Selecting Grass-fed Beef Is A Prime Choice

US - It used to be easy to decide which steaks to buy. You based the purchase on which cut you preferred and whether you wanted to pay the premium price for beef labeled "choice" (a grade that notes plentiful fat streaking called marbling) or, if you could find it, "prime" (a grade with even more marbling) instead of the less-flavorful "select" grade found in many supermarkets
calendar icon 27 July 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

Our concerns focused on flavor and texture, not the cattle's dinner.

But now that the grass-fed movement is gaining steam, shoppers have a choice about whether they want to buy meat from cows that have eaten a 100 percent grass diet or those that have been fattened up in feedlots on grain (specifically corn).

Proponents of pasture-only beef point to research that shows the health benefits of grass-fed cattle, a lower fat and calorie count, and an increased amount of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Plus, grass-fed beef is free of antibiotics; holding cattle in feedlots can cause illness, which encourages some producers to mix antibiotics into the feed. Often they are also given hormones to grow bigger faster.

But critics contend that pasture-finished beef can be tough. Some say it just doesn't have the right taste.

To find out more about the grass-fed vs. grain-fed issues, I spoke with a cattleman, a chef and a supermarket meat buyer.


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