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What's the general take on Australian beef?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 22, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I assume most of Australia's beef is grassfed.

I recently bought some beef stew meat at Trader Joes (pretty lean stuff) that was "all natural" meaning no hormones or antibiotics. But it didn't say anything about grass / grain feeding. Just that it was from Australia.

Is it safe to assume that it's grassfed (just like the lamb there)? Or is Australia grain feeding enough of their cattle now that we should be careful?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 23, 2010
at 07:28 AM

Which state was this? I did the same research at Woolworths & Coles in Melbourne, and on the whole the products were grass-fed and finished, since grain-fed beef farmers charged a premium and sold primarily to restaurants. The farmers I've spoken to verified this, also pointing out that the difference between their meat sold through supermarkets and sold through farmers markets is just that Coles/WW demanded the animals receive an injection of antibiotics etc before they would accept the meat later.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 23, 2010
at 07:25 AM

One thing you should check is whether your "Australian Beef" available overseas is actually reared in Australia. Seriously. There is a trademark on "100% Australian Beef" amongst others, which can be applied to any and all beef. McDonalds was busted for this not long ago. Australian-owned cattle can also be found in Africa etc, and is still sold as Australian. I would imagine it's quite possible that may be grain-fed. But within Australian borders, we're grass-fed unless otherwise labelled.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 23, 2010
at 07:23 AM

Actually, farmers pay more to grain-finish their cattle and lambs since the label 'grain-fed' here signifies more tender meat, and restaurants/customers pay a premium for those products. It's not (or very rarely) available in supermarkets. It would be a waste of money for farmers to set up feedlots etc when land/paddock prices are low and very easy to maintain.

0ff848383c9a87f3d0308cf5b28fa846

on October 23, 2010
at 05:01 AM

Thanks everyone for your input! I was more referring specifically to the Trader Joes brand since it's hard to get information from them about suppliers. I was hoping someone might have checked up on this exact product already.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 22, 2010
at 11:03 PM

as the days go by and large companies learn all the ways of their competitors im sure the beef in Australia is not 100% grassfed. Also, think about it this way, if theyre doing all grass and thus caring for their animals in a good and potentially very marketable way you can bet that they would do everything in their power to let the customer know it. A smart businessman would not let their effort go unnoticed by the consumer. I bet there is australian lamb that isnt all grass, too by the way. Hate to rain on the parade, but its a large country with im sure a variety of farms and interests

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7 Answers

1
566ec93d6f394186a7da1fc38669c131

on October 23, 2010
at 04:25 AM

I've investigated this at Coles one of Australia's biggest supermarket chains and they get beef from multiple suppliers, some grass-fed some grain-finished. They said they could not confirm if any one piece of meat was which and after a long convo the feeling I got was almost all are grain-finished and they have one or two small suppliers that grass-finish

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 23, 2010
at 07:28 AM

Which state was this? I did the same research at Woolworths & Coles in Melbourne, and on the whole the products were grass-fed and finished, since grain-fed beef farmers charged a premium and sold primarily to restaurants. The farmers I've spoken to verified this, also pointing out that the difference between their meat sold through supermarkets and sold through farmers markets is just that Coles/WW demanded the animals receive an injection of antibiotics etc before they would accept the meat later.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 23, 2010
at 03:26 AM

No need to be shy. Go and ask the butcher. And ask the name of the supplier. Check it online to make sure they finish their meat on grass. You can't assume. Some organic stuff is in fact grassfed, even though it is not labeled as such. But other organic products are not. But the butcher should know and by happy to tell you. Otherwise, do not shop there!

1
5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on October 23, 2010
at 01:18 AM

On supermarket shelves in this part of the world I see a lot of Australian beef proudly labeled "grain-fed"...

0
Af11ce7489e212195fc79e71366fb3e8

(40)

on October 23, 2010
at 01:28 AM

yeah I live in Australia and here if its grass fed...they make a big deal out of it...most is grain fed just like in USA where Im from.....so If it doesnt say...assume its grain.

our Kangaroo is 98% lean though....and thats wild game meat`

0
96c08ddafe58c6ae8210035119b96614

on October 23, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Alot of Aussie lamb is said to be grassfed but finished or rationed with grains.

http://www.killararise.com.au/index-krl.php

The same goes with alot of the beef. Most of the supermarket beef is grain fed.

An example of a grass fed beef company would be :

http://www.littlecreekbeef.com/#

0
F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on October 22, 2010
at 08:39 PM

the aussie lamb is grassfed but i have no idea about the beef.

as i understand it, cattle are much harder to beef up, so to speak, on grass; so i'd be surprised if a big aussie beef exporter was pasturing their cattle.

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on October 22, 2010
at 08:13 PM

I go and look up the brand online if possible(iPhone ftw) and check before purchasing.

I lean heavily on buying my cows from local grassfed/finished farmers thru eatwild.com or similar sites

Between orders I'll buy store-bought grassfinished from Costco(verde farms) and tJs which are both Australian

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