According to a recent study from Clemson University comparing grassfed and grainfed beef, the following 10 differences were detected. Grassfed beef was:
1. Lower in total fat
2. Higher in beta-carotene
3. Higher in Vitamin E
4. Higher in B-vitamins and riboflavin
5. Higher in minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium
6. Higher in total omega-3 fatty acids
7. A healthier ration of omega-3 to omega-6 fats (1.65 v. 4.85)
8. Higher in CLA (conjugated linoliec acid - a potential cancer fighter)
9. Higher in vaccenic acid (a precursor to CLA)
10. Lower in saturated fats linked with heart disease
Here is a link to a nice article summarizing the benefits of grassfed v. grainfed beef.
Defining Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished (from CBS News)
- The definition of grass fed beef generally means beef from cattle that have eaten only grass or forage throughout their lives, however some producers do call their beef grass-fed but then actually finish the animals on grain for the last 90 to 160 days before slaughter.
- A more specific definition is Grass Finished Beef. Finishing is just another word for the time that cattle are normally fattened for the last few months before processing. Typically, feed lots finish cattle for 90 to 160 days on grain, usually corn, whereas, grass finished cattle are fattened on grass only, until the day that they are processed.
Grass finishing compared to grain finishing:
When considering the definition of grass fed beef, most beef animals have probably eaten grass at some point in their lives, but the important thing is that they're "finished", or fattened on grass, rather than grain, for the 90 to 160 days before slaughter. During those few months of grain finishing the levels of important nutrients like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega 3 decrease dramatically in the beef animal's tissues. It is in the finishing process that those levels and ratios drastically decline because of the grain feeding, and that is why it's so important to make sure that the beef you eat is not only grass fed, but grass finished.
No matter how you define it, at Ozarks Natural Beef we are 100% grassfed, 100% grassfinished, all the time, every time.