Grass Finished Beef –
The Whole Story in Five Points
“The new paradigm is we are what our animals eat! If it’s in their feed, it’s in our food. If it’s in our food, it’s affecting our health!”
--Jo Robinson, co-author of The Omega Diet
- The grass fed product is natural and wholesome with no artificial hormones, antibiotics or pesticides.
- The grass fed product provides superior human nutrition. It is low in saturated bad fat, high in Omega-3, CLA and vitamins.
- Grass fed animals are healthy and happy.
- Grass feeding is not only good for the environment but can actually improve the environment.
- Grass feeding is good for the survival of small farmers.
Grassfed to Finish by Allan Nation, pp.91-92
Grass Finished Beef Nutrients –
in comparison with grain-fed product
- 500% more CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a recently discovered essential fatty acid with some amazing side properties. Animal studies suggest that it is anti-carcinogenic, helps prevent obesity, anti-diabetic, and anti-antherosclerosis (heart disease).
- 400 % more Vitamin A in the liver - B carotene is in yellow fat, can be metabolized to Vitamin A and is a major anti-oxidant.
- 300% more Vitamin E - a potent anti-oxidant that lowers the risk of both heart disease and cancer.
- 75% more Omega-3
- 78% more Beta-carotene.
Grassfed to Finish by Allan Nation, pp.88-91
About Grass Finished Beef
Flavor and aroma: Beef flavor is primarily attributable to fatty acids found in beef fat. As the steer increases in age and weight, the fat content increases and so does the flavor. If the grass finished animal is finished to the same degree of fatness as grain fed animals, it is hard to detect a difference in taste.
Smell: Most consumers find grass fed beef to have a “fresher” smell that they prefer. Grass fed beef is rich in anti-oxidants that protect the unstable unsaturated fats from deteriorating and causing a rancid smell.
Color of meat: The color of meat is related to the level of pigmentation (myoglobin) present in the muscle. Grass finished beef is slightly less red than grain fed. Feeding grain alters the natural level of pigments.
Color of fat: The fat may be slightly more yellow due to B carotene which metabolizes to Vitamin A.
Marbling: The primary determiner of marbling is how close the animal is to its mature size when it is harvested. Intramuscular fat tends to be one of the later fat deposits laid down. Marbling is also influenced by breed.
Tenderness of meat: This is dictated primarily by the animal’s genetics and the amount of collagen connective tissue the animal has. Genetically-tender cattle are tender regardless of the degree of (or absence of) marbling.
At Tussock Sedge Farm, we are beginning to breed our Red Angus mothers with a Devon bull from New Zealand, which we purchased during the summer of 2009, for increased tenderness and marbling.
Low stress for cattle also makes for tender beef, which includes plenty of grasses and water, and having the cattle used to routines of changing pastures and hauling.
Low fat: Low fat is not no-fat … and the fat is healthy to eat!
Maturity/age of steer: The degree of maturity is related to age and weight of the steer. Grass fed steers take six or more months longer to finish than grain fed beef.
Our beef steers are slaughtered under USDA inspection at Springfield Meats in Richlandtown, PA and Smucker’s Meats in Mt. Joy, PA. Handling practices of both these places meet our high standards of care & cleanliness.