Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: The Basics on Grass-Fed Beef

Sponsored: The Basics on Grass-Fed Beef

In the meat department of your Ingles Market you can find beef that is labeled "grass-fed" so let's separate the facts from the fiction on grass-fed.

1. ALL beef cattle start off grazing on grasses or are "grass- fed." Beef cattle are ruminants so they eat a variety of perennial grasses, plants and hay When grasses aren't growing due to weather or the season, the cattle are provided with hay and grasses. 

2. If cattle remain on grass this is known as "grass-finished."  Cattle that are sent to a feedlot and receive a mix of grasses and grains are known as "grain-finished." Because grasses are lower in energy (carbohydrates) it can take longer for grass-finished beef to make their desired weight before being processed for the consumer.

3. Much is made of grass-fed beef having a higher level of omega 3-fatty acids but beef, regardless of what the cattle eat, is not considered a good source for omega 3-fatty acids. no-difference-healthfulness. You are better off getting omega 3-fatty acids from fish like salmon and tuna, plant oils (canola, flaxseed) or from supplements. 

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4. Grass-finished/fed beef is typically slightly leaner/lower in fat that grain-finished depending on the cut of beef. Many people can tell the difference between grass-finished and grain-finished beef and often describe the grass-finished beef as having a "grassy" taste.

For more information on NC beef follow @NCbeef on Twitter or go to

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian



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