Food Labels: Grass-Fed (or Pasturized) Meat

Food Label Tag GreenDon’t “All Cows Eat Grass”? I was pretty sure it was more than a mnemonic used to teach children to read music. Apparently, commercially-raised cows have been switched to a grain feed. Apparently, the mnemonic isn’t as accurate as it once was…

Excerpt from Ecoholic

“Grass-fed cows are said to be much healthier (the animals get sick less and their meat is more nutritious to the end consumer) than a typical grain-fed cow. In fact, USDA researchers have found that hay- or grass-fed cows are less likely to have E. coli in their digestive tracts than grain-fed types (and that’s a good thing, considering E. coli might otherwise contaminate your burger). But there are no federal standards or enforcement mechanisms in place for this label.”

Excerpt from

“Currently the United States Department of Agriculture has not adopted an official definition of Grass Fed Beef. There are two terms, often used interchangeably that people find confusing, they are; Grass Fed Beef and Grass Finished Beef.”

“The definition of Grass Fed Beef generally means beef from cattle that have eaten only grass or forage throughout their lives, however some producers do call their beef grass fed but then actually finish the animals on grain for the last 90 to 160 days before slaughter.

A more specific definition is Grass Finished Beef. Finishing is just another word for the time that cattle are normally fattened for the last few months before processing. Typically, feed lots finish cattle for 90 to 160 days on grain, usually corn, whereas, grass finished cattle are fattened on grass only, until the day that they are processed.”