Good Ranchers Blog Logo
AboutHelpBlogLoyaltyLoginShop Now

Subscribe to claim your Free Bacon for a year!

The Truth About Grass-Finished Beef

By Good Ranchers

April 17th, 2023

Have you heard about grass-fed, grass-finished beef? We often get asked why we don't sell grass-finished beef, and the short answer is we don't sell it because it's not the best. Companies often attach benefits to the beef being finished on grass. They tell you it's better for the planet, for the animal, and for you but they aren't telling you the truth. It's one of the biggest advertising cons in the meat industry over the past 8 years. Meat suppliers who are importing meat from overseas use this label to cover their low-quality cuts, but we are here to tell you the other side of the story. Let's get into the truth of grass-finished beef.

Just know, we are for Real Beef. With so many substitutes and fake alternatives the market, we are not saying grass-finished is not superior to them. It is way better than fake meat, but that doesn't mean it's this "revolutionary beef" that so many perceive it to be though. Grass-finished beef does not offer you the significantly higher quality and health benefits you may think it does, and it's certainly not worth the premium price so many charge for it.

Grass-Finished vs Grain-Finished 

Grass-finished cows are cows that only eat grass for their whole lives. They do not consume grain in their diet at any point. Grain-finished cows eat grass for the majority of their lives and are then finish by eating grass and a supplemental grain mixture for the last few months. How does that change the finishing process? It changes a lot actually. So which one is better for the you, the animal, and the planet? 

Better For The You

Often the most spread around falsehoods for grass-finished is that it has more "health benefits" than grain-finished beef, but that's not true. In terms of beef health benefits, the Animal Research Department at TAMU found that, "there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that ground beef from grass-fed cattle is a healthier alternative to ground beef from conventionally raised, grain-fed cattle." (TAMU) This finding about ground beef is found to be true about other types of beef as well.

Though some people make claims that studies have proven a significant difference between the two categories of beef, even the Mayo Clinic states, "there is limited long-term research to definitively prove that grass-fed beef is better for you." (MayoClinic) No matter how the beef is finished, it is a great source of key vitamins and minerals for you. 

Better For The Animal

Grass-finished beef proponents would tell you grain is bad for cows, but that is another lie. It's not unhealthy for cattle to eat grain. The myth that grains and corns are bad for cattle isn't true at all. In fact, cattle are fed grains like corn because they are nutritious, energy-rich, and can be stored for use throughout the year. If we were to rely solely on grass to feed our cattle, many farms and ranches would struggle to feed their herds due to seasonality of grass growing throughout the country.

Grain feeding isn't a new practice and has been going on since the 1800s in the cattle industry. The misconception is that ranchers looking to fatten up their cows and make a quick buck use this method, but it's really utilized by those farms and ranches seeking to raise a consistently excellent product in every aspect. Grass-finished beef is not a superior way to raise the animal. Grain-finished is actually the most nutrient-rich way to feed and take care of cattle.

Better For The Planet

Meat in America gets a bad reputation for emissions, and wrongfully so in a lot of ways. In fact, the percentage of yearly emissions that meat accounts for has remained consistent over the past few years even though demand continues to go up. This highlights how our system is constantly improving to consistently, and sustainably produce the best meat in the world. That doesn't answer the question of which beef is better for the planet though. Is it grass or grain-finished beef?

Grain finished beef is significantly better for the planet than grass-finished, and here's why: The diet and the longer lifespan of grass-finished cattle greatly increase the emissions—up to 67.5% higher. Yes, grain-finished is way better at reducing methane emissions and saving time in raising high-quality beef. The planet is better off for the systems we've created to quickly, safely, and sustainably produce great food for this country and the world to enjoy.

It's Finished

Get the beef that was finished right. Don't sacrifice quality and flavor for health benefits that aren't proven and marketing that never lives up to the hype. Get yourself USDA Prime or Upper Choice beef from Good Ranchers—that's the top 15% of beef in the country. Every piece is perfectly aged, hand cut, and vacuum sealed to lock in the quality until it reaches your door. Put the grass-finished beef lies behind you, and step into the flavor of beef done the right way. Visit our shop HERE and buy one of our meat subscription boxes today. Guaranteed the first bite will prove to you just how much better our process is than our competitors. 

Follow us on Social @GoodRanchers to stay up to date on all things meat!