What Is the Difference Between Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Beef?
You’re pretty sure you know what grass-fed beef is by now. It’s in the meat section of your local grocery store, next to the conventional beef. (If you want to know more, read this: What’s the big deal about grass-fed beef?) But what about grass-finished beef? The truth is there’s a big difference between grass-fed and grass-finished beef and many people don’t even know it.
For starters, it stands to reason that the term “grass-fed beef” describes meat from cattle that ate grass. So what about “grass-finished” then? It might seem the two should be interchangeable. But, no, 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 were started on a grass diet but have either received supplemental grain feed or are finished on a fully grain-based diet. In fact, many “grass-fed” cows spend the last few months of their lives eating grain in feedlots to help them quickly gain weight.
The bottle line: 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. At the grocery store, that means grass-finished beef may be marketed as grass-fed beef, but not vice versa. And, keep in mind that “grass-fed” cows are not necessarily pasture-raised.
At Verde, our beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished, organic and free-range beef. There are several reasons to choose 100% grass-fed, 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.
At Verde, we support sustainable farming practices that prioritize animal welfare. All Verde 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 feedlot in the U.S. where cattle live in confined pens that house between 100 – 125 animals and allow 125 – 250 square feet per animal. Our beef is always antibiotic-free and never contains added hormones. And Verde cattle always roam free. It’s the Verde way.
If eating grass-finished beef is important to you, you’re now set to shop, knowing the distinction between grass-fed and grass-finished beef. We offer only 100% grass-fed beef – and that means Verde beef is always grass-finished, too.
We’re committed to bringing more people real beef, raised with respect for the animals, the land, the farmers and the environment. It’s beef the way it’s meant to be.