Delicious and Nutritious
There are many reasons why we believe beef raised on grass alone is better for your health.
Most of the beef consumed in Australia grazes on pasture for the first six to twelve months of its life, before being finished in a feedlot, where it is fed a combination of grains, soy and other supplements. Here they are usually treated with chemicals for parasites, sometimes given hormones and growth promotants, and are extremely restricted in their natural movement.
However the meat coming from cattle fed on grass alone contains a much larger proportion of micro-nutrients beneficial to human health. Maybe that’s why our forefathers were so healthy and sickness and disease were less prevalent?
At CGL Beef we believe that emulating the growing and eating and patterns of livestock from days gone by has many positives.
Feedlot cattle can grow to finished weight up to a year faster than grazing animals which consume grass alone. This is why conventional feedlot grown beef is cheaper – it is grown faster and looked after for a shorter period of time. The feedlot process speeds the animal to slaughter weight and also enhances fat marbling, however these boosted fat levels change the nutritional composition of the meat, and – from a health point of view – not for the better.
The Importance of Beta-carotene
Beta-carotene is one of the important micro-nutrients contained within beef, which converts to vitamin-A. We need vitamin A for eye health, for a strong immune system, and for healthy skin. Beta-carotene is essentially absent in barley, found in small amounts in corn, but is present in much higher concentrations in a grass pasture diet. It’s the same plant pigment that makes carrots orange. Green grass may not look orange, but it’s loaded with beta-carotene.
The Colour of Fat!
The rich yellow fat colour in grass fed beef comes from Beta-carotene, an important anti-oxidant. Unlike the majority of micro-nutrients within beef which cannot be seen with the naked eye, you can actually SEE how beta-carotene affects beef fat – from the colour!
Cattle finished (fed in a feedlot) on barley have very white fat. Cattle finished on corn have yellowish fat. And cattle finished on grass pastures without any grains have fat that is even richer yellow.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Grass fed beef is also abundant in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for body function but also deliver big health benefits (reduce inflammation, help lower risk of diseases and are vital for good brain function).
When the effect of all these micro-nutrients are added together, it is not surprising that beef raised on a pasture-diet is going to taste different than beef fattened on a grain-based feed ration.