots common with many factory farming corporations, the cattle are confined to small spaces with cattle given enough room to eat and possibly turn around.”

    Again, I’m afraid you have confused the beef industry with the poultry and pork industries. On every feedlot I’ve visited, the cattle have ample room not only to walk, but to run. They spend their time outdoors as nature intended and generally have windbreaks and roofed structures to protect them when the weather turns nasty. I’m not saying that life on a feedlot is idyllic, but they are far from miserable and enjoy more room than a lot of us do in cubicles.

    I know that there are issues with cleanliness in some feedlots but every feedlot manager I’ve spoken with is trying to come up with solutions to minimize it. They hate mud because too much mud stresses the animals out and can make the cattle less profitable, and most feedlots now clean the pens and sell the collected manure as fertilizer to local farmers. Cattle producers are becoming increasingly conscious of good animal handling practice as recent research has been able to put a quantitative value on good practices. I read several publications on the beef industry and there are always articles explaining methods to reduce things such as heat-stress, flies, and mud as minimizing these things is good for the cattle and good for business.

    • Nice, Jordan.

      Thanks for the clarifications. In the end, we want feedlot meat to be getting better so thins is good news. In your opinion, is grassfed worth the extra money, given that you’re familiar with both?

    • Jordan says:

      Richard,
      As my systems thinking professor liked to say: it depends on your criteria. People assign different economic values to different things. I’ve actually had this conversation with John Wood, the founder of U.S. Wellness Meats, and he said right off the bat that having both production systems is good because it satisfies the needs of the different strata of beef consumers. In some of the beef demand analysis presentations I’ve listened to there is a large portion of the population who’s largest and often only criteria is cost. Those people will be very reluctant to pay grass-fed beef’s premium so I just hang my hat on the fact that they still get a relatively solid nutritional package from grain-fed beef.

      If someone’s criteria place emphasis on a combination of increased vitamins and minerals, taste, and avoidance of antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs than grass-fed is definitely worth it. I personally don’t stress out over the above things but I will not argue against someone’s decision to purchase grass-fed beef just because our criteria differ. I enjoy visiting with these people because they are consumers excited about beef, which is exactly what the beef industry needs.

      As for Omega-3s, I’m torn. Grass-fed beef is a better source of Omega-3, but that doesn’t make it a great source. If someone is just starting out trying to balance their Omega 3:6 ratio, it makes more economic sense to substitute wild caught fish for non-ruminant meat first. It’s fine if someone buys grass-fed beef for the Omega-3s, but they should make sure they have the low-hanging fruit taken care of first. I mind my Omega 3:6 balance, but my criteria dictates that I put my extra dollars into fish as it’s pricey here in Nebraska.

      Not a very definite answer, I know, but I’d rather have a diverse beef industry where producers and consumers can both see what works for them rather than having someone dictate what everyone does. Personally, I get a lot of my beef from my father who’s a small-time rancher but enjoy having a grass-fed burger or steak a couple of times a month. I really appreciate the grass-fed cattlemen because they’re pioneers in mob grazing (if you haven’t heard of it look up a presentation by Allen Savory). The conventional ranchers are warming up to it now as it increases the efficiency of grazing pasture by huge amounts and is much better for soil health.

    • Galina L. says:

      I and my son belong to the group of people who try to get mostly a grass-fed ruminant meat and dairy because we have an allergy on fish. Even though meat is not as good source of O3 as fish, it matters when fish is not an option.

    • They may want a solution to the mud and filth, but the ones I drive past every day in my neck of Arizona certainly haven’t found it yet. The only similarity between the conditions in these feedlots and what “nature intended” is that the animals are outside. They are in ankle deep mud and manure (mostly manure and urine because it almost never rains here), day or night it smells horrendous (not at all like the dairy farms I spent time on growing up in Australia), in the evenings there is what we can only describe as a piss fog over the whole area, and there’s not a green thing for as far as the eye and see. The part about cleaning out the manure and selling it does apply here too, they are right next to a fertilizer plant and farm fields, both of which use the manure, but it still builds up. When they closed one recently they scraped the ground for months before they got down to dirt.

      John

    • Also, the animals on the local feedlots are nowhere near 500-700 pounds when they come in. My guess is they’re the male calves from the local industrial dairy operations.

  12. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

    i have found the bone broth made by grass fed cows is so much better & richer in taste.

    cheers,

  13. Aw heck, I’m late to this party, but I feel compelled to add this comment anyway.

    If you question the difference between grass fed and conventional beef, I invite you to do the following:

    Go get 2 pounds of the fattiest grass fed ground beef you can. Get 2 pounds of the fatties conventional ground beef you can. Make 6-8 hamburger from the two pounds of each meat. Cook the grass fed in a skillet, drain all the grease off and keep it. Do the same with the conventional beef.

    Now, set the bowls of beef fat aside to cool. The next day, look at the fat in the bowl. The grass fed will be a beautiful white color. It will probably look good to you, at least in comparison to the conventional fat. But here’s the real test:

    Take some sweet potatoes, peel them and cut them into small cubes. Cook half of them in the grass fed fat and the other half in the conventional fat. Put equal amounts of salt on both and eat. Feed them to your kids and ask which tastes better.

    Our tongue is an AMAZING device for finding what’s good for us if we are close to what nature provided. It gets fooled by the crazy chemicals we have been calling food for a few decades, but if it’s comparing one animal fat to another it isn’t fooled.

    And the premium? I get all my beef at $6.99 a pound. Conventional nearby is $3.99. At a pound a day, that’s $3 a day. So brew your own coffee, skip starbucks, and spend the $3 on the beef.

  14. I’m just amazed at how apathetic people are about this stuff. That we jam corn into an animal who was designed to eat grass and then have to barrage the beast with antibiotics to combat the problems that eating corn caused is just beyond me.

    I generally buy my beef from a local meat market, as much for supporting local economy as for the far better quality of the meat. They don’t claim their beef to be from purely open-range cattle, but it is predominantly grass-fed and the difference is remarkable.

  15. Rob O. As best I can tell, but I’m not a rancher, the reason for the anti-bios is more the close quarters, not the feed. They have like 4 stomachs and are superstates at digesting anything the ground grows.

    So, for example, when cows eat a field of grass that has gone to seed, does that mean they need antibiotics? If you put them onto a field of corn, or even soy, would they turn and run?

    These are just questions I’m asking, and I encourage everyone to keep them in mind.

  16. I think most everyone knows by now the benefits of grass fed, GHO free, etc. meats compared to the meat from Cargill, IPB, etc. But once again, we suffer from the same problem as trying to eat healthy. Buying grass fed meat is too expensive. I own a BBQ food truck and I would love to sell brisket and pulled pork that is grass fed, but at $6.0o per pound average, there is no way I would sell it. It is the same as the Rasmussen poll from a couple of years ago where they asked people if they would pay a dollar more to have a product made in the US and the overwhelming answer was no. People want cheap. It is truly sad, but there has to be a way to make this work. I could afford 3.00 lb for brisket and 2.00 lb for pork shoulder or butt. I pay far less than that for the mass produced product now.

  17. Spanish Caravan says:

    Back in my early days I was into making bone broth with grass-fed cow marrow bones. Then one day all major online grass-fed beef vendors ran out of marrow bones and would not restock them for like 6 months. During that time, I asked and wondered where people were getting their grass-fed bones? Hard-core believers were claiming that they were getting them from local farmers and butchers. I did not see how that was possible so I made bone broth with conventional bones.

    No difference whatsoever. If the Omega 3 content was really an issue, I would supplement with fish oil. I never saw the true benefit of grass-fed beef, as it is too lean. This is where Cordain got his “lean meats” from. Am a bit worried about hormones and such but I’ve never ordered grass-fed beef again. Too much trouble, too expensive, too lean, and the benefits aren’t that clear.

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