In the real foodie/real farmer world, there is a lot of discussion about grass vs grain finished. The purists are “grass-finished only” while the everyday hungry consumers are ok with a little grain-finishing.
PROS for Grain Finishing Beef Cattle
- Because grains make cows fat and fatty meat is tastier
CONS for Grain Finishing Beef Cattle
- Cows aren’t designed to eat grains. They can eat them and as long as they have access to grass or hay alongside the grains and aren’t forced to rely SOLELY on grains, it’s fine.
- In a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation), cows are forced to eat only GMO grains so they get as fat as possible as fast as possible. Inhumane and unhealthy.
- When cows eat GMO grains, the fat they produce is higher in Omega 6 fats which are very unhealthy to consume when unbalanced by Omega 3 fats.
Best Practices for Grain-Finishing Beef
- 60-90 days seems to be the sweet spot for adding a little fat to the beef
- Keep the cows on pasture while feeding grains — they still need fresh grass and sunshine
- Feed only soy-free non-GMO grains
That’s the skinny on fat cows :) Questions? Please ask, my contact info is at the top of every page!