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 

https://www.bigpicturebeef.com/grazing-pasture. 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. 

https://extension.psu.edu/grass-fed-beef-production.

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. https://www.beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/grass-fed-vs-grain-fed-ground-beef- 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. 

Related Items

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer.

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 ncbeef.org

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian

twitter.com/InglesDietitian

facebook.com/LeahMcgrathDietitian

800-334-4936

 

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