The “best” beef hands down, is grass-fed beef. It’s the best option for a couple of reasons: it’s better for the earth and it’s better for your health and well-being.
It’s better for the earth because it produces better soil when you allow cattle to forage for their own food in a pasture, and improves water quality, along with plant life diversity. And as for your own health benefits, beef from grass-fed cows means more vitamin A and E plus more omega-3 fatty acids that can lower high blood pressure, cholesterol, and helps fight against diabetes and cancer.
Where do you buy grass-fed beef? One of the best places of course is health food stores. Some grocery stores will carry it, as well! If you really want to get local and fresh, check out localharvest.org to find a farm or local purveyor who might have some you can buy.
I do hope you find a local farmer who has grass-fed beef. Get to know your farmer–ask him questions and find out about his farming practices and animal husbandry.
Remember, whenever you buy anything locally, whether it’s produce or meat, it’s always good to know the hands harvesting what you’re planning to consume.
Where’s the beef? We’ve got plenty of it in our 20 for the Freezer Meal Bundle! Click here for all the details!
We are so fortunate-we personally know producers who raise grass fed beef and buffalo! In our part of the world, there is wonderful, rich grassland and people who deeply appreciate caring for Mother Earth.
We raise our own grass-fed beef. Our butcher claimed that the more tender animals not stressed out when they are butchered. Ours are accustomed to people and are calm. Cattle that run or try to escape have stress hormones in the meat and that affects the flavor, and they tend to be tougher. We have a small farm and only raise a few head at a time.
Kudos to you, Lorla Dup! (Y)
That’s supposed to be a THUMBS UP!
Thanks, Connie. It is a shame that everyone cannot raise their own or, at the very least, know someone with whom they could purchase a half side of beef and have it cut to their own specifications.
I found a local grass-fed beef farmer. Watched the herd graze all summer. When I called to place my order, the farmer told me that he grain-finished them for “marbling”. I did not want that and the farmer had no idea what was in the grain he was feeding for the last 2 months or so – probably GMO corn. He was advertising “Grass-fed”. You have to know what you are getting by asking questions.
Very good point, Jane. Our Whole Foods contracts with local farmers that let them graze instead of feeding them GMO-corn. For a very short period of time, they used a local farmer that was advertising “grass-fed”, but that farmer did the same thing: grain-finished for ‘marbling’, so Whole Foods switched to cows that graze on grass only. Grass-fed beef is tougher, but with steaks I’ve learned to either marinate overnight in either some kind of organic vinegar or lemon juice mixture, or sometimes I’ll use a meat tenderizer and beat the rib eyes or NY Strip before I put them on the grill, and boy are they tender and delicious!
I checked with the original Whole Foods in Austin the other day and they said that they buy grass fed beef that is finished with grain for two months before slaughter. Farmers markets here have beef that is never feed grain and if it becomes necessary to use anti-biotics, the animal is removed from the herd.
I’m in Tennessee, so our Whole Foods gets its cattle from a farm in Tennessee. Many of us here raised a ruckus over a previous farm feeding the cattle them feeding the grain, so that’s why my local Whole Foods switched farms. I think it all depends on the cattle farms and where they are located. I’m surprised that Austin, being the “mother store”, hasn’t contracted with a farm to do this. So it’s up to us to stay on them. It works. They listen and make changes when people contact them.
Grass-fed beef doesn’t have to be tough. I am so very lucky that my dad raises grass-fed (and finished!) calves, and shares with me. He is very picky about which grasses he lets those calves eat, because the grass affects the taste. And he picks the best-looking calves (for tenderness) from the herd for butcher beef.
I have bought Whole Foods beef when I’ve run out of Dad’s, and I agree it is tougher. But a huge company like that can’t afford to be as picky, I’m sure. I highly recommend finding your beef locally if you have room for a freezer. It is a *huge* money saver!
It seems the terminology to look for on packaging is “grass fed, grass finished”
Hi! I am new here, and I hope someone can help me with this question. We buy our grassfed beef from a farmer a few minutes away. We buy a side of beef, but it comes cut up and already frozen. Do you know if I can use this beef for freezer meals? I would likely have to thaw beef first (especially ground) for recipes, and then refreeze (before cooking). Can this be done safely, and without a great loss of quality? Thanks!
Donna, I’ve always read we should never thaw/re-freeze any meat. Does your meat come vacuum-packed in plastic, or paper-wrapped? When I want to use my butcher beef in freezer recipes, I just unwrap the frozen chunk of meat and put it in a Ziploc freezer bag with the other recipe ingredients. Put that Ziploc bag back in the freezer, then thaw/cook according to the recipe directions when you’re ready to eat. I hope this helps!
You should not thaw and re freeze uncooked meat. If you cook it into a recipe, that is okay. The problem is if you thaw it and potentially allow germs to multiply/grow and then freeze it again. Cooking it solves that problem.