What is Grass-Fed Beef and Why is it Better?


Your juicy, mouthwatering burger could be even better, healthier, and more nutritious if you swap your regular grain-fed beef with grass-fed meat. 

Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that have been raised on a diet of grass and forage rather than grain. These animals roam freely and consume a natural diet, which enhances the flavor and nutritional value of their meat. 

Medical researchers have found that grass-fed beef has less total fat and fewer calories than grain-fed beef, but up to six times more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 


Two white-brown cows grazing on a luscious bed of grass under a clear sky by the river, grass-fed cows that produce organic, grass-fed beef—One Earth Health


Article jumplinks:


Grass-fed vs grain-fed beef

Nutrition comparison

The benefits of grass-fed beef

Environmental impacts

Can you eat grass-fed beef every day?

So, next time you're firing up the grill, upgrade your burgers and steaks to grass-fed. But don't stop there—grass-fed beef organs are even more nutrient-dense than muscle meat. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, these superfoods can take your health game to the next level.

If you're looking for an easy way to incorporate the incredible benefits of grass-fed beef organs into your daily routine, One Earth Health’s convenient, high-quality beef organ supplements are the obvious choice.

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Beef organ supplement bottle packed with grass-fed beef liver, kidneys, heart, pancreas, and spleen, and beef heart supplement by One Earth Health


What Is the Difference Between Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Beef?


Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that spend their entire lives grazing on pasture, munching on a natural diet of grass and other forage. They're never given any grains, such as corn or soy, so they have leaner meat, a healthier fat profile, and a richer, more complex flavor.

Grain-fed beef comes from cows that are typically raised on a combination of diets: they can be fed on grass for a while and “finished” on a diet of grains for the last few months of their lives. Or they can be grain-fed and grain-finished. Their diet usually consists of corn or soy. Grains fatten the animals more rapidly than grass, so they develop a layer of fat that many people associate with a tender, juicy steak. Grain-fed beef tends to have a milder, more consistent flavor compared to grass-fed.

Grass-fed and finished cattle were raised on a grass-based diet and finished on pasture, ensuring that the animals spend their entire lives eating nothing but grass and forage. 

These distinctions are important for those who want to get the full benefits of grass-fed beef—like our customers. We make our supplements from grass-fed and grass-finished New Zealand beef organs, so you know you’re getting the highest quality and nutritional value in each capsule. 

Let’s look at the nutritional differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef.


Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed Nutrition Facts


Grass-fed and grain-fed beef contain comparable amounts of protein, fat, and other macronutrients, as you can see in the following tables. But the secret to grass-fed’s nutritional superiority isn’t seen in the macros.


100g Grass-Fed Beef


Energy (kcal)


Total fat


Iron (Fe)

Calcium (Ca)

Ground beef, 85% lean







Tenderloin steak







Top sirloin, cap-off







Top round cap-off steak








100g Grain-Fed Beef


Energy (kcal)


Total fat


Iron (Fe)

Calcium Ca)

Ground beef, 85% lean







Tenderloin steak







Top sirloin, cap-off







Top round cap-off steak







Beyond its macronutrient profile, grass-fed meat outshined grain-fed in the following ways

  1. Grass-fed beef contains higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a beneficial fatty acid that improves body composition and metabolic health. Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed. Daley, et. al. note that you could achieve similar grass-fed CLA levels if you eat much more grain-fed beef, but you will also be consuming more saturated fat and cholesterol, which could negate the health benefits associated with CLA.
  2. Grass-fed beef contains greater concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins A and E. Daley, et. al. also found that:
    1. Grass-fed beef contains significantly higher levels of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), with concentrations up to 3 times greater than grain-fed beef.
    2. Grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, with concentrations around 7 times higher than in grain-fed beef.
    3. The elevated levels of these fat-soluble vitamins in grass-fed beef are a result of the higher levels of the vitamins present in the fresh grass and forage that the cattle consume.
  3. Grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 content and has a more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in reducing inflammation and promoting brain and heart health. Omega-6 fatty acids can promote inflammation if consumed in excess relative to omega-3s. Irish researchers found that grass-fed beef contains higher concentrations of beneficial long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids—up to five times more—and a better ratio with inflammatory omega-6s.
  4. Grass-fed beef is higher in vitamin K2 than grain-fed. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is an important nutrient for bone and heart health. Grass-fed cows convert more of the carotenoids from grass into vitamin K2, making grass-fed beef a much richer source than grain-fed.
  5. Grass-fed beef is also higher in glutathione. This antioxidant is produced from amino acids that neutralizes free radicals and toxins, supporting a healthy immune system.
  6. Grass-fed beef contains more carnosine. Carnosine is a bioactive dipeptide that serves as an anti-aging antioxidant. It can inhibit the glycation process linked to diseases such as diabetes complications. The cattle’s forage-based diet offers a higher antioxidant content than a diet rich in grains.
  7. Grass-fed beef is richer in antioxidants. Apart from vitamins A and E, glutathione, and carnosine, grass-fed beef contains higher levels of higher superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is an antioxidant enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful superoxide radicals in the body's cells. A 2004 study revealed that grass-fed beef contains increased SOD activity, indicating that grass-fed beef would provide more compounds that can neutralize free radicals and oxidative stress than grain-fed beef.
  8. Grass-fed beef has more creatine than grain-fed. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound made up of amino acids that helps supply energy to muscle cells. Grass-fed beef is richer in creatine because fresh pasture and green forages are excellent sources of creatine precursors such as glycine, arginine, and methionine. Grain-fed cattle are typically fed a diet based on corn and soy, which lacks sufficient amounts of these amino acids.
  9. Grass-fed beef is potentially higher in vitamin D. Pasture-raised, grass-fed cattle spend time outdoors grazing, so they can produce vitamin D from sun exposure. Fresh forage and plants that grass-fed cattle consume contain small amounts of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 precursors, which can contribute to the overall vitamin D content in grass-fed beef.
  10. Grass-fed beef is a better source of bioavailable minerals. The higher bioavailability of grass-fed beef comes from the different mineral composition and lower pH levels. This makes minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium more soluble and absorbable by the human body. 

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Read more about why beef organs are perfect for a keto-friendly diet.


What Is Grass-Fed Beef Good For?


Grass-fed beef is more than just a delicious and high-quality protein source; it also offers many health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits of grass-fed beef:

  1. Grass-fed beef contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids essential for maintaining heart health and reducing inflammation. These healthy fats also play a role in brain function and development.
  2. Grass-fed beef has increased concentrations of CLA, which has been linked to improved weight management and enhanced immune function. Some studies suggest that CLA may also have anti-cancer properties.
  3. Grass-fed beef is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene. These help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
  4. Grass-fed beef tends to be leaner than conventional grain-fed beef, with less overall fat content. This makes it a healthier choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet and control their fat intake.
  5. Grass-fed cattle are typically raised in more natural conditions without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. 
  6. Grass-fed cattle are also raised in a more humane manner. They have access to pasture, so they can engage in natural behaviors, which seems to be an important consideration for many consumers who prioritize ethical food choices.
  7. Grass-fed beef production is more environmentally friendly compared to grain-fed beef.
  8. Many grass-fed beef producers are small-scale, independent ranchers who are committed to sustainable practices and maintaining traditional farming methods. By choosing grass-fed beef, consumers can support family farms and local economies. 

A 2022 study revealed that variations in grass-fed cattle diets, such as pasture diversity, seasonal changes, and supplementary feeds, can influence the nutritional profile of the beef. For the healthiest, most nutritious beef, cattle should graze on diverse pastures using rotational grazing.

When you choose grass-fed beef, you're investing in your own health while also supporting a more ethical and sustainable food system.


Why Is Grass-Fed Beef Better for the Environment?


Grass-fed beef is a more eco-friendly choice than conventional grain-fed beef. When cows are allowed to graze on pasture, they're helping to maintain healthy grasslands. Their grazing habits stimulate plant growth, promote biodiversity, and can even help capture carbon in the soil. This is a pretty big deal, considering that healthy grasslands play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change.

On the flip side, industrial grain-fed cattle operations are an environmental nightmare. Most factory farms decimate ecosystems through resource depletion and toxic contamination. They ravage land, water, and fossil fuels to grow monocrops of grain feed. The greenhouse gas emissions alone from this unsustainable system are a climate crisis catalyst. Not to mention the often inhumane treatment of animals that end up on your table pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. 

Grass-fed beef production supports a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of raising cattle through regenerative farming practices. The focus is on improving soil health, enhancing water retention, and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. All these factors contribute to a more sustainable and resilient agricultural system.

It's a win-win situation—you get to enjoy delicious, high-quality beef while also doing your part to protect the planet. And if you really want to take your environmental commitment to the next level, add grass-fed beef organs to your diet. When you consume nutrient-dense organs such as the liver, heart, kidneys, trachea, and thymus, you're helping to use up every edible part of the animal and reduce food waste. 

If you’re not into cooking offal, our beef organ supplements provide an easy way to reap the incredible health benefits of beef organs. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and unique beneficial compounds, beef liver reigns supreme in terms of nutrient density. 

Our grass-fed beef liver supplement harnesses this superfood in a convenient capsule form, allowing you to effortlessly tap into the unparalleled benefits of nature's most potent multivitamin.



A bottle of grass-fed beef liver supplement by One Earth Health



Can You Eat Grass-Fed Beef Every Day?


Grass-fed beef can be a regular part of a healthy diet. In fact, if you choose grass-fed over conventional grain-fed beef, you'll get a more favorable fatty acid profile, higher levels of essential nutrients, and the peace of mind that comes with supporting more humane and sustainable farming practices.

The recommended daily amount for grass-fed beef depends on the calorie needs and dietary preferences of every individual. As with any other food, consume beef organs in moderation as part of a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Don't forget to include nutrient-dense beef organs, which pack an impressive array of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds into every serving. For a convenient way to incorporate these superfoods into your routine, the grass-fed beef organ supplements by One Earth Health are a class above the rest.

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Grass-Fed Beef FAQ


Can you tell if beef is grass-fed?


It can be difficult to visually distinguish 100% grass-fed beef from conventional beef sources. Grass-fed tends to be leaner with a different fatty acid composition higher in heart-healthy omega-3s. The meat may also have a distinct grassy or gamey flavor compared to regular beef from grain sources. 

Check for grass-fed labels, the grass-fed animals claim, and certifications such as the organic seal from reliable organic label sources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to verify authenticity and determine if your beef cut is really grass-fed.


Is grass-fed beef less tasty?


Taste is subjective, but many find that beef from grass has a richer, beefier, nuttier, and overall higher quality meat flavor than beef from grain-fed cattle. Some people perceive the flavor of grass-fed meat as too gamey or strong. The leaner composition with less fatty marbling in grass-finished ground beef can lead to denser, higher-quality meat that some find less tender and juicy than grain-finished beef.


Is 100% grass-fed beef healthy?


Beef sources that are 100% grass-fed are generally considered more nutritious with more health benefits than grain-fed conventional meat sources. Grass-fed is lower in total fat yet higher in beneficial nutrients such as heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, quality protein with amino acids, and anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Grass-fed beef provides more vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and B vitamins.


What are the disadvantages of grass-fed beef?


Some potential downsides of grass-fed beef sources include the distinct gamey flavor that some find less palatable than the milder taste of grain-fed beef. Leaner grass-fed cuts can sometimes be less tender due to lower fat marbling. 

Grass-fed beef usually costs more than grain-fed, but the additional price is worth it for those who value its health benefits.


Does 100% grass-fed mean grass-finished?


100% grass-fed beef means that the cattle were fed solely a grass-fed diet of pasture forages from immediately after weaning through the entire finishing process until slaughter, with no grain-finishing period. This is a stricter standard than just using the "grass-fed" label which may allow for some supplemental grains to be fed during certain life stages.


Is Wagyu beef grass-fed?


Authentic Japanese Wagyu cattle are typically raised primarily on a grass-fed forage diet when young before being deliberately transitioned to a high-energy grain-fed diet to achieve the signature marbling and fatty acid profile of Wagyu beef. There are some Wagyu-style beef programs—mostly in other countries—that raise Wagyu-influenced cattle 100% grass-fed and grass-finished without a grain-feeding period.


Does grass-fed mean organic?


Grass-fed beef is not the same as organic beef. Grass-fed refers to the cattle's diet consisting of grass and other forages rather than grains and grain byproducts. For beef to officially be certified as organic by the USDA organic label, the entire production process from the type of feed all the way through processing must follow strict organic standards. These include having cattle completely grass-fed, provided access to pastures, given 100% organic feed sources, and raised without any synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or genetic engineering.

Grass-fed beef can be organic; organic beef can be grass-fed. But the two terms refer to different standards.


Does grass-fed beef have chemicals?


Beef sources certified as USDA Organic and carrying the green USDA organic seal should be completely free of any synthetic chemical residues like hormones, antibiotics, or prohibited pesticides in keeping with organic regulations. 

The general "grass-fed" label alone does not inherently guarantee the beef is chemical-free unless further specified as such. Some approved natural fertilizers, pesticides, or other minimal chemicals may potentially be used on livestock and feed in certain conventional grass-fed programs operating outside of certified organic protocols. Third-party certifications such as Certified Humane can provide additional assurances about chemical-free beef beyond just the grass-fed claim.


Does grass-fed beef cook differently?


Grass-fed and grass-finished beef cuts cook much quicker than grain-fed beef. The lean meat from grass-fed cows contains significantly less intramuscular fat and marbling to protect and insulate the muscle fibers during cooking. With less fat marbling, grass-fed cuts are leaner and have less protection during cooking.

As a result, these lean grass-fed and finished beef cuts are more prone to drying out and becoming overly dense and tough if overcooked. Because of the lack of insulating fat, your grass-fed beef cut will benefit from low and slow cooking methods such as braising to maximize moisture retention. 

To be sure you don’t overcook your nutrient-dense grass-fed beef cut, use a meat thermometer and always aim for medium doneness. You can ask for proper cooking options and instructions from your butcher to prevent the loss of juiciness and tenderness. 




Grass-Fed Beef and Grain-Fed Beef: Is It Good for You? (2023, July 6). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/grass-fed-beef-good-for-you

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Abd El-Gawad, A. M., Abo El-Hassan, D. G., Aboul-Enein, A. M., Abdelgayed, S. S., Aly, S. A., Esmat, G., Mostafa, A. A., Bakr, M. H., Ali, R. A., & Ayoub, M. A. (2021). Anticancer activity of milk fat rich in conjugated linoleic acid against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in female Swiss albino mice. Veterinary World, 14(3), 696-708. https://doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2021.696-708

Krusinski, L., Sergin, S., Jambunathan, V., Rowntree, J. E., & Fenton, J. I. (2022). Attention to the Details: How Variations in U.S. Grass-Fed Cattle-Feed Supplementation and Finishing Date Influence Human Health. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 6, 851494. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.851494

Abd El-Gawad, A. M., Abo El-Hassan, D. G., Aboul-Enein, A. M., Abdelgayed, S. S., Aly, S. A., Esmat, G., Mostafa, A. A., Bakr, M. H., Ali, R. A., & Ayoub, M. A. (2021). Anticancer activity of milk fat rich in conjugated linoleic acid against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in female Swiss albino mice. Veterinary World, 14(3), 696-708. https://doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2021.696-708