5

votes

Is grass fed beef really worth the extra money?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 09, 2012 at 11:45 PM

It's about $10 a lb more expensive and doesn't taste as good as the stuff I get from Fresh Market or The Meat Store.

Are the benefits that much better for me nutritionally that I need to go to the extra trouble to order it online, pay more money, and keep sticked in my freezer?

Thanks for all replies.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on April 03, 2013
at 11:00 PM

If you're in the US where they use antibiotics and hormones, probably yes. Outside, not so much.

4ae65e9a9abceabe4d2f6e2ccd810122

(50)

on February 11, 2012
at 01:52 PM

The cuts of grass fed ribeye are $20/lb and the Fresh Market rib eye is $10 a lb. I don't eat ground beef much.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 10, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Hi, Paul. All due respect, but Chris Kresser's article doesn't speak for me. He said "difference" and I'm saying "big difference." I have looked into the matter and I have concluded that the difference falls within the parameters of what I'd label "big." We're all different and we all have different opinions, formed by different factors, so it's all just good discussion!

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 09:03 PM

There are also a lot of family farms who grain-finish.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 09:00 PM

What sick animals? We're talking about beef.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on February 10, 2012
at 08:40 PM

This is why I take fish oil every day, about 10 grams. My doc says my high level of health and fitness is attributed to the fish oil I take which she says is almost as good as eating salmon every day...and not to my actual diet. But I'm not taking it for cardiac health...I'm taking it because I'm an old guy who likes to play in young guy games like powerlifting, olympic lifting, and triathlon. But again, whatever the cause...I eat just regular beef, the cheap kind because I eat so much and I'm in perfect health with perfect lab work.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on February 10, 2012
at 08:33 PM

She'd have to put it on her roof. ;)

Medium avatar

(5639)

on February 10, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Is supporting a destructive industry that puts small/local/family farms out of business and feeds you sick animals really worth the small savings in the short-term?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on February 10, 2012
at 06:36 PM

I agree whole-heartedly with you on this. I was going to post an answer, but now I don't need to. Mine was going to sound a little too preachy anyway, I have a feeling...

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Ehm, no. There is a difference, but not a big one as shown in your links. He asked about beef and It's not worth the struggle if he can buy cheaper and fresher meat from the store.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Are there big differences between grass-fed and your regular old stuff? Yes ___ Ehm, no. There is a difference, but not a big one as shown in your links. He asked about beef and It's not worth the struggle if he can buy cheaper and fresher meat from the store.

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:00 PM

Am I the only one who finds Josh extremely paranoid?

Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on February 10, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Nance, why no freezer option? You can buy this freezer at Lowes for $179.00 - http://tinyurl.com/7qunzu6 - It will pay for itself in no time.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:26 AM

I doubt eating grass fed beef will make any huge dent if you're eating either low carb or higher carb Paleo. The only test that will be impacted is probably the Omega3-6 test.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:21 AM

Brodie, I plan on cooking in my electric oven. What do u suggest: 300 degrees for broil for 5-7 minutes on each side?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:18 AM

I just ordered 20 lbs. of grass fed beef, lamb and bison from Slanker's for two hunnard bux. Well actually, about 1/2 of that was marrow bones and knuckles. Since I ordered steaks (ribeye, porterhouse, Tbones), they were more like $15/lb.

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on February 10, 2012
at 04:10 AM

is it a steak? yes. is it ground? then no. I buy cheaper meat, drain off the fat and through back in a good helping of grass fed butter. May help keep costs down a little.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on February 10, 2012
at 03:55 AM

I've read in several places that the o6:o3 ratio for grain-fed beef is still better than poultry/pork.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 10, 2012
at 03:21 AM

Yeah, I found out by accident with the first couple I overcooked. Now I just thaw a steak in the fridge (grassfed sirloin is the best deal where I get it from at $8.99/lb), let it sit on the counter until about room temp with a bit of salt on both sides for maybe 20-30 minutes, rinse off the salt and pat dry and then drop in the skillet on medium heat. 2.5 to 3.5 minutes per side max (per thickness) with some kerrygold basted over the top when flipped. Let 'em set up on the plate to reabsorb some of the juices for about 5 min. before cutting into them. They've been coming out great like this.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 10, 2012
at 03:14 AM

Great picture! I think you meant to say that the reasoning to eat grass-fed is the high levels of omega 3's versus omega 6's. Don't want people to think they're eating vegetable oil.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on February 10, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Grassfed ground in Oklahoma goes for about $5.99 per lb. Grocery store stuff is 3.99ish, maybe? I haven't checked in awhile. I find grassfed ground to be far worth the extra money for taste alone, not to mention it's juices run clear instead of that strange white. For steaks and other cuts, I often opt for dry aged local meat, although not grassfed. Note that the drought in some southern producing United States this last summer has beef prices up.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on February 10, 2012
at 02:39 AM

If you spend $80 for 7 lb of grass fed and this is $10 a lb more than grain fed, that means that you are paying $1 a lb for grain fed. Really?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Knowing that a large percentage of fat that shows up in the cafo beef started as cottonseeds not intended for the human food chain (one of, if not the most heavily pesticide treated crop) is enough for me to choose the grassfed. Check out lamb and goat if you have any halal stores around. Goats and lambs are usually ranched on a smaller scale and not locked into the commercial feed scenario, so it might not be 100% pastured, but it will likely be closer.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:50 AM

I sear the outside, and keep the inside "blue". This process does take higher heat, but not much time. I loathe grassfed beef cooked on medium heat until medium or worse. For me, it is either really high heat or simmered on low in some sort of sauce.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:32 AM

Yeah, I was going to respond with this. Grassfed costs me about $1-$2 a pound more than a similar cut of conventional beef, a price differential that's WAY less than I pay for pastured over conventional chicken or eggs. I'm fortunate to have a local provider though, who costs less than US Wellness for sure.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:20 AM

I grill grass-fed lamb from U.S. Wellness and grass-bed beef from a local rancher. Cook it blood rare. Best food I've ever eaten. Worth every penny.

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:51 AM

If price is an issue why not look at cheaper cuts of beef (or ground)? US Wellness sells 1 pound packages of grass fed ground beef for $6.45. So for $45 plus shipping you would have your same 7 lbs of meat. An aside, Nance I took a look at your blog and newest mugshots; wonderful progress :)

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:37 AM

I agree, too. Also, I came across Ted Slanker's recommendation not to cook most cuts of grass-fed steak beyond medium-rare. This explains why the time or two I cooked a grass-fed sirloin to medium-well or thereabouts, it came out chewy and bland. http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/id82.htm

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I agree with that. Everything I got from US Wellness had fabulous flavor.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Yes, it costs that much. I've bought from US Wellness a few times and I spend $80 plus for 7 lbs of meat. Needless to say, it's a treat not a staple. There are no local sources of grassfed and every other site I've found (looking on eatwild, for ex.) are even more costly than US Wellness unless you're ordering a 1/4 or 1/2 which I can't do as I have no freezer option.

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12 Answers

14
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 09, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Are there big differences between grass-fed and your regular old stuff? Yes.

Is it worth it? I can't answer that for you. It depends on finances, priorities, etc.

I always get grass-fed only, but we all are in different places and see things differently.

Here are some good articles on the topic:

http://chriskresser.com/grass-fed-vs-conventional-meat-its-not-black-or-white

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-differences-between-grass-fed-beef-and-grain-fed-beef/

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Ehm, no. There is a difference, but not a big one as shown in your links. He asked about beef and It's not worth the struggle if he can buy cheaper and fresher meat from the store.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on February 10, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Hi, Paul. All due respect, but Chris Kresser's article doesn't speak for me. He said "difference" and I'm saying "big difference." I have looked into the matter and I have concluded that the difference falls within the parameters of what I'd label "big." We're all different and we all have different opinions, formed by different factors, so it's all just good discussion!

35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Are there big differences between grass-fed and your regular old stuff? Yes ___ Ehm, no. There is a difference, but not a big one as shown in your links. He asked about beef and It's not worth the struggle if he can buy cheaper and fresher meat from the store.

12
Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

on February 10, 2012
at 04:04 AM

There's also the ethical point of not supporting factory farms that torture animals and ruin the country's agricultural system. I like to not support those, aside from the health and taste benefits that come with spending around $2/lb more on grassfed.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on February 10, 2012
at 06:36 PM

I agree whole-heartedly with you on this. I was going to post an answer, but now I don't need to. Mine was going to sound a little too preachy anyway, I have a feeling...

5
Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on February 09, 2012
at 11:59 PM

I fit doesn't taste as good, you're not cooking it right. Grass fed meat is to be low heat, slow cooked. Never high heat, which is the most common mistake people make with grass fed/finished.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:07 AM

I agree with that. Everything I got from US Wellness had fabulous flavor.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:37 AM

I agree, too. Also, I came across Ted Slanker's recommendation not to cook most cuts of grass-fed steak beyond medium-rare. This explains why the time or two I cooked a grass-fed sirloin to medium-well or thereabouts, it came out chewy and bland. http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/id82.htm

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:20 AM

I grill grass-fed lamb from U.S. Wellness and grass-bed beef from a local rancher. Cook it blood rare. Best food I've ever eaten. Worth every penny.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 10, 2012
at 03:21 AM

Yeah, I found out by accident with the first couple I overcooked. Now I just thaw a steak in the fridge (grassfed sirloin is the best deal where I get it from at $8.99/lb), let it sit on the counter until about room temp with a bit of salt on both sides for maybe 20-30 minutes, rinse off the salt and pat dry and then drop in the skillet on medium heat. 2.5 to 3.5 minutes per side max (per thickness) with some kerrygold basted over the top when flipped. Let 'em set up on the plate to reabsorb some of the juices for about 5 min. before cutting into them. They've been coming out great like this.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:21 AM

Brodie, I plan on cooking in my electric oven. What do u suggest: 300 degrees for broil for 5-7 minutes on each side?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:50 AM

I sear the outside, and keep the inside "blue". This process does take higher heat, but not much time. I loathe grassfed beef cooked on medium heat until medium or worse. For me, it is either really high heat or simmered on low in some sort of sauce.

3
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on February 09, 2012
at 11:57 PM

$10 a lb more than conventional beef? To be blunt, no it's not worth it.

My GF ground beef is only ~30?? more per pound than the grocery store stuff.

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:51 AM

If price is an issue why not look at cheaper cuts of beef (or ground)? US Wellness sells 1 pound packages of grass fed ground beef for $6.45. So for $45 plus shipping you would have your same 7 lbs of meat. An aside, Nance I took a look at your blog and newest mugshots; wonderful progress :)

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on February 10, 2012
at 02:39 AM

If you spend $80 for 7 lb of grass fed and this is $10 a lb more than grain fed, that means that you are paying $1 a lb for grain fed. Really?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:18 AM

I just ordered 20 lbs. of grass fed beef, lamb and bison from Slanker's for two hunnard bux. Well actually, about 1/2 of that was marrow bones and knuckles. Since I ordered steaks (ribeye, porterhouse, Tbones), they were more like $15/lb.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on February 10, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Grassfed ground in Oklahoma goes for about $5.99 per lb. Grocery store stuff is 3.99ish, maybe? I haven't checked in awhile. I find grassfed ground to be far worth the extra money for taste alone, not to mention it's juices run clear instead of that strange white. For steaks and other cuts, I often opt for dry aged local meat, although not grassfed. Note that the drought in some southern producing United States this last summer has beef prices up.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on February 10, 2012
at 08:33 PM

She'd have to put it on her roof. ;)

Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on February 10, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Nance, why no freezer option? You can buy this freezer at Lowes for $179.00 - http://tinyurl.com/7qunzu6 - It will pay for itself in no time.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 10, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Yes, it costs that much. I've bought from US Wellness a few times and I spend $80 plus for 7 lbs of meat. Needless to say, it's a treat not a staple. There are no local sources of grassfed and every other site I've found (looking on eatwild, for ex.) are even more costly than US Wellness unless you're ordering a 1/4 or 1/2 which I can't do as I have no freezer option.

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:32 AM

Yeah, I was going to respond with this. Grassfed costs me about $1-$2 a pound more than a similar cut of conventional beef, a price differential that's WAY less than I pay for pastured over conventional chicken or eggs. I'm fortunate to have a local provider though, who costs less than US Wellness for sure.

4ae65e9a9abceabe4d2f6e2ccd810122

(50)

on February 11, 2012
at 01:52 PM

The cuts of grass fed ribeye are $20/lb and the Fresh Market rib eye is $10 a lb. I don't eat ground beef much.

2
580e308d9d3fe4109a21328decc59f8f

on February 10, 2012
at 07:25 PM

According to Paul Jaminet.

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2517

"Looks delicious!!! Does the majority of your meat come from grassfed animals? Or do you usually just buy conventional? on 01 Mar 2011 at 10:12 pm # Paul Jaminet

Hi Robert,

We usually just buy regular supermarket meats. The animals mostly detoxify the bad diets so there???s not a big difference in healthfulness to us. on 02 Mar 2011 at 1:20 am # Eric W.

Paul, I was under the impression that grassfed meat has a superior omega-3 to omega-6 ratio? on 02 Mar 2011 at 8:51 am # Paul Jaminet

Hi Erich,

It does. But beef is low in omega-6 even if not grassfed, and you can balance PUFA by eating beef and salmon."

1
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on February 10, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Where are you located? You may be surprised to find a farmer near you that raises grassfed beef which you can get at a very reasonable price. The farmer near me is driving distance away, and costs me $5.50/lb for every kind of cut.

1
Cbcb4cbf874e08dc0797ffce5e8f9a93

(200)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:25 PM

Shop locally for your grass fed: http://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html

If none are close to you, ask if they will ship. Many do.

I can personally vouch for: http://www.greenleaffarms.net/ http://www.cjgrassfed.com/ http://www.ovishillfarm.com/

All excellent & reasonably priced.

1
F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 10, 2012
at 03:23 AM

Dave makes the claim he's not Paleo, he's "upgraded" Paleo.

Either way, he has a great series on the health benefits of grass-finished meat and he points out quite readily that if you're paying too much for grass-finished meat, shop at US Wellness. Their prices (when you buy enough at once) are fantastic for the quality that you get. Simply put, as many have said, $10 over the price of grain-finished meat is absurd.

The Jaminets seem to disagree that you NEED to be eating grass-fed meat but I don't think even they would deny the benefits of doing so.

1
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:49 AM

In my opinion, based on my lab work from my last physical...no, it does not make a difference. But then, i'm a high fat eater, more primal than paleo... and in perfect health these days.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on February 10, 2012
at 05:26 AM

I doubt eating grass fed beef will make any huge dent if you're eating either low carb or higher carb Paleo. The only test that will be impacted is probably the Omega3-6 test.

095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on February 10, 2012
at 08:40 PM

This is why I take fish oil every day, about 10 grams. My doc says my high level of health and fitness is attributed to the fish oil I take which she says is almost as good as eating salmon every day...and not to my actual diet. But I'm not taking it for cardiac health...I'm taking it because I'm an old guy who likes to play in young guy games like powerlifting, olympic lifting, and triathlon. But again, whatever the cause...I eat just regular beef, the cheap kind because I eat so much and I'm in perfect health with perfect lab work.

0
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on April 24, 2013
at 06:29 PM

I gurantee you can find it cheaper. In Canada I search on kijij. I buy grassfed beef from cows who drink in the stream and are raised 100% on pasture for 3.25-3.50/lb. I actually save a lot of money even compared to cafo beef. I can get pasture raised pork for 3.25-5/lb and pastured chicken for 4.50/lb. I also get eggs for 3-5 dollars a dozen. It all comes down to the connections you make with your local farmers, especially from the farmers markets.

Grassfed beef. 1.Non-gmo 2. The health and well-being of lifestock 3.Signifigantly increased nutrient profile 4. Need to be cooked slow and low 5.Taste 100% better (try out your sources-ask for a sample). No grass fed beef tastes the same!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:41 PM

spam .

0
15480ad0efe9168bc518967b9a2e240d

on February 10, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Here's a good article....

http://fitfemaleforty.com/2010/07/21/paleo-diet-why-grass-fed/

Pretty much the reasoning behind eating grass fed is that the fat is saturated with high levels of Omega 6s and virtually no Omega 3. A high Omega6 to Omega3 ratio is just trouble on the body.

is-grass-fed-beef-really-worth-the-extra-money?

Medium avatar

(10663)

on February 10, 2012
at 03:55 AM

I've read in several places that the o6:o3 ratio for grain-fed beef is still better than poultry/pork.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 10, 2012
at 03:14 AM

Great picture! I think you meant to say that the reasoning to eat grass-fed is the high levels of omega 3's versus omega 6's. Don't want people to think they're eating vegetable oil.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 10, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Knowing that a large percentage of fat that shows up in the cafo beef started as cottonseeds not intended for the human food chain (one of, if not the most heavily pesticide treated crop) is enough for me to choose the grassfed. Check out lamb and goat if you have any halal stores around. Goats and lambs are usually ranched on a smaller scale and not locked into the commercial feed scenario, so it might not be 100% pastured, but it will likely be closer.

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