What Does Grass-Fed Meat Really Mean?
If you enjoy eating meat and are concerned about eating healthier, grass-fed meat could be a good option for you. But does it live up to the hype? Learn what grass-fed really means, the benefits, and how to consume more of it to live a healthier lifestyle.
What Does Grass-Fed Meat Mean?
Grass-fed, also called forage fed, means that the animal only ate grass and related vegetation during its lifetime. There is an exception. The animal is allowed to have consumed milk before weaning. The USDA defines grass-fed foraging as grass, legumes, other forbs, and cereal grain crops when they were still vegetative. In other words, those grains weren't actually grains just yet.
However, the animals can't be fed grain or byproducts and should also have to continue access to a proper pasture during the growing season. In most cases, people refer to beef as grass-fed, although it can apply to other animals, too.
What About Grass Finished?
There's also another term called grass-finished, which means the cattle never ate any type of supplemental grain. Grass-fed does allow some supplementation at different points of the animal's life, although there is some debate. For example, some farmers say grass-fed and use it because the animal only ever ate grass. If the differentiation is important to you, ask before you purchase or do a little research on the original source of the product.
What are the Benefits of Eating Grass Fed Beef?
Grass-fed meat is usually packed with B vitamins with higher concentrations of Vitamin A, E, and other antioxidants compared to its grain-fed alternatives. Most grass-fed beef is also lower in levels of saturated fats when compared to grain-fed beef.
If you're watching your weight, grass-fed beef is also a great choice as it has lower calories and supports healthy blood sugar levels. Unlike other meat, many grass-fed varieties contain electrolytes, fewer bacteria, and good fats your body needs.
How Can I Incorporate More Grass Fed Meat Into My Diet?
You can find grass-fed beef available in big-box groceries stores, farmer's markets, local farms, and specialty stores. It's not necessarily hard to find, but it can get pricey, and you don't always know where the meat initially came from and if it's genuinely grass-fed.
Another option to eat healthier is with grass-fed meat subscription meals. FitTrax uses organic ingredients with grass-fed meat made from scratch with recipes from a professional chef. Our meals are perfect for individuals, families, and athletes that are easy to prepare and delicious to eat.
So Is Grass Fed Better Than Organic?
According to the USDA, certified organic means the produce was grown on soil without any prohibited substances (including most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) for three years before harvest. Organic can offer peace of mind that your food is free from unnecessary chemicals and harmful substances.
Organic is a great choice, but grass-fed usually wins out if the cattle was also raised on grass-fed, organic pastures. Not all grass-fed beef is certified organic, and vice versa. But keep in mind either organic or grass-fed are good options for your health.
Enjoy healthy, grain-fed meat and side dishes with orders of 7 to 21 meals at a time. Or you can create custom meals on your own through our A La Carte option with our bulk items to maximize your favorite flavors and nutrients. Get started today.