" /> Why Grass-Fed Beef Online is the Healthier and Tastier Choice

Why Buying Grass-Fed Beef Online is the Best Choice for You

Written by Charlie Sprague February 12, 2022

Why Buying Grass-Fed Beef Online| Food Related | San Antonio, TX

What is grass-fed beef and why buy it online?

Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that are fed only on grass, pasture, and other forages. The name implies that the cattle are grass-fed from birth to harvest, however this is not always the case (be on the lookout for 100% grass-fed or grass-fed and finished to ensure that you’re getting beef that has never been fed grains or commercial feed). It takes a lot of work and a whole lot of land to produce fully grass-fed beef, but this premium meat is without a doubt worth the effort.

Grass-Fed Beef vs. Grain Fed Beef: What's the Difference?

Technically speaking, all beef is grass fed beef. Calves spend the first parts of their lives in the pasture with their mothers, where they feed on milk and graze on grass. It’s where the cows go afterwards that makes the difference. The vast majority of calves raised in the US are sent to feedlots and fed on commercial feed and grains for the last parts of their lives.

Health benefits of grass-fed beef

  • Lower in total fat
  • Higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • Higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • Higher in antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E

So, why should you choose grass-fed beef over conventional beef?

Well, for one, grass-fed beef is much healthier. It's lower in total fat, saturated fat, and calories, and higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved heart health. Grass-fed beef is also higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to help reduce body fat and improve insulin sensitivity.

In addition to being healthier, grass-fed beef is also more flavorful and tender than conventional beef. This is because the cows are allowed to graze on a variety of different grasses, which gives the meat a more complex and interesting flavor. Grass-fed beef is also typically aged for a longer period of time, which allows the natural enzymes in the meat to break down the muscle fibers and make it more tender.

This also leads to the meat produced by grass fed cattle being higher in omega-3 fatty acids than their conventional counterparts. Grains are high in omega-6 fatty acids, while grass is higher in omega-3s, leading to a better ratio between the two in the finished product.

In addition to being healthier, grass-fed beef is also more flavorful and tender than conventional beef. This is because the cows are allowed to graze on a variety of different grasses, which gives the meat a more complex and interesting flavor.

Conventional beef

Roughly 80% of beef production in the US is grain-fed, known as the conventional method for beef production. Their high-energy diet allows them to reach their target production weight much quicker than grass-fed cows, and in much higher quantity. Meat produced from grain-fed cows is fatty and visibly marbled, and much higher in omega-6s than omega-3s.

There are several reasons why buying grass-fed beef online is worth considering:

  • Quality: Grass-fed beef is known for its higher quality and better taste due to the animals' natural diet and exercise. By buying grass-fed beef online, you're getting the highest quality product delivered to you.
  • Convenience: Online shopping is more convenient than going to a physical store, as you can browse through a wide variety of options from the comfort of your own home. Plus, you don't have to worry about transportation or parking.
  • Access to a wider variety of cuts: When shopping for grass-fed beef in a physical store, you may only have access to a limited selection of cuts. But when you shop online, you'll find a greater selection, including rare and hard-to-find cuts that may not be available on store shelves.
  • Traceability: When you buy grass-fed beef online, you can often trace the source of the meat back to the farm where it was raised. This provides transparency and allows you to make an informed decision about the quality of the product.

Does grass-fed beef require any special cooking techniques?

Cooking Grass fed beef is just like cooking your favorite conventional steak, but it’s important to keep in mind that grass-fed beef is much, much leaner. Because it’s so lean, it cooks quicker than grain-fed beef, taking around 30% less cooking time.

  • Use a meat thermometer: Grass-fed beef is best cooked to medium-rare or medium, as it tends to become tough and dry when cooked well-done. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the beef reaches 130-140°F for medium-rare and 140-150°F for medium.
  • Cook at lower temperatures: Because grass-fed beef is leaner, it is more susceptible to overcooking and becoming dry and tough. Cook it at a lower temperature than you would conventional beef to ensure that it stays juicy and tender.
  • Let it rest: After cooking, let the beef rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This will help ensure that it stays juicy and tender.
  • Consider marinating: Grass-fed beef can benefit from a marinade to help tenderize the meat and add flavor. Just be sure to use a marinade that is free of sugar and other additives.

Is all grass-fed beef organic?

Grass-fed and organic are not mutually exclusive. Organically raised cows may or may not have been fed grains in their lifetime, but are subject to stricter USDA guidelines than grass fed or conventional beef.

To receive an organic certification from the USDA, farming practices need to meet a certain set of qualifications:

  • First, cattle must be raised by organic management from before the birth of the calf to their harvest.
  • They cannot receive any antibiotics or growth hormones. Producers must remove animals that become sick and get treatment from the National Organic Program.
  • Their food must be fully organic as well. Food treated with pesticides disqualifies them from being organic. There is no rule about food being grass and forage only, so grain-fed cattle can also be organic.
  • Organic cattle need free access to certified organic pasture for the entire grazing season, or at least 120 days. Grazing needs to constitute at least 30% of the cow’s diet.
  • And finally, all processors that process the meat have to be certified organic facilities.

If all of these qualifications are met, the meat can then be labeled with the USDA’s Certified Organic label on any packaging.

Grass-fed beef around the world

Grass-fed beef follows different sets of guidelines around the world as to what qualifies it as fully grass-fed. Other factors, such as available forage and pasture time, affect the grade of the final product.


The USDA is more lenient for what we consider grass-fed. During the growing season, the cattle should have access to pasture. The feed requirements can comprise grass, forage, and cereal grain crops. The definition of “pasture-raised” is not regulated in the US, so any amount of time in the pasture qualifies as pasture-raised.

The USDA has three categories for quality of beef: Prime, Choice, Select. The US grading system strongly emphasizes intramuscular fat. This fat is found more in grain-fed beef because of the castle’s high-energy diet. Grass-fed beef rarely grades on this scale due to the leanness of the meat.

Australia and New Zealand

The Meat Standards Australia (MSA) system takes tenderness, juiciness, and flavor into account. Intramuscular fat, while a factor, is not a prerequisite to receiving a grading. Australia is the largest producer of grass-fed beef, due to mild winters and ample land available for cows to graze on.

To qualify as grass-fed In New Zealand, cattle must have unrestricted access to the pasture at all times. The cattle must be on a diet of grass (hay, silage, lucerne, feed crops) and supplementary feeds. Beef cannot be labeled as grass fed if they do not spend time in the pasture. In addition to this, GMOs are illegal in New Zealand, and added hormones and antibiotics are never given to grass fed cattle. This leads to New Zealand having some of the most consistently tender and flavorful grass-fed meat around.

South America

Argentina and Uruguay are also major exporters of grass-fed beef. South America in general sees mild winters and warm summers, with plenty of pasture for cattle to graze.

Argentinians are serious about their beef, and have high standards when it comes to raising cattle. In fact, the vast majority of beef that comes from Argentina has been completely grass-fed and finished, with cows spending their entire lives feasting on the grasses of Las Pampas, or grasslands. Argentina is fairly new to grading their beef on a regulated scale, but has recently put in place a system to track the marbling, tenderness, and color of the beef.

In Uruguay, animals are strictly monitored and tracked with a specialized numbering system known as the DICOSE system. Each animal has an individualized number that stays with them from birth to harvest, even when changing hands between farms. Uruguayan farmers can apply on a voluntary basis to have their beef certified by the government on a number of factors, including “grass-fed”, “open range”, and “source verified”. Certification raises the value of the meat and helps differentiate their products as a higher quality choice.

Why Buying Grass-Fed Beef Online | Food Related | San Antonio, TX

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