If you’re trying to shop healthier for you and your family, you might be baffled by the labels in the grocery store. They’re confusing and hard to navigate. In today’s blog, we’ll break down the organic and grass-fed classifications so you have a better idea of what you’re looking for in the store. For more information on cooking beef, check out this blog post on marinades.
The organic label given by the USDA may have a different meaning than you think. According to the USDA Organic Production and Handling Standards, this term requires cows be unconfined in a pasture and allowed to eat grass for the entire grazing season. It also states that at least 30 percent of their feed must be grasses. This leaves the other 70 percent up to interpretation though. You could be getting organic beef that did have free grazing and grass, but with 70 percent of their diet coming from grains (free from GMOs, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics) in the wintertime.
To qualify for the USDA’s Grass-Fed label, cows must only be fed their mother’s milk and forage for the duration of their lives. They must also have access to pasture during the growing season.
It’s important to note the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished. All cows are fed at least some grass during their lifetime, but few gain the distinction of grass-finished. That means they were not fed grains at the end of their life to encourage quick weight gain.
The Best of Both Worlds
Since cows are meant to eat grass, they’re getting their essential nutrients right from the source. Grass-fed cattle can then pass those directly on to you. When you combine that with the advantages of organic beef, you’re getting delicious beef that’s full of flavor and nutrition guaranteed to keep you feeling full longer. For more on the benefits of grass-fed beef, visit our website.
At Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, we offer a quality, sustainable beef product full of micronutrients. We’ve been perfecting our ranching for generations, and take pride in the products we pass on to you. Learn more about our history on our website.