This is one of the ingredients we feel most strongly about. It’s in our prized beef & cheddar empanada and in our chili (even the broth we use is made from grass-fed beef). We get our beef from Rain Crow Ranch, which boasts USDA Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, and American Grassfed certifications. It is the best stuff out there.
So why are we so obsessed? What is are the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed? There are many, but here are the three factors that matter to us the most.
The nutritional content of grass-fed beef is far richer than grain fed beef. Through their diet, grass-fed cattle consume the carotonoids that give plants their bright pigmentation. This translates into much higher caratonoid content for grass-fed beef, which is important because caratonoids are both powerful anti-oxidants and are necessary for vitamin A production.
And grass-fed cattle aren’t just eating grass. They munch on all kinds of tasty bugs, berries, plants etc. This dietary diversity makes for a much healthier animal which then yields much healthier meat (healthier as in more antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins across the board).
Most people these days know that Omega 3s are important, so we should note that Grass-fed beef has a higher Omega 3 content than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef also contains 2-3x more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a less well-known nutrient that likely protects against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Once you’re used to eating grass-fed, grain-fed beef just doesn’t cut it.
3. Environmental stewardship/animal welfare
Cows that eat grass spend more time outside. They are more free to follow their instincts and have a more natural social structure. Grass-fed operations are less damaging to the environment because they rely less on industrial farming techniques and are thus less energy intensive.