If you’ve ever had the opportunity to taste grass-fed beef, there’s an inherent knowing that this type of meat must be deeper and richer with more minerals for your health, thanks to the good taste. Not only does grass-fed beef boast of higher omega-3 fatty acids but also contains more antioxidants and vitamins. Cows are obligate herbivores and, when they’re allowed to live freely grazing pasture, their bodies become healthy. On the contrary, grain-fed beef may contain antibiotic residues and hormones which can have a negative impact to your wellbeing.
Remember more than 80 percent of United States’ antibiotics are taken or rather consumed by livestock destined for the plate. Moreover, the soy and corn grown in the country utilize chemicals and pesticides. To withstand these pesticides the soy and corn undergo genetic modification. What does that mean? Well, with pesticide residue accumulating in the animal’s fatty tissues, you have everything to worry about when it comes to consuming conventional beef.
Everyone has since become health conscious so you want to be sure you’re buying or cooking the right meat for your long-term health and well being. So what should you consider when buying grass-fed beef in the grocery store or from a grass fed producer?
Start by Reading the Labels
You can’t just walk into a grocery store and pick anything that looks like meat assuming every beef on stock contains the same nutritional value. Always check for the “grass-fed” label. It’s also important that you know the right questions to ask when you set out to buy pasture-raised beef. This applies especially when you’re about to make a large purchase from a new local grass fed farmer or producer. In such cases, it’s recommended to request for a small sample order that will allow you to independently judge the flavor, tenderness, and quality of the beef you want to buy.
Keep in mind that grass fed beef is much leaner than the conventional beef meaning you have to adjust your cooking technique. Remember the farmer has put in a lot of hard work to deliver a tender, flavorful product. Do your part in the kitchen well so you can preserve the flavor and tenderness.
Evaluate your Grass Fed Beef Farmer
As mentioned, you can never go wrong with asking the right questions. The goal should be to evaluate the farmer so you can learn them better. Again, this applies if you’re buying from a farmer and there aren’t any labels on the meat. Find out their slaughter season as well as the management strategies the farm uses to ensure continuing weight gains year-round. You might want to ask about their cattle supplement program and soil fertility program, is there’s any. It’s not a bad idea to get a farm tour as well.
Do you Understand Seasonality of Cattle Diets?
The fact that most climates are seasonal means that grass finishing and slaughtering on pasture in grass fed cattle farms is not possible year-round. However, it’s important to note that the farm’s grass finishing and slaughtering seasons usually come to an end during winter. Bottom line is, the production of grass-fed beef is usually at the peak when the grass in the farms is green and rich in nutrients.