At Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, it’s our goal to educate consumers about what goes into their beef. At the grocery store, labels can get confusing. Every label is held to different standards too. Today, we’ll be talking about organic versus grass-fed beef. What are the differences between the two, and where do they have overlap? Keep reading our blog for more information about beef, and have a look down below so you can make the choice that’s best for your family.

Grass-fed beef, which is what we do here at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, defines cattle who are able to graze for their own fresh food. It could also mean they were fed close substitutes, like alfalfa, during the wintertime or when fresh grass is less abundant. Unlike their grain-fed counterparts, this provides a diet that is as close to completely natural as possible. Some variants of this could include grass-fed beef finished on grain, which would be done for fattening purposes near the end of the cow’s lifetime. 

The organic beef label doesn’t restrict how the cow is raised; rather, it restricts how the cow is not raised. Organic means that beef doesn’t come in contact with any artificial pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, GMOs or other synthetic contaminants, while also ensuring the cattle have sanitary living conditions. Organic beef can be fed grain though, but must also have some access to pasture. Check out more information here

The bottom line: Many grass-fed cows would be considered organic, too, but the certification is expensive. This can be impossible for small ranchers to justify, as the label alone comes with extra work and a multitude of extra costs. Grass-fed and organic cows are raised much more humanely than conventional beef from the grocery store, and if you look into the details from individual farms, they might be more similar than you think.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning some more details about these two beef labels. To purchase grass-fed beef from Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, processed locally by Chop-N-Block, visit our website today