Grass fed farming and conventional factory farming methods are worlds apart. Understanding the differences between the two could help to change the landscape of how meat is mass-produced, for the good of the planet, the livestock and us.
Read on to find out why Grass Fed is always the gold standard of livestock farming.
The Trouble with Factory Farming
Factory farming methods prioritise productivity and yield above all else. The result is an industry which sacrifices animal welfare and the environment with an additional cost to human health.
With factory farming ethical concerns are disregarded and animals live out their lifespan in intense confinement. Aside from being a miserable existence for the animals, this also creates a dirty and unhygienic environment which increases the risk of disease and subsequently the need to medicate the animals with antibiotics.
It has been argued that intensive farming is necessary to feed the ever-growing human population. However, research has shown that for every 100 calories consumed by grain-fed animals, just 17 are returned to the food chain in the form of meat and dairy to be eaten by humans.
Aside from the depletion of natural resources to provide grain-based feed, this method of rearing has also been shown to effect the biodiversity of limited land due to issues such as high toxic output and habitat destruction.
Even for those with a skewed moral compass (if these points are not concerning enough) it should be considered that the nutritional profile of factory farmed meat is significantly inferior to its Grass Fed counterpart!
The solution is simple, natural, and without question better for the animals, the planet and human health: Grass Fed farming.
Why Grass Fed Farming is the Gold Standard
There has been significant hype around Grass Fed farming in recent years, but is it justified or just another misleading marketing campaign?
The good news is that Grass Fed meat has consistently been shown to be a much better choice that is well deserving of its great reputation. So, it really is worth seeking out meat which is 100% Grass Fed. Here’s why.
- Grass Fed Farming is Best for the Animals & their Quality of Life
Rather than being crammed into cages with hundreds of other animals and spending each day in their own waste, Grass Fed animals roam free in their natural environment with the space, sunlight and diet nature intended.
The result is happier, healthier animals which are far less prone to disease. This eliminates the need for routine antibiotics which are invasive and can also make their way up the food chain. Instead, animals can have periodic health checks with minimal human touchpoints.
With Grass Fed farming rather than being treated as commodities the animals are given the respect, care and attention they deserve and thrive with.
- Grass Fed Farming is Best for the Planet & the Most Sustainable Method of Farming
As many animals - especially cattle - are fed grains, the production of those is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gases which are damaging the environment. They also contribute to problems such as monocropping and soil nutrient depletion.
Research has shown that Grass Fed farming could be a much better alternative to help repair damage to the environment. Grass captures carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in the soil by a process named sequestration. This is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is invaluable in the fight against climate change.
Together with regenerative farming practices such as cattle rotation and avoiding the use of chemicals, Grass Fed farming is far more sustainable and can help to protect biodiversity and natural habitats – rather than cause them harm.
- Best for Nutrition & Human Health
An animal’s diet and lifestyle hugely influences the taste and texture of the resultant meat. If you have enjoyed Grass Fed meat before then you will have noticed a real difference!
It also has an impact on the nutritional profile of the meat. Grass Fed beef is naturally lower in fat and so calories. It also has a preferential fatty acid composition compared to grain-fed meat – with around five times as much Omega-3 and two times as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Each of these fatty acids has been shown to have a number of health benefits.
Grass-Fed beef has also been found to have higher levels of Vitamins A & E as well as other antioxidants.
- Free From Hormones & Antibiotics
Grass Fed meat is also gladly free from the antibiotics and growth hormones which are often routinely pumped into animals.
Grain-fed animals are usually given growth hormones to fatten them up quicker and antibiotics to help keep them healthy in a less than ideal environment.
Unfortunately, each of these can make their way up the food chain when eaten and are potentially harmful to human health.
Both are unnecessary with Organic, Grass Fed farming which does not utilise pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics.
Is Grass Fed Meat Worth the Price Tag?
The nature of Grass Fed farming means that it is far more costly to produce Grass Fed meat and so it is unavoidable that some of this cost is passed on to the consumer.
However, it is undeniable that this is a small price to pay for and incomparable improvement to animal welfare, nutrition and sustainability.
Like all things in life, you get what you pay for and it should always be mentioned that any expenditure on your health is an investment rather than a cost!
Together with the ethical and sustainable benefits, the choice is clear when it comes to meat – grass fed is always best.
Thomas Joseph Butchery Grass Fed & Free Range Meat
Thomas Joseph Butchery works together with Coxtie Green Farm to produce Grass Fed Beef, Lamb, Pork and Poultry.
We are committed to ensuring that all animals are pastured throughout their lifespan, in an extensive and uninhibited environment where the animals are truly free range.
Our passion lies in producing the best quality meat possible which never compromises on the highest levels of animal welfare.
We have done all the hard work so that you can enjoy meat with a superior taste and texture, content in the knowledge that it is the ethical and sustainable choice.