Grass-Fed vs Grain Fed Beef

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Grass Fed farmers

First, know that I am not vegan, nor do I hate on vegans. 

It’s important that as a nutritionist I make informed choices and follow no particular diet. I eat based on my intuition/digestion, the goals I have in mind, and what I enjoy eating. It can be simple!

The problem with food these days is marketing. You can’t trust everything you eat and you must make informed decisions for yourself too.

We see all different types of beef at the grocery store.

Between the quality and different cuts available the options can be overwhelming. 

Grass-fed vs grain-fed. Which should you buy?

The natural diet of a cow

To understand which types to go for, you first have to understand what a cow should eat.

Why? We are what we eat, and therefore we are what they eat too! Diets of the animals matter for meats, and soil matters for foods that grow out of the ground.

For cows, a natural diet consists of plants that can be “grazed” or “browsed.” Grazing generally refers to the eating of grasses, and browsing usually refers to the eating of leaves, twigs, or bark from bushes or trees. 

The unnatural diet of a cow

I will warn you now, once you know this, you can’t un-know this so proceed at your own will. 

What grain-fed animals are fed:

  • Inflammatory grains 
  • Soy and soy-based products
  • Candy (yup – trick or treat)
  • Ground-up byproducts of other sick animals that die in the feedlot (WHAT THE EFFFF)

But that’s not all

The worst part is these animals are often fed growth hormones too (great for putting on size) and antibiotics (terrible for our gut microbiome)

(Anti-biotic means to kill bacteria [even the good])

But why?!?!?

These cows are not practicing social distancing (not by choice) and when that happens they get sick! This way of farming is also referred to CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations). <— Don’t look that up on google images. 

Other reasons to NOT eat grain-fed beef

Due to being crammed in confinement, these animals are highly stressed! 

High stress = high inflammation! 

When animals are not fed their natural diet they become malnourished. Malnourished animals do not grow as large therefore they are pumped with hormones.

Grass-fed farmers practice sustainable farming practices and this means that the cows take longer to grow before being slaughtered. 

More time = higher costs.

Grass-fed beef is worth the extra couple of dollars.

So what if you can’t afford grass-fed beef?

Toxins store easily in the fat of animals. If you have to eat these meats, avoid the fattier cuts!

Watch out for “grass-fed, grain-finished” – it’s basically the same thing as grain-fed! These animals are still getting fed the slop you don’t want to be eating but only now you are paying more for the “grass-fed.”

I know this isn’t great to hear, but my job is to educate you so you can make conscious decisions about how you choose to eat and where you choose to spend your money.

Finding healthy beef near you

Check with your local grocery store or butcher.  

You can also search one of these websites in your area.


You can support a local farm and get the best beef in bulk delivered to your door at great prices!

The takeaway

The quality of beef you eat is the most important aspect when selecting beef. Start questioning everything, do your research, and keep reading my emails! I will do my best to educate you! 

Always keeping it real and looking after you,


PS. Choosing higher quality foods is one of the key skills I work with my clients to develop. Book a consult with me to get clear on your goals and find out what hidden things in your food are blocking you from reaching your potential. I can’t wait to hear from you!

The information I gathered is from a variety of sources. Dr. Anthony Gustin breaks the grass-fed concept down even more in his book Keto Answers.

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