There’s been a lot of interest over the last few years concerning the treatment of our cattle and the amount of toxic waste the industry contributes to climate change. Industrialised cattle farms use feeds containing cereal and soy (collectively known as ‘grain’) as the primary diet for cattle, but with new studies and a higher appreciation of the impact of carbon emissions on the environment, there’s been a shift in thinking in what constitutes the best diet for cattle, the environment and the consumer.
Grass fed beef has so many benefits over grain fed beef and in this article, we’ll lay out our reasons why you should make the switch today!
1. Grass fed beef is more nutritious
The term ‘grass fed’ is a bit of a misnomer really. In actual fact, cattle are fed on a combination of grass, herbs, flowers and clover, which are collectively known as ‘pasture’. As interest has increased in this method of farming over the years, it’s pretty standard to grow both red and white clover as well as grass for the cattle to feed on.
There are now around 70 farms in the UK that hold the Pasture for Life certificate, which ensures that their cattle are 100% fed on pasture.
The reason why pasture fed beef is more nutritious is because the plants and foliage they eat produce their own antioxidants that protect them from disease, premature ageing and harmful sun rays. When these antioxidant rich plants are digested by the cattle, their nutrients are stored in their fat and consequently transferred to humans when their meat is consumed.
In fact, it’s a common belief among nutritionists that grass fed beef contains more vitamins, minerals, and good fats than grain fed beef. it contains higher levels of Omega-3 and Vitamin E. All essential for human health.
2. Grass fed beef is better for the environment
There’s good reason why grass fed beef is better for the environment. Firstly, clover rich pastures need no maintenance and don’t require the use of fertilizers or pesticides, both of which contain nitrates and are a major source of carbon emission. Industrial livestock farming uses both of these products! The other really important point about the environment is that industrial farming requires more space and as a result, leads to depletion of the forests to make way for more intense farming practices.
3. Grass fed beef is better for farmers
It’s pretty much a win-win situation, as cattle fed on pasture is a cheaper alternative to grain. Pasture is less expensive than grain for starters! Added to that, because the cattle feed itself is full of antioxidants, they require less intervention from vets and their subsequent bills. Feeding cattle on grass through the winter is cheaper also, as the forage made during the summer months is cheaper to produce.
4. Grass fed cows are happier
Cows that are free to roam in pastures which are jam packed full of nutrition and antioxidants are infinitely happier, which in turn provides a rich, intensely flavoured meat.
5. Benefits for the consumer
If you’ve never tasted grass fed beef before, then you’re in for a treat! Meat tastes better – it’s slightly sweeter, due to the higher quantity of clover in the diet, but has a quality to it that you just don’t get with grain fed cattle.
Martins Meats are a well established, multi award winning butchers, serving both the trade and the retail market since 2003. We’re based in Cheltenham, but our meats are sold throughout the UK. If you want more information, visit our website www.martinsmeats.com or give us a call on 01242 621493