The Real Difference Between Grass-Fed Beef & Grain-Fed Beef

By Peter Maldonado, Mar 27 2017

Selecting beef products at your local supermarket used to be easy. Choices ranged from economy cuts and ground beef to ribeye steaks and other premium cuts, but now shopping for beef isn’t as simple.

The Real Difference Between Grass-Fed Beef & Factory Farmed Beef


Health-minded consumers are rejecting traditional beef and fueling the demand for grass-fed beef. In response, supermarkets are offering a growing variety of both domestic grass-fed and imported grass-fed beef from New Zealand, Australia, and South America. Faced with all these options, it’s time for consumers to understand the real differences between grass-fed and traditional grain-fed beef.


Raising Factory-Farmed Cows
In the United State s, over 80% of beef cows are raised in factory-farm environments known as CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). Just like any factory producing an inanimate product, the goals of CAFOs are to produce the highest volume of their product—cows—as efficiently as possible and fatten them for slaughter 6-12 months faster than the normal growth process.    


In the U.S., over 80% of beef cows are raised in factory-farm environments known as CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).


Although all cows—factory farmed and grass-fed—feed on a diet of grasses for the first few months, that’s where the similarities end. Instead of continuing to eat natural grasses, young CAFO-bound cows go to feeding lots where they are shoved into cramped stalls “nose to tail” and begin eating GMO grains, animal by-products, and synthetic hormones—all designed to produce maximum weight gain. They are regularly fed antibiotics to prevent diseases arising from inhumane living conditions and chronic stress.


Why CAFO Beef Is Unhealthy
Because of the completely unnatural way CAFO cows are raised, their beef contains all the unhealthy elements and toxic additives of the food they were fed, such as cheaper genetically modified grains, animal by-products, pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones.

...when you eat CAFO beef, you’re not just eating a juicy steak—you’re eating the same unnatural toxic ingredients used to fatten cows for slaughter.


CAFO beef is nutritionally inferior to grass-fed beef because it’s high in unhealthy saturated fats and lacks a full spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals at the proper levels. Ultimately, when you eat CAFO beef, you’re not just eating a juicy steak—you’re eating the same unnatural toxic ingredients used to fatten cows for slaughter.


Raising Grass-Fed Cows
Born and raised on pasture lands, non-CAFO cows live outdoors their entire stress-free lives roaming and munching on natural pasture grasses. In winter months, their diet is supplemented with alfalfa or grass hay harvested and sun dried from the same pastures during peak growing season. Think of these cows when you see the “Grass Fed and Grass Finished” label on the packaging. Read our article, How to Know Which Grass-Fed Beef Products to Trust [link to new article] and understand what all the grass-fed labels really mean.

Born and raised on pasture lands, non-CAFO cows live outdoors their entire stress-free lives roaming and munching on natural pasture grasses.

Why Grass-Fed Beef Is Healthy
Grass-fed beef has numerous health benefits that CAFO beef can’t provide:

  • No Toxins or Additives –  No antibiotics, no growth hormones, no grains, no gluten, and no animal by-products. Non-GMO grass is also free of pesticides and genetically modified organisms.
  • Right balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 – These anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids have an essential role in health maintenance and disease prevention.   
  • No Superbugs -- Grass-fed beef is not likely to harbor bacteria-resistant superbugs.

  • Promotes Weight Loss – Grass-fed beef has 300% to 500% more CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) than CAFO beef, CLA is a healthy fat that naturally promotes weight loss. Learn more about Grass-Fed Beef and Weight Loss.

  • Supports Sustainability – Every dollar spent on grass-fed beef supports sustainable methods instead of factory farming methods.

With these key benefits, grass-fed beef is a clear winner for your family’s health and the environment. Find out how much protein you really need to be healthy.  

Chomps Natural Beef Sticks

Made from 100% grass-fed non-GMO Angus beef, Chomps Natural Beef Sticks are Non-GMO Project Verified, Whole30 approved, and paleo-diet friendly. As healthy travel snacks and gluten-free paleo snacks for every day, Chomps is the perfect complement to an on-the-go lifestyle. Chomps are enhanced with the down-home flavors of farm-fresh ingredients and preserved with natural celery juice. Instead of tasting like those tough-to-chew unhealthy jerky brands in supermarkets, Chomps are tender, flavorful, juicy, and free of gluten, soy, hormones, antibiotics, dairy, and MSG.  “Shop the butterfly” and keep your family safe.


Order Chomps natural beef snack sticks online in three juicy flavors—Original, Crankin’ Cran, and Hoppin’ Jalapeno—and at Trader Joe’s retail stores nationwide. Enjoy your protein boost the healthy non-GMO way!

Recent Posts