All cows are grass fed at some point in their lives. Most start off as grass fed and finish as grain fed in a feed lot. All of the cows at Kentucky Steaks are grass fed right from the start all the way to the end. At no point do we feed any of our cows grain making them truly grass fed in every sense of the word.
Over the last few years, people have become more conscious of the food they're eating. As such, you've probably started giving more attention to what you're eating and the overall effect it has on your health. When it comes to farm raised beef, you have two options: conventionally raised cattle, which are fed a diet consisting of corn and other grains, and grass-fed cattle.
The first thing to understand is that grain isn't a natural diet for cattle, and in fact can cause health problems for them. To combat this, the cattle are pumped full of antibiotics and vaccines – and these chemicals will enter your body when you eat conventionally raised cattle. But you can't just cut beef out of your diet completely – it's loaded with vitamins B12, B3, and B6. So what should you do?
Grass-fed beef, or grass-finished beef, are both raised having a diet that is primarily made up of grass, rather than corn or soy. This diet is healthier for the cattle and results in healthier beef when the cattle are processed. While most cattle begin their lives eating a diet that consists primarily of grass, conventional farming practices switch the calf to a corn or soy diet to fatten them up faster. Grass-finished beef doesn't make this switch; the calf will remain on a grass diet throughout its entire life. Obviously, this changes the nutrient composition of the resulting beef.
While grass fed beef has a similar amount of less saturated and monounsaturated fats, it contains up to five times as many omega 3s. It also contains nearly twice as much conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been associated with reduced body fat in humans. Finally, grass-finished beef also contains a wide variety of important micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, potassium, and sodium. To put it bluntly: overall, farm raised beef on a grass diet is healthier for you.
People often wonder why grass-fed beef is more expensive than regular beef, and the answer comes down to math. Conventionally raised cattle are ready to be processed at an earlier age, usually around 12-13 months. This is because they're fed fattening and unhealthy foods which allow them to pack on weight. As beef is sold based on partially on weight, you can see why gaining weight quickly would be an advantage. Of course, this quick weight gain comes at cost – the nutrient quality of your beef drops.
On the other hand, grass fed cattle take longer to gain weight as they're not eating an unhealthy diet and aren't usually ready to be processed until they're between 18 and 24 months old. This delay translates into the price – you're paying more, but you're getting substantially better beef.
At Kentucky Steaks, all of our cattle are grass-fed and grass finished. This means that not only do they start their lives with a grass diet, but we never change their diet to something unhealthy to fatten them up. If you're looking to learn more about our farm raised beef, please don't hesitate to contact us.