Grass Fed Beef

Grass fed cattle live and survive solely on pastures for their entire lives. Grass contains a pigment called “carotene” which is absorbed into animal fat giving it a distinctive yellow hue. Due to the variation in grasses eaten, grass fed beef is often described as having a complex beef flavour.

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The ability to produce high quality beef off of grass is entirely dependent on the environment. If grass is in limited supply or of low quality (due to extreme heat, lack of rainfall etc.) then beef production is of a lower quality. Therefore most superior grass fed beef comes from areas with a consistent high rainfall, and moderate temperature ranges.

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Key Ideas surrounding
Grass Fed Beef:

  • Grass fed beef can be lower in overall fat content than Grain fed beef
  • High in Vitamin A and Vitamin E, due largely to the beta carotene in their diets
  • Grass fed cattle have high levels of vital antioxidants
  • Healthier balance of Essential fatty acids
  • Grass fed cattle help reduce land degradation, desertification and soil erosion

Grain Fed Beef

Cattle are considered grain fed if they have been on a grain based ration for at least 60 days for a male and 70 days for a female. To be classified as grain fed, cattle must also be sourced from a feedlot that is accredited by the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme and audited by AUSMEAT.

Depending on the market requirements cattle are generally entered into a feedlot at around 12months of age, and fed for a specified period of time. They fed a variety of grains (e.g. wheat, barley, and sorghum), roughages (hay, straw) and by-products (brewers grain, cornflakes) in a ration that is formulated by a nutritionist to ensure the animals are receiving optimal amounts of protein, energy, vitamins and minerals for their stage of growth and development.

Grain feeding greatly increases the ability to produce a consistent product in terms of yield, quality and supply:

  • Marbling is greatly increased in grain fed cattle due to specialised nutrition
  • Grain feeding helps to even out inconsistencies in supply caused by Australia’s volatile environment
  • Grain fed beef is often described as having a buttery flavour
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Key Ideas surrounding
Grain Fed Beef:

  • Grain fed cattle produce 38% less CO2 per kg of beef than grass fed cattle
  • Grain fed cattle spend majority of their life in a paddock
  • The feedlot industry represents around 2-3% of the Australian cattle herd at any one point in time
  • Mortality levels are low in grain fed cattle as cattle are monitored on a daily basis
  • Higher incidence of marbling, which means higher levels of good cholesterol