For someone who hasn’t purchased a lot of grass-fed beef before, the prices can look hefty compared to conventional beef. After all, shouldn’t grass-fed beef be cheaper anyway? Grass-fed cattle farms don’t have the additional expenses of so much grain, antibiotics, or confinement buildings.
This thinking is a bit backward, and we’re here to show you why. Conventional beef ends up looking cheaper in a grocery store setting due to higher prices in other areas of beef-raising which are passed on to the consumer, indirect farming practices, and tax cuts for these farms.
Many times, conventional farmers are cutting corners with the antibiotics and practice they employ. These practices make the farmers incredibly efficient, but the downsides are passed on to the consumers or the environment.
For example, grain-fed cattle are typically raised for 16 months and can weigh 1300 pounds at slaughter. Grass-fed cattle, however, are normally slaughtered around 23 months and only weigh 1100 pounds. Grain-fed cows are fed a number of waste products from bakeries or ethanol plants, appetite-stimulating chemicals, and growth hormones to make them gain weight faster. Grass-fed cattle are not.
Toward the end of the grain-finished cows’ lives, they are often so filled with toxins that they couldn’t be kept alive much longer. Their manure could be used as a natural fertilizer, like with grass-fed beef, but too much waste fills their insides, making the manure unusable. Not only that but also the manure actually further pollutes the environment, washing into rivers and contaminating other land or water downstream.
There’s a huge difference in staffing these farms, too. Corporate farming practices use a fraction of the number of ranchers and employees to monitor the cows and process them at the time of slaughter than grass-fed cattle farms do. Because of this care, you know you’re going to get a more quality product with grass-fed beef.
The real question is this: Why is that conventional beef so cheap? To purchase quality grass-fed beef at a great price, head over to Ferguson Farms.