Grass-fed vs Grass-finished

October 19, 2020

Grass-fed beef and grass-finished beef sounds like the same thing, right? You may not realize it, but there is actually a very big difference in the way the animals are raised and fed.

“Grass-fed beef” refers to cattle that began eating grass in the early years, then was transitioned to a fully grain-based diet in order to quickly gain weight and achieve higher fat content. The grain feed fed to the cows most commonly includes a mixture of GMO foods such as corn and other legumes.  Although they were fed grains in their last few months – this meat can still officially be labeled ‘grass-fed’ at the grocery store. Keep in mind that cattle labeled like this may also not be pasture-raised, meaning they were kept in feedlots unable to graze freely on open fields and feed on natural grasses

A ‘grass-finished’ beef comes from cattle that were raised on a 100% grass and forage diet their entire life. There was no forced grain feeding near the end of their lives, and its meat is all-natural just the way it’s meant to be. At NIKU Farms all of our cattle are grass-finished and pasture-raised.  A 100% grass diet results in a delicious difference in flavour and neuroscientist Professor Bazinet’s lab tests found that there are much higher quantities of Omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed steaks than grain-fed ones (a tenfold difference!).

All of our meats are antibiotic-free, non-GMO, free of added hormones, and our farm partners are all committed to raising animals as naturally as possible in open pastures. The expertise it takes to raise animals on pasture does not come easily, and our farmers work up to the highest standards to make sure all their livestock lives happily and healthily. All of our meats, chicken, beef, pork, bison, lamb, and fish are raised as sustainably and ethically as possible. When you order your first box at NIKU Farms you can feel confident in your decisions and make some delicious meals!