To the untrained eye, the terms “grass-fed” and “pasture-raised” can sound pretty similar, if not exactly the same. Even someone who’s been diligently purchasing organic meat for years might not know the difference between the two. Not to worry; we’re here to help. In today’s blog, we’ll sort out any confusion that might come from this terminology and help you understand how to find exactly what you’re looking for in the grocery store or farmer’s market. Check out our blogs for more information on shopping for beef. 

It might seem that the terms grass-fed and pasture-raised are interchangeable. While they are similar, there are some very important differences. Grass-fed refers to the food the cattle eat, while pasture-raised refers to where the cattle eat. 

This can get tricky because pasture-raised cattle are eating grass while they’re in the pasture, right? While the cows in the pasture might be happily getting their fill of grass, they might also be getting grain supplements from the ranch, especially during the winter or during the finishing season. Pasture-raised cattle can be grass-fed cattle, but only if they’re fed a majority of grass in their lifetime. Interested in seeing our very own pastures? Schedule an agritour here.

In a similar way, grass-fed cattle don’t have to be pasture-raised to earn the title; however, this is uncommon. While it’s possible for a cow to be fed entirely grass in a barn, it’s highly unlikely. 

When you’re making a purchasing decision for you and your family, decide what’s important to you to know what label to choose. If you’re interested in what the cow eats, choose the grass-fed steak. If you only care about where it’s eating, the pasture-raised steak could be the choice for you. 

At Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, we have grass-fed beef options to satisfy your palate. View our offerings and contact us with any questions on our website.