Buying Grass Fed Beef - What You Need to Know

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You have probably heard about the health benefits of eating grass fed beef (GFB), with so many essential nutrients like Omega 3 and CLA.
But it can be confusing to buy unless you definitely know what you are looking for.
Don't be confused by "organic" While GFB can be certified organic, not all certified organic beef is grass fed, in fact, most organically certified beef is not.
The organic certification simply means that the cattle have been raised on feed that is certified organic, and that usually means organic grain.
It is the feed and finishing on live green grass that creates all of the health benefits, while it is the customary practice of grain feeding that has led to so many health problems in the U.
S.
in the past 50 - 60 years.
You still have to differentiate claims But you must also be careful of beef with grass or forage fed claims! Most beef you can find in the health food store that is labeled both "grass fed" and "organic" has been raised using the same old confinement model of the feed lot, only exchanging organically certified alfalfa for grain.
The USDA allows this practice under the current GFB claims standards.
You want to be sure that the beef you eat was raised on open pastures and meadows, and not in confinement.
It makes intuitive sense that meat from animals raised in a healthy, natural environment is superior to meat raised in crowded pens, knee deep in their own feces and urine, so be sure that when you buy grass fed beef you know that it was pastured and not raised in confinement.
The other production methods you want to ascertain are that the beef you buy was raised without the use of added growth hormones and without antibiotics.
To sum up, the main things you want to look for when you buy beef include:
  • 100% Fed and finished on grass or grass hay only
  • Pastured - not raised in confinement
  • Allowed to graze on fresh grass and forage
  • No added growth hormones
  • No antibiotics
  • Raised humanely with low stress livestock handling techniques
There are numerous online vendors to choose from, so just research their production practices and make sure that they follow the above criteria and you will be on your way to healthy, wholesome dining, and the robust vitality that comes from eating grass fed beef.
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