What to look for
If you want great quality grass fed beef there are a few things you need to look for and some questions you need to ask. You may be asking how to buy grass fed beef but don’t know where to start so let me give you some important qualities to look for. If you can buy local that is the best way so you can get to know your grower, but I know that isn’t possible for many and if you can’t find it close to home I will give you some guidelines to look for when ordering online. If you want a good online source for safe healthy meat check out our where to buy grass fed meat page and you can see a few online retailers that offer quality meats at a reasonable price.
Not all beef labeled grass fed is the same.
First and most importantly is just because the animals are on pasture doesn’t mean they are getting high nutrient rich grass. The best quality beef is pastured in a manner where the animals are kept in small pasture areas called paddocks and moved every day or every few days to new fresh lush grass. If the cows are allowed to graze the whole pasture they will continue to eat the best grass and not let it grow. So the pasture ends up becoming weedy or even bare dirt if there are too many cows. In this case the animals are usually fed hay or other forage because there isn’t enough grass to support them. The questions to ask the producer are, how do you pasture your animals? Do they get fresh new grass regularly? A few keywords you may want to hear are “managed grazing” or “rotational grazing”.
More than just grass
Some farmers raise their animals on pasture and supplement with grain to increase animal weight. This does add weight but not quality to the meat. I have had meat from cows raised on grass and grain and meat from all grass fed cows and the all grass fed meat was the best by far. Remember cows were perfectly designed to thrive on grass and it shows up in the quality of the meat. Ask the producer if their animals are given any grain or other byproducts. You want beef that is grass fed and grass finished.
Cows do need access to a good mineral source and we have found that kelp and salt works the best for us. Kelp is dried seaweed and it has all the minerals a cow needs if the grass doesn’t have enough for them. Factors like drought, heat, soil conditions, or animals needs can vary throughout a cow’s life. Kelp is all natural and is easily digestible and makes the nutrients accessible to the cows. Healthy cows make for healthy meat!
Buy local and ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember it is your food and your health. The best way to get the best meat is to ask questions and get to know the folks that are raising it. If you would like help with this take a look at our store to see if you live in an area where you could buy from us or you can look at some great online resources we found that will deliver excellent quality food to you.
please leave a comment below on your experience with seeking grass fed beef.
Thank you and God bless!