The Difference Between Grass-Fed and Corn-Fed Beef

Cow with a mouthfull of grass stands in field

 Julie A. Brown / Flickr / All rights reserved

NPR’s Allison Aubrey delves into The Truth about Grass-Fed Beef and compares beef from grass-fed cows (what cows are supposed to eat) with beef from corn-fed cows (what cows are often forced to eat). She then cooks both in her Tiny Desk Kitchen and gives NPR personalities Ari Shapiro and Susan Stamberg a blind taste test.

It’s not very surprising that Shapiro and Stamberg both pick the corn-fed beef, probably for the reason that Stamberg points out — she’s “been so programmed over the years” to eat corn-fed beef. Both tasters agreed that the difference in preference was not so great though, and Shaprio said he would still chose the grass-fed over the corn-fed because he knows it’s more sustainable.

Aubrey points out in the accompanying piece to the video that grass-fed beef is higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids because the grass provides those nutrients to the cows. It’s also generally leaner.

I haven’t conducted a taste test between grass-fed and corn-fed beef, but last year I served guests burgers made from grass-fed ground beef, and I had several people tell me that they were the best burgers they had ever had. I hadn’t told them the beef was local and grass fed; they were just so impressed with the burgers that they had to say something.

Have you ever done a taste test between the two types of beef? What were your conclusions?

A little off-topic, but I wanted to add this. I first saw this video earlier today on OrganicNationTV. It’s a great blog, and I’m always learning something when I read it. Earlier today, they announced that they won a Treehugger Best of award, so I thought I’d take a moment to congratulate them. They won Best Food Twitter Feed. Follow them on Twitter @OrganicNation.