03 Mar | All

What Is the Difference Between Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Beef?

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.


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 only 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.