The grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef debate
CNN Health, featured a very interesting experiment/article from Cooking Light magazine in March of last year. Kim Cross wanted to test the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Her test included health, price, and taste.
They were quite clever to purchase half a cow of the grass-fed, which met the price of the cheapo super market meat (averaging all types of beef together) and blew away premium prices like Whole Foods and other grass-fed or organically raised beef. This also causes a major issue for the average consumer because not everyone has the freezer space for that much meat. 243 pounds of beef, assuming you eat meat for every meal every day it will still last two people almost a year. But they also suggest a “cowpool” which is interesting on many levels.
And while the number of U.S. grass-fed beef producers is rising -- from 50 in 2002 to more than 2,000 today -- they face big challenges, including higher operating costs, a shortage of processors, loose standards for the definition of "grass-fed," a lack of consistent quality, and consumer wariness about taste and texture.
The tasting tests goes on for a very long time. While studies show that the more lean cows like Brangus are much healthier and even have more vitamins and omega-3 in the fat, there is much less fat. Cooking some of the tougher cuts can be challenging, and need to have a very slow and careful approach or you may be dealing with a very tough chew and little taste.
When all is summed up from my read, I’ve decided for myself that if I want to eat healthy and in a more sustainable way, grass-fed is not the way to go. I would rather choose a different source of protein entirely than suffer the cost, effort, and taste.