So what exactly is Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished?
Grass-Fed vs. Conventional Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
There is a lot of confusion, elaborate claims, and misleading information!
Here’s The Skinny!
There are about as many ways to raise cows as there are breeds. But there are two major different methods. Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished and conventional factory farm CAFOs.
Let’s take a look at CAFOs first.
CAFOs typically start with calves nursing from their mother’s milk for the first few months. Then they are moved to a large feedlots and confined to small stalls. The cows do not ever leave concrete, and are fed mostly grains, usually GMO feed. They usually are given drugs such as antibiotics and growth hormones to maximize their growth with the least expense. The cows are rapidly fattened and then taken to the slaughter house.
Now, let’s look at GCC Organics' methods for Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished.
Our calves also nurse from their mothers milk, but for as long as their mother lets them, usually around a year. They remain with the herd their entire life roaming the pasture. During summer months, we utilize rotational grazing, meaning they are moved to a new section of fresh pasture every day. During the winter months, they have the entire farm to roam and we take hay to them in the pastureto a different spot daily. Our pastures are plumbed with water lines in the summer, and we have a heated waterer in one of our barns for winter. We do not use antibiotics or growth hormones. No grains! NON-GMO!
So,.... Is There A Difference in Health Values? You Decide.
Beef in general is very healthy for your family as long as you do not over cook your meat. Overcooking can lead to the formation of dangerous compounds. All beef is loaded with B12, B3, and B6 and full of highly bioavailable iron, selenium, and zinc. While Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed beef and beef from CAFOs have much in common in their nutrients, there are several key areas that have been shown to be drastically different between the two.
Grass-Fed, Grass Finished beef has the following scientific advantages:
*Grass-Fed contains less calories gram for gram.
*Grass-Fed beef generally contains less overall fat.
*Omega-3s: This is where grass-fed really makes a major difference, containing up to five times as much omega-3 as CAFO beef
*Monounsaturated fat: Grass-fed beef contains much less monounsaturated fat than grain-fed beef
*Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed beef. This fatty acid is associated with a few health benefits such as lower cholesterol.
*Compared to grain-fed beef, Grass-Fed beef is significant higher in the following:
Vitamin A: Grass-fed beef contains carotenoid precursors to vitamin A, such as beta-carotene.
Vitamin E: This is an antioxidant that sits in your cell membranes and protects them from oxidation (3).
*Grass-Fed beef is also higher in many other antioxidants as well.