Grass fed beef is slow, natural growth in free-range animals. This is important for ethical meat production and high animal welfare, but it also has many benefits for meat quality. This is largely due to the type of fat in the meat. Grass-fed meat has different types of fat, which means that it contains more good fats and less overall fat.
The back story: grass fed vs. grains fed meat
Many large corporations in Australia’s agricultural sector (and many of the world’s food system) operate on the principle of maximum financial returns. This is based on consistent, fast production targets and high inputs.
This is often used to produce beef. It involves high density feedlots with high-grain rations. High-grain diets are not well suited for cattle stomachs. If not closely monitored, changing cattle from grass-fed to grain-fed diets can lead to severe illness and even death. High energy grain feed regimens combined with restricted movement in small pen areas result in rapid growth, and especially, fat development. The goal is consistency in weight, profitability, and animal-focused well being and quality.
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To speed up growth and reduce the time it takes for animals to reach slaughter weight, growth hormones are frequently used in feedlots. High-intensity feedlots can be a breeding ground of bacteria. This is why antibiotics are often used in these environments, which ironically are called “growth promoters”. As antibiotic resistance is becoming more common in our food supply, this is a major problem worldwide.
These industrial feedlots have a significant impact on animal wellbeing. These effects are more than just physical. They also cause stress to animals in many ways. Research has shown that sustained stress on animals can have a significant effect on the quality of meat.
Grazing grass-fed beef in natural environments in free-range settings creates the highest quality beef. Provenir believes that farmers should be able to interact with them by grazing their pastures in familiar herds, in natural settings. This is how nature intended it for cattle.
Provenir beef proudly comes from grass-fed and grass-finished cattle.
Grass-fed beef – The end product
Although grain-finished beef can have adverse effects on animal welfare, there are significant differences in grass-fed meat’s quality. Unnatural diets and rapid growth of feedlot cattle lead to similar unnatural muscle and fat development. This is the main difference.
Grass-finished beef is a different fat composition than grain-fed beef. It has an approximately 65% lower overall fat content than its grain-fed counterparts. However, it is proportionately richer in healthy fats. These include many known to prevent cancer and are called Omega 3s Omega 6s or CLAs.
Grass-fed beef can be;
- Total fat is approximately 65% lower
- Trans fats are lower
- Fat-soluble vitamins are more abundant
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a well-known anti-cancer fat, is three to five times more potent than the regular linoleic acids (CLA). It has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Vaccinic acid is higher (which converts into CLA). Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-cancer properties. It’s higher in this product.
Four times higher in vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol), which is essential for good for cardiovascular health and is also an anti-cancer vitamin
The total amount of omega-3 fatty acid is approximately five times greater, which are good for your heart, mood, and anti-cancer.
Better ratio of omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for heart health, anti-cancer, mood, and reducing the risk of obesity
Heart disease is associated with lower levels of certain types of saturated fats (palmitic and myristic acids).
It contains approximately four times as much anti-cancer selenium. This may help to improve your mood.
Carotene, one of these antioxidants, is a pigment that is absorbed from grass cattle graze. This pigment is what makes carrots, and can cause fat to have a yellowish hue. You may be used to eating whiter fats from grain-fed meats.
Does grass fed meat taste different?
Yes, grass-fed beef tastes richer than commercially produced grain-fed meat. This is due to the diversity of pastures the cattle are fed. The high carbohydrate, grain-based feeds that are given to cattle may make meat from grains taste sweeter. Gourmet chefs are drawn to the rich, complex, and natural flavors of grass-fed beef.
Are grass-fed beefs more expensive?
Yes. Producing grass fed beef takes longer and is more costly. Grass-fed beef is often produced by smaller farmers who pay more attention to details and their animals. The benefits to the environment, quality, and welfare of animals are all priceless. Many of our farmers are implementing regenerative farming practices on their farms. This is also better for the environment.
How can I tell if my meat is grass-fed?
You might not find grass-finished beef at large retailers or supermarkets. All cattle are fed grass at one point in their lives. However, very few animals continue to eat this natural diet all their lives. Some information may be misleading due to the Australian labelling system. It can be difficult, if certainly impossible, to identify how the beef was processed. It is best to identify where and how your meat was grown to ensure that you are eating the highest quality meat possible.
Provenir beef packs include information about the specific breed and farm where the animal was raised. Provenir wanted to offer provenance, not just traceability. Provenir’s Provenance Platform is unique in that it has a QR code you can scan to get detailed information about the farm where the beef was raised. This section contains information about the farming practices, whereabouts and cattle breeds. It is not always easy or possible to purchase meat directly from the farmer. In fact, it is often more difficult than it should be. Provenir wants to change this.
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