If you’re unfamiliar with grass-fed beef, you may be wondering if it really is healthier for you than grain-fed beef. But here at Verde Farms, we believe the benefits of grass-fed beef go beyond nutritional value. The way we see it, there’s three main benefits to eating grass-fed beef: health benefits, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. They drive our business and why we do what we do. Here’s a closer look at all three.
In 2010, California State University in Chico released a report based on three decades of research comparing the nutritional profiles of grass-fed and grain-fed beef. It found that beef from grass-fed animals has the following benefits when compared to grain-fed beef:
- Lower levels of unhealthy fats
- Lower levels of dietary cholesterol
- Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids
- Higher levels of vitamins A and E
- Higher levels of antioxidants
- About twice the levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may help fight cancer and lower the risk of diabetes (this benefit was found in beef that came from cattle that were grass-finished, meaning they ate a grass diet their entire lives.)
For those that need to watch what they eat for optimum heart health, the Mayo Clinic says that “lean beef that’s 10 percent fat or less—whether it’s grass-fed beef another type of beef—can be part of a heart healthy diet.”
Another benefit of grass-fed beef is the taste; it has a cleaner, more natural flavor compared to grain-fed beef, providing a true, earthy flavor.
Unlike the conventional meat industry, Verde Farms works closely with global family farmers that pasture-raise cattle for their entire lives. This means that they are never confined to feedlots—a standard we maintain across all three of our retail product lines: grass-fed, never-ever, and organic.
Verde Farms’ cattle live pretty much the way they would if there were no humans around: outdoors, with access to plenty of grass and forage, in temperate climates with clean air. They do not receive growth hormones, and live 20-30 months in a stress-free environment right up until the moment of slaughter, which produces a tender, flavorful beef product.
Raising grass-fed beef is ultimately better for the environment, based on several factors. For starters, our farms don’t use feedlots. Feedlots collect animal waste and other hazardous substances that can pollute the air and water with their runoff that is higher than naturally-occurring sustainable levels.
Verde Farms’ well-managed grazing and grass-fed operations are easier on the environment than beef from feedlots. They use fewer energy-intensive inputs, and by regularly moving animals to fresh pasture and keeping them away from streambeds, the farms spread manure more evenly and improve the quality and quantity of forage growth. This helps conserve soil, reduce erosion and water pollution, increase carbon sequestration and preserve biodiversity and wildlife.
Our grass-fed beef doesn’t just taste great; it’s beef you can feel great about eating!