Whether you care if cows have an idyllic setting to live out their lives grazing on the pasture or not, the evidence is now pretty clear: grass-fed cows produce healthier food. What does that mean? Cows that have spent their lives grazing on grass and forage, and that have not been confined to a feedlot or treated with growth hormones or antibiotics generally provide greater concentrations of healthy nutrients, like antioxidants and vitamins.
The idea is gaining traction as consumers take an interest in the traceability of their food. The number of products now featuring a grass-fed position skyrocketed 243% in the last five years, reaching sales of $756.6 million in 2018, according to data from Mintel and SPINS. And we’re not just talking about the meat case, either. The top growth categories in grass-fed products include dairy and plant-based alternatives, yogurt and kefir, frozen meat, seafood and poultry, along with milk.
Compared to regular meat, products from grass-fed cattle also have fewer calories and contain more healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), both of which have been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and CLA may even help fight off cancer.
Now that’s something to chew on.