Grass fed? Grain fed? What's the difference and who cares? Well, there is a difference, and I care....
I am done with factory farmed meats and though I don't actually eat meat all that often....when I do, I know where it comes from and what it's fed.
So, what's the deal?
Well, talking in terms of the cow, the grain fed cow might start off eating grass, but is then confined to a cage in order to fatten up eating feeds and grains and getting treated with hormones and antibiotics. The grass fed cow eats grass, is not caged up and is never treated with hormones or antibiotics.
The grass fed cow is leaner and meaner, lower in calories and saturated fats and typically is rich with Omega fatty acids. The leaner cow will have less marbling; marbling refers to the fat that is found within the meat, like tiny white veins, branching out and about. For this reason, grass fed cows may need extra care when cooking as they tend to cook quicker and/or dry out. Grass fed beef is also a rich source of Vitamins E and A, high in antioxidants and can have up to 7x the amount of Beta-Carotene.
I am a proud member of the Turkey Farm's Meat CSA....The Turkey Farm is Stillman's Farm and is located in Hardwick, Ma. Their meats are exceptional. Each month I get 10lbs of a mix of chicken, lamb, pork and beef....you never know what you're going to find in your bag.....Some of the cows that they breed are referred to as the "Belty", a breed of cow that is lean and high in Omega fatty acids. I recently pan seared a sirloin steak....it was delicious...tender and tasty, not dry at all...I simply seasoned it with sea salt and ground pepper, and seared it in a hot grill pan over high heat. It was about 3/4 inch thick and I seared it off for about 4-5 minutes on each side.
After cooking, I let it sit for 10 minutes to rest on the board, off the heat.
I deglazed the pan w.a bit of broth, just to get some of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan...here, I drizzled it over the steak....
I'll continue to only eat meat occasionally, and making sure that I know where it comes from before I do eat it. It's worth it to me.