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Pat Riot, SASS #13748

Grass Fed VS Grain Fed

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Question: Which is better beef, grass fed or grain fed?

 

Years ago I thought grain fed was better. Now I see “Grass Fed” proudly displayed on labels and signs for beef.

 

Personally, I like either but I usually go with FDA ratings like “Prime” and “Choice” when selecting steaks. I am not too concerned about grass or grain fed.

 

Is this to show the animal had a “happy life” living in fields rather than in a barn being grain fed?

 

Seriously, I am curious. 

 

Thank you

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I don't put much concern over grass fed or grain fed, I don't think the cows do either!:P:lol: The libs are the ones that think they know if the cows are happy or not, total lunacy! 

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Mrs. Lose is a big fan of grass fed, Dr. Gundry diet, so that’s what we eat when we eat beef. It’s not near as fatty as grain fed and IMO has a little different flavor. The grass fed beef is a LOT more expensive, about up there with buffalo out here. If she’s not around I buy the grain fed.

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Beef grades are based on the amount of intermuscular fat in the ribeye cut.  Tenderness and taste tend to improve with more fat in the muscle.

 

Chart screenshot from a google search:

 

879420816_ScreenShot2019-09-29at9_55_25AM.png.fc4335efeea8d5f0d63b5cc44ebb9a41.png

 

There are grades below "Select" -- Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, Canner -- which have progressively less intermuscular fat, less tender, less flavor.

 

So, it's a matter of taste and personal preference, and supply and demand.  It is simply not possible to get a lot of fat marbling into the muscle by allowing the beef animal to graze on grass.  Marbling increases when the animal is confined to a feedlot rather than burning off calories wandering around a pasture, and feeding it a high carbohydrate diet, corn, silage, and other grains.  Corn and other feeds are more expensive than grass, so the Prime and Choice grades should cost more than grass fed beef.  Those pricing grass fed beef more than feedlot beef are simply capitalizing on the demand for "free range" beef.  If consumers want to feel good about themselves when eating less tender, less flavorful, less fatty beef than beef coming from a feedlot, I guess they can pay for it.

 

Beef is graded at the packing house by a grading specialist.  The grader looks at an exposed ribeye on the carcass for about 3 seconds as the carcasses move by him on a continuous conveyor,  makes his judgement based not only on the amount of marbling but on the overall size of the steak, and stamps the carcass grade on the carcass with an inked mallet.  It is not easy.  The graders I watched drove Cadillacs to work.

Edited by J-BAR #18287
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Grass fed is healthier for human consumption. Not as fatty as grain (corn) fed. 

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On a side note, I've noticed lately that Hellmans, (Best Foods), mayonnaise has "Made from cage free eggs), on their packaging. 

My question is why would you keep eggs in a cage, and what difference does it make? 

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I prefer grain fed. It has more fat than grass ffed, but most of the taste comes from the fat. Most of the meat you buy in the chain stores is Choice,, and it eating establishments  (expensive ones) is should be Prime. And fed the same Angus doesn't taste better than Hereford or any other cow. Just alittle more profitable raising Angus.

ooops, maybe not more profitable, that word is unknown in the ranching business but there is more useable meat per steer.

Edited by Tascosa, SASS# 24838
adding something
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What kind of grass? Timothy? Rye? Fescue? Does it have alfalfa in it?

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51 minutes ago, PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L said:

Grass-fed+vs+grain-fed+beef.jpg



More than a little propaganda and a few omissions in that chart. ;)

 

Is Grass Fed Beef Really Better for You?

 

The Texas A&M Study: Ground beef from grass-fed and grain-fed cattle: Does it matter?

Quote

So, at this point, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that ground beef from grass-fed cattle is a healthier alternative to ground beef from conventionally raised, grain-fed cattle.

 

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Now I'm confused. I thought all cows grazed. Then when they was grown, and ready to be butchered, after eating grass all their life, they get shoved into a feedlot and fed corn for a few weeks.

 

This "finishing" on corn adds the fat, which gives the beef its flavor, and adds weight to the cow (since it's not having to wander all over hell's half acre to find some grass to eat, walking off weight in the process) which gets the rancher more money per cow.

 

This would be grass-fed, grain finished.

 

Raising the cow in a feedlot, and having to drag grain to him all the time, seems a very expensive way to raise beef. And then when it's nice and fat, letting it out of the pen, to wander around, walking off weight while it "finishes" on grass???

 

That just confuses me all the hell.

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15 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:


More than a little propaganda and a few omissions in that chart. ;)

 

 

Most likely considering the source: "American Grassfed Association"
A search of "grass fed vs grain fed" brings up a LOT of conflicting data!

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Let me see if I have this right...Both get there blanks cut off, both get fatten up, both ride a train or truck to the same house and end up on a plate...And of yaa both fart the same...How is either one happier????They start the same and end the same...Someones dinner plate or bar-b-que.....

 

Is that about right????

 

Texas Lizard

 

And both go well with a glass of red wine....

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It’s all about the five senses. It is easy to understand that another person has better eyesight, better hearing, better sense of smell and touch. But most people don’t understand that others often have a better set of tastebuds and can detect differences between grain and grass fed animals.

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I prefer US Prime. Tastes better and generally much more tender. Problem is my wife goes for the leaner (healthier) stuff from Whole Foods or even Krogers. :( OTOH, we both like buffalo (aka bison)  Less fat, more protein. The only thing is you have to cook it LESS or it turns to dry leather!  So, if you like your beef cooked medium-well, cook the buff medium! :)

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Most cattle are raised, fed, and fattened on feed lots. It takes a lot of acreage to feed cows/graze. Also they expend more energy walking etc to graze. SO they are leaner. Fat adds flavor. The midwest uses a significant amount of farmland to grow feed corn for livestock so going grass impacts a whole bunch of farmers!

Ike

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1 hour ago, Alpo said:

Now I'm confused. I thought all cows grazed. Then when they was grown, and ready to be butchered, after eating grass all their life, they get shoved into a feedlot and fed corn for a few weeks.

 

This "finishing" on corn adds the fat, which gives the beef its flavor, and adds weight to the cow (since it's not having to wander all over hell's half acre to find some grass to eat, walking off weight in the process) which gets the rancher more money per cow.

 

This would be grass-fed, grain finished.

 

Raising the cow in a feedlot, and having to drag grain to him all the time, seems a very expensive way to raise beef. And then when it's nice and fat, letting it out of the pen, to wander around, walking off weight while it "finishes" on grass???

 

That just confuses me all the hell.

 

Alpo

Read this link  

Is Grass Fed Beef Really Better for You?

Will help explain the difference. Keep in mind that grain fed beef still consumes a large amount of roughage in the form of hay, silage or other plant matter. 

 

As for costs both methods have different costs.  Grass fed requires more land. You have to buy hay when there isn't enough grass. Especially for winter and periods of drought. You need equipment to handle hay. If you bale your own even more equipment. Start to finish takes longer.

 

Feedlots require less land. Feeding is usually heavily automated / mechanized. You can raise your own feed or buy it.  You need more expensive storage facilities.  You need a way to handle waste and control run off. Start to finish takes less time.  

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Grass fed or grain fed it all tastes the same to me! :)

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Only time I'm sure (well, that's what the sign in the store said anyway) I've had grass-fed beef, it was hamburger and I used it in spaghetti sauce, so wouldn't have been able to taste the difference if there was any.

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6 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Question: Which is better beef, grass fed or grain fed?

 

Years ago I thought grain fed was better. Now I see “Grass Fed” proudly displayed on labels and signs for beef.

 

Personally, I like either but I usually go with FDA ratings like “Prime” and “Choice” when selecting steaks. I am not too concerned about grass or grain fed.

 

Is this to show the animal had a “happy life” living in fields rather than in a barn being grain fed?

 

Seriously, I am curious. 

 

Thank you

I got grass fed while back and it has stronger flavor similar to whitetail since I really like venison I like it better than corn or grain fed.

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To me the preimum for grass fed over conventional isn't worth it.  Of course, most of the beef I've bought for the past year or so is from the Safeway "Manager Special" bin in the meat section.  Or, if Lucky or Safeway has a special on untrimmed tri tip I'll get that and use it for ground beef.

Lucky is running a "10 for 10" special on all sorts of stuff right now.  One of the items is pork loin, a buck a pound in 3.5 pound to about 5 lb cryopacks.  Got 4 on Friday.  Tossed 2 in the freezer, used half of one to make some sausage (kind of dry, I didn't add any extra fat), and the other half was roasted with apples, onions, and sweet potatoes.  Lisa turned the second one into stew this morning while I was at church.  I picked up 4 more on the way home from church.  2 in the freezer, 2 in the fridge.

 

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Forgot to add that a lot of the cattle slaughtered don't neatly fit into either category. Many farmers raise cattle in grass pastures but supplemented their diet with ground grains, silage, bulk feed, and liquid feeds. Which one and how much if any at all  depended on the weather that year and how the markets were.

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I'm a lifelong New Mexico cattle rancher and have eaten plenty of "grass fed" beef.  IMO, if you want to eat grass fed, you better have a good set of teeth.  

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The rancher that runs his cattle on my place sends his cattle directly to the butcher, no stop at the feed lot. It's some dang good beef, no corn and little fat. They eat the native prairie grass, maybe called buffalo grass by some. I don't eat much beef due to the abundance of elk and antelope. I don't care for the practices used in feed lots either.  

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It may depend on the location when it comes to grass fed. In Arizona or other dry places, it takes acres per cow vs. cows per acre.  Something to chew on. :o

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Grass fed only.....

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Where In My "Trading Area"  there are 10,000 people and 1,700,000 Beef Cows  ...

Those that Raise all that Beef eat Grass Fed Beef ....

Even though most Beef for Others is Feed-Lot Fattened for Most Folks .....

And Alberta Canada is Known For their Great Beef ...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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1 hour ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

How much of the beef that is graded as prime is grass fed vs grain fed?

 

I never saw any grass fed beef make the Prime grade in the packing houses where I was detailed.  The Prime grade is only achieved by about 5% of feedlot carcasses.  Prime and Choice grades together are usually about 60 to 70% of the feedlot production, the rest are lower grades, so doing the math, most good feedlot beef will grade Choice.  Assuming of course that you are feeding a beef animal and not a dairy animal, and that you are keeping the herd's health program active.  You could feed an old worn out Holstein dairy cow for the rest of her life in a feedlot and she's not going to grade out as prime.  Feed is not the only determining factor; genes have a role too.

 

I'm not one to say it could never happen, but I would be very surprised if any grass fed animal could make the Prime grade. 

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I PREFER good ole heavily marbled grain feed beef.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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On ‎9‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 10:30 AM, DocWard said:

What kind of grass? Timothy? Rye? Fescue? Does it have alfalfa in it?

No Alfalfa on the open range. Native Blue Joint is the best grass

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I never thought much of it, but one time I was in a whole foods and bought some grass fed.  It tasted noticeably better than what I'd eaten before.  But that was only one trial.  Back then, the only place I knew to get grass fed was whole foods, so I never got around to trying it again.  I see it in my regular poor people store now and some day I may try it again.  Problem right now is that the bunkhouse boss gets her nose out of joint when I select the meat.  She's got her own opinions on such things and don't want nor need my council. 

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Posted (edited)

Grass fed soft meat, less fat, rich meat mostly the more expensive restaurants; grain fed biggest animals  no so soft meat, a tad more on fat aimed to biggest chain of supermarkets.  

I used to work as trader for an Export Company, trading from US to worldwide, , also buying from South America/Australia.

Quality is based in animal age, size, weight quantity of fat and others proteins levels. In addition, temperature, how long in the box and age.    

Edited by czhen

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