There Is A Difference & You Should Know About It
You’ve heard the saying, you are what you eat – well, it’s the same for cattle. You could take this concept further and prefer to only eat real food that eats real food. Let’s face it, pastures filled with a range of grasses and herbs are a more natural diet for cows than corn and soy.
Both grain- and pasture-fed beef contain essential nutrients for the body. Beef is an excellent source of protein, which everybody needs to repair cells and make new ones, and is important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women. Beef also contains vitamins B12, B3, B6 and bioavailable iron, selenium, and zinc.
But how is pasture-fed beef more nutritious than grain-fed beef?
In general, pasture-fed beef contains higher amounts of certain nutrients than grain-fed beef due to the differences in their diet.
For example, meat from pasture-fed beef has a higher antioxidant status than grain-fed beef due to their pasture-fed diet. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in a number of health diseases.
Compared with grain-fed beef, pasture-fed beef is much higher in Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Pasture-fed beef contains carotenoid, such as beta carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. The fat from grass-fed beef may have a yellowish appearance due to the elevated carotenoid content. Vitamin E is also higher in pasture-fed cattle than mixed diet cattle.
Pasture-fed beef has lower fat content overall – which is attractive for fat conscious consumers. Pasture-fed beef usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories since pasture feeding normally results in a leaner product.
Research spanning three decades suggests that pasture-based diets can significantly improve the fatty acid composition of beef. Pasture-fed beef contains up to five times as much omega-3 as grain-fed beef. Furthermore, pasture-fed beef contains about twice as much conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as grain-fed beef. CLA has been shown to produce a modest loss in body fat in humans.
In short, pasture-fed beef is more nutritious than grain-fed beef. Pasture-fed beef contains more antioxidants, carotenoid, Vitamin E, Omega 3 and CLA, and has less calories gram for gram, than grain-fed beef. These nutritional differences can provide health benefits to those who choose pasture-fed beef products.
All of Elliott Park’s hormone and drug-free cattle are pasture-fed in a cruelty-free environment. Our cows are free to contentedly graze in paddocks (without any pouron treatments), with access to fresh water from deep in the earth. Elliott Park cattle are ethically nourished with an abundant diet rich in a variety of natural grasses and herbs. Good for them, good for you.
© Elliot Park Grazing 2022