Surprisingly organic beef and grass-fed beef are not the same things. You’d think that organic means healthier, but when it comes to beef, that may not be the case.
In general, I’m a fan of organic foods. I don’t purchase them exclusively, though. For instance, I typically purchase conventional produce items with a hard skin that’s usually disposed of on them, such as avocados, bananas, etc. This helps keep my cost down in a practical way.
I also prefer 100% grass-fed beef over organic beef. And surprisingly, no, they aren’t the same.
First, let’s get a few basics out of the way.
Most cows are grass-fed at the beginning of their life, and then conventional beef is moved to cramped feedlots where they are grain-finished. We know this practice isn’t the best for the animal or the final nutrition of the meat, I’ve mentioned a thousand times before that 100% grass-fed meat is higher in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory fats, and leaner naturally. It’s better for the animal and better for you.
100% grass-finished cows like those that Butcher Box sources from are allowed to graze on their pasture their whole lives, no pens, no feedlots, no antibiotics, and no hormones ever. So, what does this have to do with organic? It sounds like organic should be equivalent to 100% grass-fed, right? Turns out, not so much.
USDA Organic Meat must:
- be raised “in living conditions accommodating their natural behaviors (like the ability to graze on pasture)”
- fed 100% organic feed and forage
- not administered antibiotics or hormones
So, the issue comes down to the feed. An organic grain feed could be given to the cows to fatten them up at the end, limiting their nutrition profile, but still qualifying them as organic. It’s kind of tricky and a little shady. For me, I value how that animal raised and what the nutrition of the end product over a certification.
So what to look for at the store to make sure you are getting 100% grass-fed meat? Look for just that 100% grass-fed grass FINISHED on the package. I’ll tell you. It isn’t easy to find at reasonable prices at most stores.
That’s why I love Butcher Box. I don’t have to waste time at the store reading every package and trying to figure out if the cost is worth it. At just $5/serving, the price of their meat (and seafood) is always worth it. I usually get the custom box, but you can also get a curated box for slightly less as well. For more info on Butcher Box, you can read my full review here.
And you can watch the video I made about organic labeling and see me unbox one of my monthly deliveries below (email subscribers reading this in email, click here to watch.)
Some of you may know that they had a waitlist, but I’m happy to announce they’ve been able to ramp up and the waitlist is now gone, you can sign up for your first box right now! Click here to check out their current sign up offers using my partner link!