Grass-Fed vs Pasture-Raised Meat in the UK: What is it and Why Does it Matter

When it comes to buying meat in the UK, phrases like "grass-fed" and "pasture-raised" are becoming more common. But what exactly do these terms mean, what is the difference and why is it so crucial to pay attention to them while purchasing meat? ‍
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When it comes to buying meat in the UK, phrases like "grass-fed" and "pasture-raised" are becoming more common. But what exactly do these terms mean, what is the difference and why is it so crucial to pay attention to them while purchasing meat?

When it comes to buying meat in the UK, phrases like "grass-fed" and "pasture-raised" are becoming more common. But what exactly do these terms mean, what is the difference and why is it so crucial to pay attention to them while purchasing meat?

Table of Contents

Grass-fed

Grass-fed refers only to the animals nutrition. It specifically means that the animal was reared on a diet consisting mostly of grass and forages, rather than grain or maize. Because it embraces the animal's natural diet, grass-fed meat contains more proteins, amino acids, and nutrients than the default feed (grain) for animals in regular factory feed lots. However, this is not a guarantee that the animal not was raised in a lot.

The top advantages of grass feeding include:

Lower levels of saturated fat: Grass-fed meat contains much lower amounts of saturated fat than grain-fed meat, which can lessen the risk of heart disease, according to WebMD.

Greater quantities of omega-3 fatty acids: which can help prevent and treat numerous ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and autoimmune responses such as lupus, dermatitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Higher levels of Vitamin E: Grass-fed meat is also high in Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to minimise "free radicals," which are unstable electrons that can cause harm.

Increased B12 and B6 levels: These vitamins are essential for brain function as well as fat, sugar, and protein metabolism.

Increased selenium and zinc levels: These minerals are essential for immunological function, thyroid health, and cancer prevention.

Increased amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): This fatty acid has been linked to anti-cancer, weight loss, and cardiovascular health advantages.

Pasture-raised

Pasture-raised, on the other and, refers to the animal's life environment. It specifically means that the animal was not confined to a feedlot and was free to graze and forage on a pasture. This allows the animal to live in a more natural and humane manner, boosting physical and mental health. Organic cows, according to the Soil Association, spend the most of their life outside, grazing on grass and clover. Organic cows are required by law to be on pasture for at least 200 days per year, with zero-grazing, in which cows are confined indoors and given cut grass or other feeds, being prohibited under organic standards.

The top advantages of pasture raised livestock:

Better animal welfare: Pasture-raised animals can live in a more natural and humane environment, which promotes their physical and emotional well-being.

Lower danger of bacterial contamination: Because pasture-raised cattle are not confined in congested feedlots, the risk of bacterial contamination is reduced.

Higher nutrient levels: Pasture-raised animals have access to a broad diet of grasses, legumes, and other plants, which can result in higher amounts of nutrients in the meat such as beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Environmentally friendly: Pasture-raised agricultural methods increase biodiversity, reduce soil erosion and improve soil health, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Better taste and quality: Pasture-raised meat tastes and feels better than feedlot-raised meat, and it is less likely to deteriorate.

More environmentally friendly: Pasture-raised farming systems are more environmentally friendly than feedlot systems, which rely on a regular supply of grain and can deplete soil fertility over time.

Both grass-fed and pasture-raised farming practises are environmentally friendly. Grass-fed sustainable farming, includes both animals and the ecosystem that feeds them. It seeks to provide the healthiest final result to consumers while also respecting animals and safeguarding the environment.

They don't always overlap

It's important to remember that grass-fed does not always imply pasture-raised, and vice versa. Animals fed grass may not have access to pasture, and animals bred on pasture may not be fed grass their entire lives. To confirm that the animal was raised in the most natural and sustainable way possible, check the labels for both grass-fed and pasture-raised certificates. Furthermore, it is critical to read the labels and look for certifications indicating that the animal was grass-fed for the most of its life. This ensures that you are purchasing the most sustainable and nutritious meat products possible.

The Verdict

Ultimately, the main benefits of grass-fed are for your health while and pasture-raised meat is beneficial for your health as well as the environment. When purchasing meat, it's critical to pay attention to these terms and look for certifications to ensure the animal was raised in the most natural and sustainable way possible. We can help farmers who promote animal and environmental welfare by making informed choices, and we can ultimately enjoy a more nutritious and healthier diet.

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