Why Grass Fed Beef?

Fieldstone Farm
The Curran Family

To find out why Red Devon are superior, please see the section on this website entitled “About Red Devon Cattle.”

But specifically, why grass fed beef? Well, here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say on the subject:

“Grass-fed beef generally comes from cattle that eat only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. Often, conventional beef cattle eat a diet that includes grains, such as corn, at some point. The difference in the diets of the cattle changes the nutrients and fats you get from eating the different types of beef.”

Typically grass fed beef just has lower fat content. A steak that comes from a grain-fed steer can have two or even three times as much fat in it as one from a grass fed steer. And while fat isn’t necessarily bad for you, too much fat, or the wrong kind of fat is definitely not good.

The fat you do find in grass fed beef will not only be lower in saturated fats, it typically has a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids; from two to six times higher. A study published in the November 1995 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with ample amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids see “… a 50% reduction in the risk of primary cardiac arrest.” Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body and studies have indicated that, in addition to helping to avoid heart attacks they may reduce risk of cancer and arthritis.

In addition, grass fed beef is higher in conjugated linoleic acid which some studies have shown to have anti-cancer and anti-obesity effects. An October, 1999 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science reported on a study that showed “Cows grazing pasture and receiving no supplemental feed had 500% more conjugated linoleic acid in milk fat than cows fed typical dairy diets.” If you choose to go with grass fed beef, it only makes sense to get that beef from a breed that has been bred to do well on grass, Red Devons.

It seems clear that grass fed cattle just produce meat and milk that is better for you. What about taste? Taste can be subjective, so why not have a look at what some reliable and respected online sources have to say? Here are comments from the folks at The Huffington Post.

“Before we began the taste test, we worried that people wouldn’t be able to taste the difference between regular and grass-fed beef. ‘How different could they be?’ we wondered. We were SO wrong. Every single editor was able to taste which burger was made with grass-fed beef, and they were almost 100 percent unanimous… as to which one made the better burger. We learned firsthand that the price tag is worth it, people. Grass-fed beef makes for a significantly better tasting burger.”

Grass fed beef has to be finished properly for top quality meat. It makes a big difference, of course, if you are dealing with a breed that is bred to be grass fed, like Red Devons. But even other beef cattle can still provide health benefits, with good taste, if finished properly. We have proven it ourselves at Fieldstone Farm with an actual cross experiment. The feedback from the butcher and his customers was fantastic and overwhelmingly in favour of Red Devon.