June 21, 2019
Since the turn of the 20th century, consumers like you have had a choice at the butcher shop, and later, at the grocery store meat counter: grain fed beef or grass fed beef? Of course, grass fed costs a little more, but why? Is it worth the extra cost?
Grass Fed: The Consumer’s History
According to Kansas Rural Center, 1916 was the year that the beef industry divided into two main segments: grass fed and grain fed. Grass fed beef, also known as beef made from cattle who are allowed to forage for their own fresh food, isn’t new by any means. However, it has become a trendy label for foodies, restaurants, and retailers alike in recent years. 1.5% of restaurant menus in the U.S. mention grass fed beef, and the term is ubiquitous on Instagram, food blogs, and store shelves.
Here’s more proof of grass fed beef’s rise: the chart above (Via Google’s Ngram Viewer) shows the rise of the use of the term “grass fed beef” in written form between 1800 and 2008. The line would likely be off the charts now.
Why does grass fed cost more?
We know grass fed is popular. And we know grass fed beef costs more than your typical cut. But, there are several good reasons for that slightly higher price …
- Grass fed takes longer: Grass fed beef is given the time to grow on natural forages, without added growth hormones. That means that our farmers provide more resources to get cattle ready for market.
- Grass fed requires more room: Grass fed cattle get ample room to roam, which means our farmers provide a bigger up-front real estate investment, then more maintenance, labor, and resources long-term.
- Grass fed beef comes from family farms: Our family farms handle smaller quantities of cattle at one time, and they are more spread out to allow for that much-needed roaming room. That means our family farms are paid for the quality they provide—instead of just quantity.
Is grass fed beef worth the price?
We certainly think so. We see grass fed farming as an art. Our family farms work with the natural environment, healthy soil, nutritious forage, and a tranquil environment to offer outstanding beef—at its peak—to your family. And, our cattle never receive antibiotics or added growth hormones, so you can feel good about what you’re eating.