What is the difference in Grass finished and Grain finished?
This is by far our most asked question. Our grass finished cattle never receive any grain. They are started and finished on grass their entire lives, almost 2 1/2 years from birth to harvest. Our grain finished cattle are on grass up to about 600-700# and then slowly transition to a mostly grain diet. The primary ingredient being steam flaked or cracked corn. The grain finished cattle still have access to hay and grass and are consuming about 85% of their diet on grain. This produces that great marbling that we all love.
What is Grass-finished Beef?
Grass-finished beef (sometimes marketed as grass-fed beef) comes from cattle that have been raised on a forage diet their entire lives. While most cattle spend the majority of their lives in pastures eating grass before moving to a feedlot for grain-finishing, grass-finished beef cattle remain on a pasture and forage diet.
Nutritional Value of Grass-finished Beef
All beef is nutrient-rich, with eight times more vitamin B12, six times more zinc, and three times more iron than skinless chicken breast. There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean, like the tenderloin, sirloin and 95% lean ground beef.
- One 3.5-ounce serving of grass-finished beef offers 15 milligrams more omega-3 than other kinds of beef. However, in general, beef is not considered a primary source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- While grass-finished beef can contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than other kinds of beef, research has not determined whether this difference results in a more significant health benefit. Health professionals believe CLA, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, has cancer-fighting properties.
- Grass-finished beef provides 4 percent of the Daily Value for Vitamin E compared to 1.5 percent for grain-fed beef. Vitamin E-rich foods such as almonds provide 24 percent of the Daily Value for Vitamin E.
Taste of GrassFinished Beef
Compared to grain-fed beef, true grass-finished products are often described as having a distinctively different taste. Some say it's similar to wild game while others think it more bold and beefy.
How do I best prepare Grass raised/finished beef?
Grass-fed beef has less fat (marbling) than corn finished beef, so for best results utilize the very-low-and-slow approach—longer cooking times at low temperatures. For example: instead of cooking a steak at 350 degrees for 15 minutes you might consider using off heat (not directing over the flame) at 250 degrees for 20-25 minutes. There are lots of ways to prepare protein. YouTube has some great tips!
How are you different from conventional cattle feeding?
"I don't feel that the conventional cattle feeder is wrong. I just feel that there is a Better way to raise beef. I do feel that the large corporate cattle feeders and packing plants are not listening to the wants and needs of the customer. They are not designed to quickly adapt and then produce a product that an increasing number of consumers are asking for". We are not here to feed the world. We want to feed our community and let the next guy down the road feed his community." - Stephen Kirkland
"I feel that being small, local and involved in every single stage gives us an advantage by providing what our customers are telling us they want for their family's protein needs. Our goal is to listen to what customers have to say and produce a wholesome, affordable product that meets their needs.
We know what went into the production of the protein that is going to end up on your family's table. We take a lot of pride in being extremely transparent with every stage of our process. We want to build relationships with our customers by earning their trust and providing a great product.
One of the biggest factors we prefer our beef over grocery store's is our single batch grind on ground beef. We never add any outside products or fillers. Our beef doesn't contain fats from other sources or other counties all blended together." - Stephen Kirkland