Is pasture-raised the same as grass-fed?
You’re curious, and we’re ready to explain the lingo. As you shop in today’s modern grocery stores, it’s important to be informed. There are so many options to choose from. The shelves and all the labeling can be overwhelming!
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What Does Pasture-Raised Mean?
First, what is pasture-raised? Pasture-raised means that animals get a significant portion of their nutrition this way. They get it from an organically managed pasture. Sometimes the foraged feed may be dried and stored for future use. Animals may also be receiving organic supplement grain.
Largely, pasture-raised livestock grazes on organic grass, though. This means the pasture is not treated with any synthetic fertilizers. There are no pesticides being used either.
Is Grass-Fed the Same as Pasture-Raised?
Does pasture-raised mean grass-fed? There is a difference as you probably expected. You know what pasture-raised means now. But what about grass-fed?
Grass-fed means that animals eat nothing but their mother’s milk and grass from birth to harvest. The grass may be fresh grass or grass-type hay.
Is Pasture-Raised Automatically Grass-Fed?
Pasture-raised livestock might be fed grain. This happens during winter when the climate turns cold. During this season, a pasture may be covered with snow in some regions. Pasture-raised animals can be labeled “grass-fed” only if the animals’ diets consist of grass from birth to harvest.
Is Grass-Fed Automatically Pasture-Raised?
No. An animal may be kept indoors for the duration of its life. It could be grass-fed in the form of hay. It could be stationed in a barn. We will say that this is rare. However, most beef and dairy marked as grass-fed do spend a great deal of their lives outside at pasture.
Which is Better?
This is all based on personal preference and depends on what is important to you.
If you want to know that your beef or dairy source ate the food it evolved to eat, then grass-fed is for you. Grass-fed animals eat grass and little to no grain. If you want to know that your beef or dairy source roamed and grazed in its natural environment, choose pasture-raised.
Pasture-Raised vs. Grass-Fed
What’s the deal with grass-fed vs. pasture-raised beef and more?. And it really can be confusing. So, let’s make further distinctions. Forgive us for any repetition – we’re just trying to be thorough as we explain.
Here are a few important notes concerning our topic today. And if you are looking for where to buy pasture-raised meat or grass-fed, know that there are online options as well as in-store items.
Beef, Lamb & Goat
You’ll certainly find grass-fed beef, lamb, and goat. These animals can eat grass and grass alone. If you want 100% grass-fed, you’ll need to look for that specific labeling. Why? A product may say “grass-fed.” But the animal may have been “finished” on grain. This means it was fed grain during the last few months before harvest.
Pork & Chicken (& Eggs)
What about grass-fed pork and chicken? You should know that both pigs and chickens can’t survive on grass alone. They require grain. Therefore, you never see grass-fed pork or chicken on packages’ labeling. You will see pasture-raised pork and chicken (and eggs). This is because animals at pasture may eat grain supplements.
Is pasture-raised milk different than grass-fed milk? As we’ve discussed, remember that pasture-raised is really a welfare standard. It’s mostly about where the animals are raised. On pasture. Grass-fed cows are fed grass. They may not be grazing freely, however.
What about pasture-raised vs. grass-fed butter? Again, let’s keep this simple. Pasture-raised butter comes from the milk of cows that have roamed at their leisure. They can eat grass all day long. They’re not cooped up in a barn.
If you have grass-fed butter, those animals may be confined. They aren’t always, but the requirements for grass-fed are all about intake and not environment.
Check Out Locust Groves Organic and Grass-Fed Options Today
Try Locust Grove meats and our grass-fed beef, along with seasonal game our healthy food is perfect for the family. We’re giving you convenience and delicious, organic ingredients you can trust.