When asking ourselves whether grass-fed beef is worth paying extra money for, it is important to set straight what grass-fed beef actually is.
As per an analysis on BuiltLean, the following categorisation is agriculturally how the cattle are raised and on what diet:
Phase 1: extends from birth, when the animal lives solely on milk, until 7-9 months of age, when some grass is consumed in the pasture.
Phase 2: comprises about half of the grass-fed debate and extends from phase 1 until shortly before harvest (when the cattle are slaughtered). The cattle spend most of their life in this period feeding on either grains or grass.
Phase 3: the notorious finishing period -- this is the other half of the grass-fed debate. It is a period of rapid growth immediately prior to harvest; some animals are grass-fed but finished on grains. Since a disproportionate amount of weight is gained during the finishing period, some in the pro-grass-fed crowd argue that this is the most important time to be grass-fed.
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