The two part answer

A few people walk up to my booth at the farmers market and ask, “What is the difference between Grass-Fed Beef and Grass-Finished Beef.

My answer is always that they can be exactly the same thing or they can be vastly different.

Virtually all beef animals start out on grass (the offspring of dairy animals require a different explanation that I don’t want to go into here…call or email for a more complete description).

A few continue on to harvesting age on nothing but forages while other take a hard turn at some point and are finished on grain. 15 years ago, I got into grass finishing because of the health benefits of Omega 3’s which come from the green, leafy parts of plants. However, that is only the first step in trying to produce the healthiest, cleanest, nutrient-rich, tender and flavorful bee possible. A year and a half ago my son implored me to change what I was calling the Grass-finished  Beef (mom’s milk and grass, nutrient rich hay, grass) that I produce.

Is there any difference between Organic-by-default (I won’t do any bad stuff) and Organic-by-design (I won’t do any bad stuff and I will activly put the minerals back and pull civilizations toxins out of my products). There can be a vast difference in taste and nutrition between the two modes of production.

We tried on a few things for labeling all of the positive things we try to do on the farm and finally settled on “Nutritionally-Optimized” Beef. Yes, it is Grass-Fed. Yes it is Grass-Finished. However, it is a whole lot more than those titles would give it credit for.


Thank you for your patience with this old farmer.