The Great Lie of Grass Fed Beef

The Great Lie of Grass Fed Beef

Typically reserved for ruminant animals like cows, sheep, and bison, “grass fed” is meant to instill a mental picture of cows outside, grazing grass as they should. But did you know EVERY SINGLE COW is technically grass fed? You must understand, 99% of beef cattle are pulled off of the range and finished in a feedlot for 3-5 months, where they are packed into confinement situations and pumped full of grains.

Grains are terrible for ruminant animals

Their complex ruminant stomach is not designed at all to handle anything other than grass, so these grains (95% or more is GMO corn and soy) make the cattle very sick. This is where antibiotics come in, because the feedlots are sacrificing the cows' health for quick fat gains and big profits from unassuming customers.

2 Grassfed Operations:

grass fed beef

Depressing? Yes. If you want more information, I think this article from Animal Welfare Approved is great. But I don't like presenting problems without solutions.  

This is why we like local food and farm tours. Labels are crap.  Even "Pasture Raised," the one we use most often, has been bastardized lately and is not overseen by any regulatory bodies. Local food holds you accountable. You can come see it for yourself, meet your farmers, and ask any questions you would like. This MATTERS.

While we are not certified grassfed, we hold ourselves to a far, far higher standard. We’re proud to partner with Avenales Ranch in San Luis Obispo county, where the cattle feast on 18,000 acres of pasture year-round.

kyle nessen photography

Photo by Kyle Nessen

The Black Angus/Hereford herd is rotated to fresh pastures by horseback, the old school way. These are happy, healthy cows that are truly free range, eating only what is in season and native to California.

The result? Some seriously tasty grass fed beef with zero compromises. There’s no room for grains, byproducts, hormones or antibiotics. It’s 100% pasture raised, grass fed, grass finished, old school beef, and you can get order it by the cut, or in bulk.

See all articles in Primal Pastures Blog


I love local farms where I can visit, see the operation, know my neighbors and support their efforts by buying their products.

Cheryl —

No, our cows are not finished on a feedlot. They spend their entire lives on pasture and are 100% grain free.

Primal Pastures —

Thank you for this work and article! curious though, do you ship you cattle to a finish feedlot at the very end?

Joelle Nanawa —

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