There is a subtle but remarkably large difference between grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Grass-fed cattle only eat grass on pasture for Most, Not All of the animals’ life and is finished (fattened for slaughter) on a fattening diet of grain. Grass-finished on the other hand, means the animal eats on pasture 100% of the time, from birth until death. At Bold Branch Beef our animals are grass-finished, eating grass and hay 100% of the time, but we use the term grass fed and finished interchangeably, honestly because its a hassle to say, “We sell grass-fed and finished beef” 100 times a day!
Our grass-fed (and finished!) beef is a return to the way beef used to be raised. A cow is not supposed to eat high calorie grain, instead they are ruminants, which are perfectly equipped to turn low energy forages (grass, legumes, even weeds) into sustainable nutrition. Grain fattens cows, leading to unhealthy beef and changes the pH balance in the animals stomach (this increased acidity must be counteracted by pumping the animal full of antibiotics to limit stomach ulcers). On the other hand, cattle that forage on pasture their entire lives can free-range, choosing what they want to eat and when they want to eat, avoid almost all the health issues associated with the feedlot system, evenly fertilize the pasture in a natural way (thereby continuing the cycle of plant growth leading to animal growth), and result in a leaner meat. Comparing supermarket beef produced in the broken feedlot system to pasture raised beef is worse than comparing apples to oranges, its like comparing fresh, natural, and healthy food to factory farming!