Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed Beef

Here is a detailed and thoughtful article which touches on the politics of food but primarily analyzes the kitchen potential of grass-fed beef.

Personally, I prefer grass-fed, free-range livestock products when I can get them.  I'm okay with supplementing  pasture with grains, as many farmers do.  I just don't think feedlots and other mass-confinement practices are good for animals or humans eating them.  I particularly like shopping at a nearby Amish meat market; we often buy a package or two of meat per year there.  (It is MUCH cheaper in bundles.)  Those animals have a fairly natural life, and I can see cows, horses, pigs, chickens, etc. outdoors on the way to the shop.  Our food co-op is also a good source, as is the farmer's market in warm weather, and one of the international food stores carries farmed lamb.  My preferences are based on a mix of philosophical, practical, and culinary points.

The article does raise a point that grass-fed beef is easier to wreck.  If you're going to swap beef into venison recipes, buy grass-fed.  If you're going to try grass-fed for the first time, read instructions on how to cook venison (also very lean) nicely.  The grass diet makes for a leaner cow with less marbling, which is awesome if you want a low-fat diet, but you have to cook it gently or it will turn to leather.  I recommend a crock pot for many cuts.  Another good safety catch is to use a sauce with enzymes or acids, to help keep the meat moist and tender.
Tags: food, news
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