Knowledge Center Blog

Welcome to the Farm Credit Knowledge Center Blog!  This blog is a combination of posts from industry experts, Knowledge Center staff and guest contributors covering all aspects of agriculture and life in the country.  We want you to participate in this blog, sharing your thoughts and comments about the topics posted here.

Beef Labels - Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed

Is it just me or are the enough labels in the grocery story today to make your head spin?  Natural, organic, antibiotic free, no (added) hormones, GMO, grass fed, grain fed, cage free…the list goes on and on.  Tackling all of these in one blog post would be overwhelming for you and for us…so we won’t do that.  We would like to share some information over several different blogs posts though, that might help you in deciphering at least a little bit of what you see at the store.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at grass fed versus grain fed beef.  At some point I am sure that you have heard that grass fed is better – for you, the cows, and the environment.  Before we delve into that though, let’s talk (briefly, I promise) about what these labels actually mean.
First, ALL cattle’s diets are comprised mostly of grass.  Grain fed cattle eat grass and other forage for the majority of their life, but are fed a balanced diet of grains and forages for the last 3-6 months of their life.  Grass fed cattle on the other hand, have a diet comprised solely of grass and forages. 
So does this make one better than another?  Not necessarily!  Beef Checkoff created two great infographics that compare grass fed beef to grain fed beef from a nutrition standpoint:

And also from a management standpoint (you can click on the image to download a PDF of this one). 

Both of these help to give a side by side comparison of the two different types of beef.  They have even given some information about what an organic or natural label means!
Essentially, both of these types of beef can be a healthy choice, packed with essential nutrients. 
Monday, May 15, 2017
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.