Grass-Fed or Grain-Fed Beef, Which is Better for Us, the Environment, and the Animal?

May 19, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Eric Schroen

Grass-fed beef has gained attention and grown in popularity as a result of a number of different trends and fads as well as growing environmental and animal welfare concerns. 

It is supposedly a healthier way to consume red meat that is also more environmentally friendly. This might leave you wondering what the actual differences are.

When you see meat that’s labeled “grass-fed,” it means that after these animals are weaned, they eat only grass—and whatever other green stuff they might find growing where they graze—for the rest of their lives. 

Virtually all cattle start out eating grass. But when they’re 6-12 months old, most of the cattle raised in the US are sent to feedlots where they eat corn and other grains for the remainder of their lives. This fattens them up more quickly which results in meat that is higher in fat content and animals that can be processed at a younger age. 

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