The Benefits of 100% Grass-Fed Beef
What do we mean by “100% grass-fed” beef? At Houston County Farms, “100% grass-fed” means that our cattle have never been fed grain, nor are they given growth hormones, or antibiotics. They graze on chemical-free grass their entire lives—no pesticides, no synthetic fertilizers, just natural organic grass all year, supplemented with pesticide-free hay in the winter. Most beef is grain-finished, which means the cattle eat lots of corn, soy, and other grains during the months before they are slaughtered.
Health Benefits of 100% Grass-Fed Beef
Eating 100% grass-fed beef helps lower the risk of heart disease, and it has the following advantages over grain-finished beef:
- 10 times higher in beta carotene
- 5 times higher in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which has antioxidant properties
- Half the saturated fat content
- 4-6 times lower in overall fat
- 2-4 times higher in omega-3 fatty acids and a healthier ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s
- 4 times higher Vitamin E
- Higher in Vitamin C
- Higher in B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
- Higher in calcium, magnesium and potassium
- Virtually no risk of E coli
- No antibiotics, hormones or steroids used
- No by-product feedstuffs used
Environmental Benefits of 100% Grass-Fed Beef
- Feedlot cattle stand in manure lagoons with nitrogen and phosphorus levels that contain heavy metals and hormone residues that create toxic waste.
- Certified naturally grown, 100% grass-fed cattle are raised on pastures that are naturally fertilized (no chemicals) and fed all natural hay as supplements in the winter.
- By not shipping cattle to feed lots, we lower transportation costs and fossil fuel use.
- Grass in pastures absorbs more methane in a day than a cow can produce in a year.
Moral Reasons to Buy 100% Grass-Fed Beef
- Cows are by nature designed to eat grass, but industrial feedlots, which supply most supermarket meat, force them to eat grain to fatten and “marble” the meat.
- Corn fed beef is part of the industrial food chain powered by fossil fuels (petroleum)
and defended by the U.S. military.
- Factory farms may use (non-ruminant) animal protein for feed.
- Because feedlot cattle are fed an un-natural diet of grain, they are sick to one degree or another and require antibiotics just to stay alive.
- Our 100% grass-fed cattle are treated humanely their entire lives up to slaughter.
Why Buy Local 100% Grass-Fed Beef
- Purchasing local, 100% grass-fed beef supports local East Texas farmers.
- Purchasing local food lays the groundwork for new social, economic, and ecological relationships.
- Purchasing local, 100% grass-fed beef supports an agricultural landscape that protects grasslands and watersheds.
- Locally-raised 100% grass-fed beef is based on free solar energy and no chemical use.
- Buying local allows you to understand your connection to the food chain and see exactly where your food comes from.
What is Local?
For many environmentally-sensitive eaters, purchasing local produce and meat means purchasing within a 200-mile radius of home. Houston County Farms is 170 miles from Austin, 140 miles from Dallas, and 115 miles from Houston. You can be sure that you are getting a local, Texas-grown product of the highest quality. Furthermore, you can even come by to see where your cow is grazing and track it with our GPS ear tags. From a cost perspective, buying a whole, side, or quarter of beef means fewer shopping trips and lower fuel consumption.
“… eating a grass-fed burger when you can picture the green pastures in which the animal grazed is a pleasure of another order, not a simple one, to be sure, but one based on knowledge rather than ignorance and gratitude rather than indifference.”
— Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food