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What is the Difference between Grass Finished vs Grass Fed Beef?

Buying beef at your local health food store doesn't guarantee it is healthy, delicious or raised humanely, although, that is the expectation of most consumers. And with all of the labels you see on beef at the grocery store, it can feel impossible to be sure you're making the right choice. Many consumers have been trained that grass-fed is best, but it's not exactly that simple.

Grass Fed Vs. Grass Finished

It is an odd realization that the details of packaged meat are rooted in marketing. Most people think cattle that grazed on grass should get the title of "grass-fed." If a cow only eats grass and forage their entire lives, they can receive that title. The problem is that many cows are getting this title when their diets were heavily supplemented with conventional, GMO grain or even finished on a fully grain-based diet. Many times cows spend the last months of their lives eating only grain to help them gain weight quickly before slaughter.

Know The Origin Of Your Meat

Grain-fed beef producers aren't lying when they stick that "grass-fed" label on the packaging. They're just stretching the truth. Many cattle do graze on grass in the warmer months, but are forced inside during the winter months when they eat corn-and-soy based feed. Many people don't realize the meat they're picking up from their local supermarket shelf is from an area with a colder climate (often more than 5,000 miles away) where it's impossible for cattle to graze freely on grass the entire year. John's Farm takes pride in knowing the "grass-finished" label on our beef means the cattle grazed on open grass pastures their entire lives. Cattle at John's Farm often graze on alfalfa and INSERT ?

Is Grass Fed Beef Also Organic?

The short answer to this question is "no." The waters can get a little murky when you say anything is organic. This is a USDA-regulated term. If you're an organic farmer, you must complete a certification process to use the label. Any organic food must be raised or produced on a farm that uses no harmful pesticides. It is possible to buy organic, grain-fed beef. This label only means the cows diet consisted of organic soy-based products, which is very different than a cow who grazed on open, grassy pastures their entire lives.

The Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef

Cattle that only eat a diet of grass have many health benefits to you, including lower calories. This is because the cow's diet is much cleaner than grain-finished cows eating supplements. This type of beef helps support healthy blood sugar levels and contains a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, that helps prevent several diseases. By increasing your consumption of CLA, you can decrease your risk of heart disease. This might also help your body fight cancer.


Sodium, potassium and magnesium are the three main electrolytes. Many times when people go on high protein diets, these electrolytes are flushed out of their system. The good news is that grass-fed meat has large amounts of these three main electrolytes. If you consumed a strip steak from a cow that only grazed on grass, you get 732 milligrams of potassium, 49 milligrams of magnesium and 118 milligrams of sodium. These elements are an important part of a healthy diet and are even better when consumed with other healthy foods like in protein instead of other sources.

Healthy Fats

Grass-fed beef gives your body a large dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It has more than six times the omega-3 fatty acids than regular beef. Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important to a healthy diet and can help fight against depression, improve eye health, and has even been known to improve brain health. Grain-fed meat actually contains a higher level of omega-6 fatty acids.

Less Bacteria

Some studies show that conventional beef has higher levels of superbugs than grass-fed beef. Many samples of conventional beef have higher levels of E. Coli, which indicates fecal contamination. This type of bacteria is usually killed when cooking, but many people eat their steaks rare. Some samples included an antibiotic-resistant bacteria, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Any of these superbugs can lead to food poisoning when consuming meat that is less than well-done.

Nutrient-Dense Protein

Grass-fed beef is a nutrient-dense protein. It contains two times the amount of beta-carotene and lutein and beta-carotene than grain-fed beef. These nutrients can help eye functioning, skin health among others. This protein-rich beef is easy to work into any diet.

It's important to read labels and know the source of your meat. John's Farm promises to only produce the best meat we can for our customers. We are the only farm in Oklahoma to produce grass-pastured, certified organic, grass-finished, animal welcome approved meat. We care about your family's health and it shows in our efforts every step of the way.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have about John's Farm beef! Shop our online store and select the delivery location near you to start enjoying delicious, healthy grass finished beef!

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