Cows grazing

Why Our Grass Finished Meat?

Grass finished, naturally raised meat has been shown to have numerous positive benefits versus normal commercially raised meat.

Quality Forages: Our animals are raised on pastures which are closely and intensively managed. This results in the animals always having quality pasture to graze. We plant special grasses to match the seasons, thus allowing production of quality grasses throughout the year. Many people I speak to have had a bad experience with grass fed beef, as most producers don’t recognize the importance of quality forage.

Lower Fat: Grass finished beef is typically lower in fat than normal commercially raised grain fed animals. Studies have shown that grass finished beef contains up to 50% less saturated fat, and as much as six times less total fat than grain finished beef. This results in a healthier product for your consumption. Our beef is raised carefully to provide a natural finish rather than the “forced finish” from feedlot beef.

CLA: CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a fatty acid that is found to be extremely beneficial to human health and may reduce the risk of cancer, and even have benefits in fighting growth of existing cancer. Studies have shown that the level of CLA is dramatically higher (up to 5 times) in grass finished beef than in traditional beef. In addition, studies indicate that the level of CLA drops dramatically when an animal receives any sort of grain supplement. This is a major reason our animals are carefully finished naturally, with no grain supplements, to assure you receive the greatest benefit from the product.

Omega 3’s: Omega 3 is a fatty acid which is essential to for human growth and development, and has been shown to be much higher in grass finished meat than in grain finished meat. Omega 3 originates in the green leaves of growing plants, so it makes sense that grass finished beef would be higher. Similar to CLA, the Omega 3 level has been shown to drop dramatically when animals are finished in a normal, grain finished situation. Thus, once again, the health benefits of grass finished beef are clear.

Finish: Finish in the livestock industry refers to the amount of fat and marbling the meat has. While excess fat is not good, it is necessary to have adequate finish to assure the beef has quality flavor. Many producers of “grass finished beef” sell their animals at immature size and age, but modern beef genetically must reach a mature size before they can obtain adequate finish. In the modern beef industry, this size is normally approximately 1,100 to 1,300 pounds, so if you are considering other grass finished beef products, and the producers indicate their animals are less than 1,000 pounds live weight, beware that the beef will probably be less juicy and flavorful than that from a mature, properly finished animal. At the Crooked Gate Ranch, our beef is carefully fed to assure an adequate finish, to provide the flavor and juiciness you are used to.