Are you a large consumer of ground beef? Then probably you know how the meat market is shifting towards organic grass fed beef.
Since the time, researchers in Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science had published their study which compared the effects of having grass fed ground beef vs. grain fed ground beef on the risk of having CVD or cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes in men, consumers started to go crazy on the comparison.
However, this research and the panic among the consumers resulted in a great market shift in the meat industry as nearly a decade ago in the United States, there was only 50 grass fed cattle operations left but now the number has increased to thousands.
You can feel the vibe of the market change by asking your nearest supermarket retailers, where certainly the sale of organic grass fed beef meat has gone up. But the question remains, is grass fed beef better than grain feed one?
In the next part of the article, I will help you to understand the difference between both types and their nutritional benefits step by step so just stay glued.
What Is Organic Grass Fed Beef?
Grass fed beef are believed to be fed only on grass, plants or other edible green leafy vegetables where the grain fed cows are not.
In both cases, they start out their living in similar ways. Up to 6 to 12 months, grass fed organic beef and grain fed beef are raised with other cattle on the farm where they roam freely, eat those green vegetables and plants, breathe fresh air and drink clear water.
But the conventionally grown cows are moved to feedlots after that where they get the worst treatment ever. No more fresh water or fresh air and open sky. Even in some cases, the places where these Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), are organized, the cows do not get to see the daylight for months.
Then these cows are given antibiotics, drugs, and hormonal supplements so that they grow faster in that unhealthy environment. They are fed with grain based foods with the base of soy or corn, in order to flatten them up to raise market price.
After few months when these corn fed beef are grown enough, they are moved to the slaughtering factory.
Whereas the grass fed beef remain in the farm and graze in the field until they are moved to the factory for slaughtering.
Though cattle-feeding is much more complex than this, but generally speaking grass fed beef are more organic in nature than the cord fed ones.
How The Grass Fed Beef Tastes?
Some say corn fed beef are softer than organic grass fed beef. Some tasters also say that grass fed beef and corn feed beef vary in texture.
Well, that is for a reason. The grass fed cows which are always on the move in search of food and water in the field, have toned up muscle because of the daily exercise they have.
On the other hand, if you think of the corn fed ones, then surely in those CAFOs they hardly get a half mile to walk all day. Naturally the muscles are full of fat and hence softer.
Those who are accustomed to eating grain fed beef, for them the organic grass fed beef may feel on the chewier side. And the texture will vary because the corn fed beef are filled with drugs and hormones which give their meat a different taste unlike the grass fed ones.
Nutritional Composition In Both Beefs:
Clearly, what the cows eat all day long will decide the nutritional value of their meat. Then surely you are thinking that corn fed cows must have great nutritional value as they are fed on nutritious corns and soy, but that is not the case.
Organic Grass fed beef nutrition value may be outshined in some cases by the corn fed beef but in terms of calorie intake, grass fed beef are always the correct choice. Having grain fed beef will increase your amount of calorie intake unlike the grass eating beef.
Let’s consider a comparative account on the composition of fatty acid in both types of beef.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): The organic grass fed beef has the twice as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid than the corn fed one. CLA is often linked with the benefits of reducing body fat, which means having grass fed beef will be more beneficial.
- Saturated And Monounsaturated Fatty Acid: The total amount of saturated and trans-fat in the grass fed beef are higher than the corn fed cows, but the amount of monounsaturated fatty acid is either similar or less than the corn fed ones.
- Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats: Omega-6 fatty acid is similar in both the beef.
- Omega-3s: Omega-3s make a huge difference in the beef as the organic grain fed beef contains 5 times more than the grain fed beef.
Fatty acids are very important for the daily functioning of the body. So supplementing your corn fed beef with grass fed one will be appropriate. In case you cannot afford the grass fed ones then you can have fatty fish once or twice a week.
Another thing that makes a huge difference in your health is the ground beef. Whether it is a grass fed ground beef or a grain fed, you must avoid buying any from the supermarket as the ground beef may contain bacteria-filled scrap meats.
So it is recommended to buy whole beef from the market and then grind it yourself. In case you are planning to switch to a healthier lifestyle and want to buy a meat grinder, then you can always check our Top meat grinder reviews for help.
Grass Fed Beef – Benefits:
Other than the composition of fatty acid there are other benefits of grass fed beef. Having organic food is always better than the conventional ones. However, from grass fed beef you can expect more.
But make sure while you are buying a whole piece or large chunk of grass fed beef from the store, you are checking the label for meat glue which can be harmful to your health.
In case you are not aware of the usage of meat glue in the meat industry then feel free to read our alarming blog article What Is The Hidden Truth Behind Meat Glue?
With the continuous increase in the numbers of meat consumers each year in the United States, the meat industry is developing new tricks to generate more revenue.
Therefore a consumer like you must have all the awareness about the meat market so that you can differentiate the healthy meat from the contaminated one.
The organic grass fed beefs no doubt have great nutritional value, but the grain fed beefs are also loaded with Vitamin B12, B3, and B6. They are also enriched with bioavailable Iron, Zinc, and Selenium. Other than protein, beef are also filled with Creatine and Carnosine.
Though the grain fed beef seems to have adequate nutrition, grass fed beef will offer you some extra.
- Vitamin A: As the fruits and vegetables the grass fed beef have in their meal, are considered as the great source of carotenoid precursors to Vitamin A, having grass fed beef can fill you with beta-carotene.
- Vitamin E: Grass fed beef are also filled with Vitamin E which will give you a strong immune system.
- Micronutrients: The beef which fed on grass are also a great source of micronutrients like Carotenoids, Vitamin E and minerals like Iron, Potassium, Zinc, Sodium and Phosphorous.
Should You Spend More On Grass Fed Beefs?
If you are a frequent meat buyer then probably you know that the average price of a grass fed beef is higher than the grain fed beef. Often people are unwilling to pay the extra dollar and rather switch to the grain feed beef pieces.
Unaware of the corn feed beef dangers which naturally cause health hazards because of the unnatural raising procedure of them, people neglect the importance of having grass fed beef.
But now when you know, the difference and the answer to the question – ‘is grass fed beef better?’ are you willing to eat corn fed beef anymore?
In order to maintain your family’s good health, I will always recommend you to understand the meat market very well and buy those whole meats which are safe and free from meat glue.
It is true that farm raised beef are not easily available in the market and they are bit costly because the raiser has to pay for the field and open space.
Maybe you need to walk an extra mile to get your organic grass fed beef. If it is the case then I will always recommend you to do that, because good health is better than anything.
Point I Am Trying To Make: There is a lot of buzz going on in the internet about the difference and nutritional benefits of organic grass fed beef and grain fed beef. Researchers are continuously getting their hands dirty in finding the dirty tricks of the meat market. Clearly, something is fishy out there, which is why you need to stay updated always. Do not let any retailer trick you and make your family prone to deadly diseases. Instead, switch to a better health choice while having all the know-how of the meat industry.