Grass-Fed Beef Is More Nutritious
Most beef cows in America are raised for a short time on grass and then "finished" in confined feeding areas with a diet of grain that is unnatural to them, which boosts E. coli counts in their guts, and which encourages the spread of disease. Grass-fed beef cows eat grass their entire lives, as cows evolved to do. Because their lifecycle isn't accelerated with hormones, animals mature in the spring when forage is bursting with new growth, seeds and nutrients. Those nutrients end up in the meat and result in a healthy and delicious product. Some research suggests grass-fed beef has more nutrients as a result -- as much as 10 times more beta-carotene, three times more Vitamin E and three-times more omega-3 fatty acids.
Grass-fed Beef Is More Humane
Scientists haven't quantified the benefits of clean water, fresh air and freedom to roam in terms of human health, but it adds up to a happier, healthier herd. There is an old cowboy saying that we abide by at the Hearst Ranches: "go slow, get there faster." This means that if you don’t push cows too hard, but rather allow them to find their natural way at their natural pace you’ll be more successful. Forcing them to go your way and at your pace will sometimes cause fatigue for the cattle and always make more work for the cowboy, his horses and his dogs.
Grass-fed Beef Is More Tasty
This is the way beef is supposed to taste. In the wine industry, the word terroir refers to the flavor imparted to the wine by the entirety of the property upon which the grapes are grown. Same goes for beef, which takes on distinct flavors based on the terrain, weather, soil and water. Our cattle literally eat the terroir, therefore, they are the ultimate expression of the terroir of our ranches.
Grass-fed Beef Is Less Wasteful
It takes a lot of land to raise beef naturally. The vast grasslands of the NGF ranches host an unusually complex mosaic of vegetation. By rotating the animals through various pastures through the seasons, we preserve native biodiversity, improve soil fertility and eliminate the waste-management issues associated with confined animal feedlots (a major source of water pollution at conventional farms).