Potential Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef:

  • Lower in total fat, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats (Duckett et al 2009, Duckett et al 2013, Leheska et al 2008, Lorenzen et al 2007)
    • Up to 3g less total saturated fat from the average 8oz grass-fed steak compared to conventional grain fed steak.
  • Lower in cholesterol (Rule et al 2002)
    • Up to 20mg less cholesterol from the average 8oz grass-fed steak compared to conventional grain fed steak.
  • Higher percentage of omega-6 fatty acids (Daley et al 2010)
    • An increase of up to 25% omega-6 in grass-fed beef over conventional grain fed beef.
  • Higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids (Duckett et al 2009, Duckett et al 2013, Leheska et al 2008, Lorenzen et al 2007)
    • An increase of 2 – 4 times more omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed beef over conventional grain fed beef.
  • Higher percentage of CLA – Conjugated linoleic acids (Duckett et al 2009, Daley et al 2010, Lorenzen et al 2007)
    • An increase of 2 times more CLAs in grass-fed beef over conventional grain fed beef.Morning-Move-1
  • Higher in the antioxidants vitamin E and beta-carotene (Duckett et al 2009, Duckett et al 2013)
    •  An increase of up to 3 times more vitamin E and 10 times more beta-carotene in grass-fed beef over conventional grain fed beef.
  • Higher in B-Vitamins (Duckett et al 2009)
    • An increase of up to twice the riboflavin and three times the thiamine in grass-fed beef over conventional grain fed beef.
  • Reduced E. coli exposure risk (Sumner et al 2003)
    • Animals harvested in small local abattoirs were found to have 3 times less exposure risk to food borne pathogens compared to large scale slaughterhouses.

Environmental Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef on Our Farm:

  • Reduced fossil fuel use
    • The cows do most of the work when it comes to harvesting and fertilizing our fields, which has dramatically reducing the amount of fuel we use.
  • Reduced commercial fertilizer use
    • The cattle spread their manure across the pasture where it becomes a natural source of organic fertilizer.
    • The legumes we plant in our pastures naturally produce nitrogen for use by the surrounding plants.
  • Reduced herbicide and pesticide use
    • The cows eat the plants that we used to consider weeds because they consider them food, leading to an increase in plant bio-diversity in our pastures.
    • The decrease in pesticide use has led to an increase in insect bio-diversity in our pastures, including honey bees and dung beetles. We have also seen an increase in animal and bird life as well.
  • Reduced soil erosion
    • We have seen a huge reduction in soil erosion on our farm since we converted our row crop acres to pasture.
    • The ground is covered all year long, absorbing the rain water and holding on to it, instead of running off into our streams and ponds and taking top soil with it, which has improved our water quality as well.
  • Improved soil quality
    • We have seen managed grazing improve our soil quality by:
      – Increasing organic matter in the soil, sequestering carbon in the soil.
      – Increasing our earth worm populations.
      – Which all improve the microbes in the soil, improving overall soil health and fertility.Bee-Hives-1
  • Provided wildlife habitat
    • We have seen an increase in native bird populations on the farm, including: pheasant, quail and turkey. Many flocks of birds, especially swallows, act as our fly control.
    • Our pastures are teaming with beneficial insects: dragonflies, butterflies, bumble bees and honey bees.
  • Dramatic increase in honey bee population
    • We started with two honey bee hives in 2014, which increased to ten in 2015, plus multiple swarms that came to the farm that we gave to other local bee keepers.
    • The bees seem to be attracted to all the flowering pastures that are in constant bloom during the growing season, which provide a pesticide free buffer zone around the hives.

  1.  Daley,C. A., Abbott, A., Doyle, P.S., Nader,G.A., & Larson,S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal, 9, 1–12.
  2. Duckett, S. K., Neel, J. P.S., Fontenot, J. P., & Clapham,W. M. (2009). Effects of winter stocker growth rate and finishing system on: III. Tissue proximate, fatty acid, vitamin and cholesterol content. Journal of Animal Science, 87, 2961–2970.
  3. Duckett, S. K., Neel, J. P.S., Lewis, R. M., Fontenot, J. P., & Clapham, W. M. (2013). Effects of forage species or concentrate finishing on animal performance, carcass and meat quality. Journal of Animal Science, 91, 1454–1467.
  4. Leheska, J. M., Thompson, L. D., Howe, J. C., Hentges, E., Boyce, J., Brooks, J. C., Shriver, B., Hoover, L., & Miller, M. F. (2008). Effects of conventional and grass-feeding systems on the nutrient composition of beef. Journal of Animal Science, 8, 3575–3685.
  5. Lorenzen, C. L., Golden, J. W., Martz, F. A., Grun, I. U., Ellersieck, M. R., Gerrish, J. R., & Moore, K. C. (2007). Conjugated linoleic acid content of beef differs by feeding regime and muscle. Meat Science, 75, 159–167.
  6. Rule, D. C., Broughton, K. S., Shellito, S. M., & Maiorano, G. (2002). Comparison of muscle fatty acid profiles and cholesterol concentrations of bison, beef cattle, elk, and chicken. Journal of Animal Science, 80, 1202–1211.
  7. Sumner, J., Petrenas, E., Dean, P., Dowsett, P., West, G., Wiering, R., Raven, G. (2002) Microbial contamination on beef and sheep carcases in South Australia. International Journal of Food Microbiology 81 (2003) 255– 260.