Grass-fed beef is becoming a more recognizable term when shopping for meat. But there’s some confusion between the definitions grass-fed and grass-finished. If grass-fed beef describes meat from cattle that ate grass, what does the term “grass-finished” mean? Don’t they both mean the same thing? Not quite.Simply put, grass-finished beef comes from cattle that ate nothing but grass and forage for their entire lives. Grass-fed, on the other hand, may be used to label meat from cattle that have that were started on a grass diet but have either received supplemental grain feed or are finished on a fully grain-based diet. Many “grass-fed” cows spend the last few months of their lives eating grain in feedlots to help them quickly gain weight before going to slaughter. Cattle are not required to have a full grass-fed diet in order to get the grass-fed label on your beef’s packaging. Moreover, “grass-fed” cows are not necessarily pasture-raised.
Verde Farms signature line is 100% organic, grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Our Never Ever line (no antibiotics, EVER) is also 100% grass-fed and grass-finished. There are several reasons to choose grass-fed and grass-finished beef, including a number of significant health benefits. Grass-finished beef is 20% lower in calories than grain-finished beef and has higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, CLA’s (Conjugated Linoleic Acid — an essential fatty acid that fights cancer and inhibits body fat), and Vitamins A and E.
Our other line of grass-fed beef – the Pasture-Raised label – is grass-fed but not grass-finished. Cattle live their entire lives on open pasture and eat a diet of predominantly grass (~90%), but are given the option to eat supplemental feed on pasture during winter months, when grass is not as readily available. We don’t hide this fact. We believe in being transparent about how we raise our cattle. These product lines allow us to offer the highest quality grass-fed beef at a more approachable price point.
We support sustainable farming practices that prioritize animal welfare. ALL of Verde Farms cattle are 100% pasture-raised, with no feedlots EVER. In fact, a Verde Farms cow could graze in an area the size of a football field. Compare that to a US feedlot where cattle live in confined pens that house between 100 – 125 animals and allow 125 – 250 square feet per animal. Our cattle are never given growth hormones. Verde Farms is truly free range beef.
So if consuming grass-finished beef is important to you, it’s good to know the distinction between these two terms when shopping for it. Grass-finished beef may be marketed as grass-fed beef, but not vice versa. We offer both grass-fed and grass-finished beef options – so more consumers can access a better for you, better for the planet, better for the animal, and better for the farmer alternative to conventional beef. For grass-finished beef, choose Verde Farms 100% Organic, Grass-Fed line.