What is the Difference Between Grass Fed and Grain Fed Beef?
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The nutrient composition of the beef will be affected by the way that the cows are fed. Most of the cattle today are fed grains, but people in the past and throughout our history ate animals that ate grass and roamed free. A lot of studies are showing that the beef’s nutrients are varying depending on what the cow is eating. Cattle are usually grain-fed in the United States, where the mass beef production is present. On the other side, in Australia, most of the beef is grass-fed. What is the difference?
Difference Between Grass Fed and Grain Fed Beef
The main difference
Most cows start their lives the same in the United States. When the calves are born, they will spend the time with their mothers and drink their milk. They will be free to eat grass and roam around in their environment. This will be their lives for up to nine months. Most of the conventionally raised cows will then be moved to feedlots.
This is where the cows will spend the rest of their lives in confined stalls, usually with very limited space. They will usually be rapidly fattened up with grains. The base for these grains is usually corn or soy. Their diet will also have small amounts of dried grass included. Sometimes, the cows will be given drugs like grown hormones and antibiotics to maximize their growth. The cows will spend the next few months here before they are brought to a slaughterhouse.
In Australia, cows are usually fed with grass, but this grass-fed beef is not necessarily pasture-raised. Not all of the cows that are fed by grass are allowed to spend their time outdoors. But generally speaking, grain-fed cows’ diet is based on soy and corn while grass-fed cows eat mostly grass.
Which one is more nutritious?
Both grass-fed and grain-fed beef have a lot of valuable nutrients. Beef is known to have a lot of vitamin B3, B6, and B12. It’s also very rich in zinc, selenium, and iron. In other words, this meat has almost all nutrients that we, as humans, need to survive.
Beef also has a protein that is very high-quality and nutrients such as carnosine and creatine, which are very important for your brain and muscles.
Even though the difference is not huge, beef that’s grass-fed usually has higher amounts of nutrients that we need. Compared to the grain-fed cattle, grass-fed have a lot more of these vitamins:
· Vitamin E: An antioxidant that protects your cell membranes from oxidation.
· Vitamin A: Cattle that are fed with grass contain beta-carotene.
Cattle fed with grass also tend to have higher levels of antioxidants than grain-fed cattle.
We can all agree that the most important thing about our diet is to eat real food and not plastic, unhealthy, junk food. This is why some people prefer to only eat beef that’s been grass-fed, the others don’t take this idea this further. The truth is, herbs and grass is a lot more natural diet for cattle than soy and corn. Your choice depends on your values and preferences at the end of the day.
Now that you know the Difference between Grass fed and Grain fed Beef, which do you prefer?