The Grassfed Difference

Is there really a difference between grass-fed and grain-fed meat? YES!

A major benefit of raising animals on pasture is that their products are healthier for you. For example, compared with feedlot meat, meat from grass-fed beef, bison, lamb and goats has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. It also has more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and “conjugated linoleic acid”, or CLA.  You can read about these differences in more detail here.

You can even see some of these differences between grass-fed and conventional practices. Meat is dark red (the fat is not marbled in), fat is yellow from the added vitamins from green grass. However, past decades of increasingly refined and “sterilized” manufactured food products have led us to believe white (flour, sugar, fat, oils, etc) are somehow purer and therefore more to be desired. The livestock feeding industry has convinced us that meat must be marbled with fat to be tender. Our palates have become accustomed to the rather bland flavor of animals fed a standardized ration. So instead of thinking, “White is pure”, think “Color is nutrition and flavor”.


  • Good for the Animals

  • Good for the Farmers

  • Good for the Environment

  • Good for the Customers


  • Lower in fat (and calories)

  • Lower in cholesterol

  • Higher in the good kinds of fat (Omega 3, CLA, and other beneficial fatty acids)

  • Higher in vitamins A & E

The Original “Happy Meal”

Martin Marchello at the Carrington Research Extension Center has found that grass-fed bison have as much as four times more selenium (an essential trace mineral) than grain-fed bison. Eating just three ounces of grass-fed bison, for example, can give you over 100 mcg. of selenium, which is several times the daily minimum requirement.

Most of the selenium research has focused on its potential to reduce the risk of cancer, but a 1990 study found that selenium also promotes a sunnier disposition! In this study, volunteers were given either 100 micrograms of selenium or a sugar pill. Those who were given the selenium noticed an improved mood in just two weeks. Eating a small portion of grass-fed bison on a daily basis should produce the same results.

(Benton, D. and R. Cook (1990). “Selenium supplementation improves mood in a double-blind crossover trial.” Psychopharmacology 102(4): 549-50.)