The Truth About BEEF



Information About

Mad Cow Disease or BSE

The False BSE Scare

Hormones in Beef

Beef It's What For dinner

Beef Nutrition Organization

School Wellness board

Facts About Beef



What's The Beef About

Grass Fed or Grain Fed




The Truth About The

Grass Fed Verses Grain Fed

Beef Discussion

First: The actual term used should be finished not fed.

     When beef is discussed most think of the "beef breeds' such as Angus, Hereford, or Shorthorn. These cattle all eat grass for some of their life. All of them are grass fed. The most of the calves remain on pasture untill they weigh 600-900 pounds. They than are moved to finishing lots where they are fed diets of forage (silage, hay, ect.) with grain added. If they are fed strictly grain diets it is the last 100 plus days before they are slaughtered. Very few are ever fed a strict grain diet; very few beef breed cattle are even finished on a strict diet of only grain.

      Calves that go to the slaughterhouse directly of pasture are grass fed and also grass finished. So if the discussion is legitimate the terms grain finished and grass finished

      It is true some Holstein steers (dairy breed) are fed a diet of mostly grain from a very young age. These could be rightly called grain fed and grain finished.

Be sure those who want to discuss this issue with use the right terms!          


What is not usually discussed

The amount of grain and the length of time grain is fed to the cattle will have an affect on the omega-3 levels.
Have you ever heard that grain is not a natural part of a cow's diet? The fact is grain is a natural part of the diet of cattle. Grazing cattle will often eat mature grass that has headed out (produced seed) seed is a type of grain. In fact some types of headed out grass will seed that will produce choice beef that is just like corn or other grain finished beef.

If environmental issues are used in the discussion consider these statements

Cattle fed diets containing grain will gain weight faster than cattlroduce fed strictly grass. A 1000 lb. grass finished steer will be several months older than a 1000 finished steer with grain added to it's diet. The type and amount grain fed will effect the finished age. The 1000 lb. steer finished on a diet containing grain will yield more pound of beef than the grass only fed steer.
All cattle produce methane gas and manure even grass finished cattle. The discussion should be the amount produced per pound of beef.
Confined feedlots have to have manure management plans filed with EPA and other government agencies. The manure is a valuable fertilizer. it used in a managed, efficient way. The manure is tested regularly to confirm the nutrient content and how it should be applied to farm ground.