Pasture-raised Pork has arrived! Click here to shop today!

Four Incredible Health Benefits of Grass Fed Beef

written by

Nolan Masser

posted on

April 15, 2022

How do you choose what foods to eat? Is taste most important to you? Or impact on the environment? Maybe you care about putting the healthiest foods into your body. All of these considerations are valid and important. 

At Red Hill Harvest, we produce the kind of food that we want to eat. When it comes to our cattle, we use practices that produce beef that is delicious, environmentally beneficial, and healthy. 

We eat our beef multiple times a week so we can personally testify that it’s really tasty. Whether you’re looking for an incredible hamburger, a special occasion steak, or the perfect roast for Sunday dinner, you are sure to be satisfied with the rich taste of our beef. 

In addition to having a great flavor, our beef does good. As we discussed in this blog post, cows are an integral element of our regenerative farming practices at Red Hill Harvest. Our herd of cattle moves from pasture to pasture grazing the grass and fertilizing the fields with their manure. This process helps heal the soil, and it leads to meat that we feel good about. 

And beyond all of that, our beef is truly healthy. Our beef comes from cattle that are pasture raised and 100% grass fed and finished. All beef is nutrient-dense and full of protein. However, when you compare pasture raised 100% grass fed beef to conventional grain-fed beef from feedlots, there is a marked difference and extra benefits. 

What is Pasture Raised Grass Fed Beef?

Pasture raised beef comes from cattle who spend their entire lives on pasture with access to fresh grass. This is in contrast to the many cows that live in industrial feedlots where they are outdoors, but confined to areas of mud and concrete rather than grass and rolling hills. 

Our pasture raised cattle at Red Hill Harvest eat a 100% grass diet. They never eat grains and benefit entirely from the nutrients found in grass growing straight out of the ground.

The benefits of eating fresh grass and moving freely throughout the pasture are immense for both the wellbeing of the animals and the nutritional content of the meat. At Red Hill Harvest, our cattle are treated humanely and kindly during their time on pasture. They are free to roam and graze on the unique grasses found in our corner of Pennsylvania. The great taste of the meat and its nutritional benefits all come from the diet and lifestyle of the animals. 

Four Reasons Pasture Raised Grass Fed Beef is a Healthy Meat 

Grass fed and finished beef raised on pasture is a healthier meat choice when compared to conventional, feedlot, grain fed beef. The cows’ diet of fresh plants and grasses leads to nutrient rich beef for us to eat. In particular, pasture raised grass fed beef has the following benefits: 

1. Grass fed and finished beef has higher levels of phytochemicals than grain fed beef. 

Phytochemicals are compounds with antioxidant properties that are found in plants. When the cattle eat grass, the phytochemicals are then found in their muscles and fat. Phytochemicals are beneficial to our health for many reasons. They increase the growth of healthy gut bacteria, serve as antioxidants within cells that help to get rid of toxic chemicals, and help to control or prevent chronic illnesses. A grass diet greatly increases the numbers of phytochemicals found in beef as compared to a conventional, grain finished diet (1), which directly leads to an increase in the amount of phytochemicals that grass-fed beef eaters consume and benefit from. 

2. Grass fed and finished beef has a much healthier ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

Fatty acids are a necessary part of our diet. We need both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health. Omega-3s in particular may help to prevent heart attacks, cancer, and depression. Ideally, a healthy diet should have a 4:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. However, often the number of omega-6s is much higher than omega-3s. For example, grain fed beef has a ratio of 7.65:1 omega-6s to omega-3s. In contrast, grass fed and finished beef has a ratio of 1.53:1 omega-6s to omega-3s (2). This is a much better ratio and means that when we eat grass-fed beef we benefit from many more omega-3s that we would otherwise be consuming.  

3. Grass fed and finished beef contains more naturally occurring vitamins than conventional, grain fed beef.

Grass fed and finished beef has more vitamin C, forms of vitamin B, and precursors to vitamin E than grain fed beef (3). Additionally, all of these vitamins are derived directly from the grasses and plants that the cattle eat. Grain fed beef can have similar levels of Vitamin B, but only if the vitamins are added additionally to their feed. All of these vitamins are beneficial to our health for a range of reasons including that they may help to prevent cancer and other diseases, and contribute to healthy skin and a healthy nervous system. 

4. Grass fed and finished beef is rich in CLAs, which may fight cancer.

CLAs (conjugated linoleic acids) are a healthy fat found in large amounts in grass fed and finished beef. Compared to conventional, grain fed beef, there are three to five times as many CLAs in grass fed and finished beef (4). CLAs are incredibly powerful and may be a natural way to prevent cancer. Therefore, eating grass fed and finished beef is an excellent way to maintain health. 



Why We Raise Healthy Beef at Red Hill Harvest

Here at Red Hill Harvest, we understand that food impacts our health and farming impacts the health of our land. We have chosen to be a farm with the most positive effects we can muster. Raising healthy cattle that spend their entire lives on pasture eating only grass leads to healthy beef for us all to eat. Farming this way might take a bit longer and require a bit more attention than feeding cows grain on a feedlot, but, to us, the results are worth it. 

We are helping to build a healthy food system and a healthy community by going back to the way that things used to be done, including raising our cattle naturally on grass. If you’re ready to try it out for yourself, shop our beef here. We can’t wait for you to taste the difference and feel those health benefits! 


More from the blog

3 reasons why you should (NOT!) go vegan.

A recent study by Vegetarian Times shows that 7.3 million people follow vegetarian diets in the U.S.A. alone, and the number is rising daily!  It’s almost understandable why this trend is rising in a world full of fake news and food mislabeling. Recently, I did some research concerning these common misconceptions. Without further adieu, here are the top three reasons people go vegan (and the truth about these polarizing issues). #1 Environmental Impact Over 90% of all meat produced in America is raised in CAFOs. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) What is a CAFO, you ask? CAFO stands for Confined Animal Feed Operation and includes all farms that raise more than a set number of animals. For example, a CAFO of cattle is 1,000 animals, whereas a CAFO of chickens starts at 30,000. To learn more about CAFOs, click here. Large amounts of carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere in a CAFO. Feed needs to be grown, processed, and trucked in. Then, after feeding, the manure must be trucked out and spread onto farmland. This large amount of trucking and processing makes many of these CAFOs detrimental to our environment.  Arguably, the most significant environmental concern in our region (Mid-Atlantic) is the over-application of manure. If you drive through PA, NJ, MD, NY, or VA, you will see countless large poultry CAFOs. These farms generated millions of tons of manure, which was more than they could ever use to add fertility to the soils of their farms. This led to manure being over-applied, causing runoff and the pollution of streams and rivers. To help solve this problem in our community, the government (taxpayers) have financed a facility to dehydrate poultry manure to divert it away from the area. What should you do? Becoming vegan simply does not mean eliminating environmental issues. Each system of raising food has its own set of problems. Fruit and vegetable farming, processing, and trucking can be as bad as animal production. For example, most of the produce we eat on the East Coast must be shipped from California or other countries before it reaches our plate.  Click here to watch John Dutton from the show Yellowstone simple explanation on the issues of veganism.  Knowing where your food comes from is essential to combat these environmental issues. You can make a difference by sourcing your food from farmers who use green practices such as cover cropping and rotational grazing.  Cover crops pull carbon from the atmosphere into our soils, helping to counteract animal carbon emissions.  Rotational grazing leads to a healthy level of manure distribution throughout every acre without additional hauling. Invest in a farm whose practices work with nature rather than against it and whose goal is to regenerate the environment rather than sustain it.  #2 Animal Welfare In large confinement operations, animals are contained by the thousands. Although farmers must follow USDA’s requirements for sq. ft./ animal, disease can spread quickly when many animals are confined to a small area. Recently, the avian flu has been all over the news. This disease travels through wildlife and transmits to poultry through their saliva. It is a significant threat to poultry production in America.  Poultry is often raised in a confined house in a controlled environment. This environment is created to help keep the birds from getting ill from rain or cold weather. While it does a very good job of keeping them safe from the elements, it also weakens their immune systems because they are never exposed to harsh climates. When events such as the avian flu happen, problems arise because the flocks are not suited to protect themselves from this illness. We witnessed how this disease affected our local farms. A recent outbreak led to over 40,000 birds being killed due to their weak immune systems, which is a big problem for American farmers. The final and most concerning animal welfare issue in the vegan community is the treatment of animals.  Farmers often hire laborers to help with the day-to-day chores of farm life. These workers see so many animals daily that they can lose respect for the animals they care for. While every farm is not this way, we can not turn a blind eye to the fact that this mistreatment of animals does happen, and it is an issue that needs to be fixed. What should you do? This one is very straightforward. VISIT YOUR FARMER!!  Find a farmer who is willing to show you around their farm. Don’t trust a label in the supermarket; find a farmer you can trust, and be sure to ask him/her about their practices.  By visiting your farmer, you can know the food you put on your table was raised with respect and care. #3 Health  There’s no denying it: the cheapest meat you find on the supermarket shelf was likely raised using GMO feeds, antibiotics, and artificial growth hormones. These factors are beginning to appear as significant factors in the chronic disease epidemic our country is facing. Eating fruits and vegetables has undeniable health benefits for our bodies and well-being. However, vegetable and fruit farmers often use chemicals to control their fields' pests, which leads to the same problems production animal farming brings.   Another reason people are turning away from meat is for heart health, which is a legitimate concern with very fatty animals such as grain-fed beef. This fat contains cholesterol that is very high in saturated fat, causing many people with high cholesterol and heart issues to go vegan. What should you do? There’s no denying that a diverse diet is key to health. However, meat provides essential, natural nutrients not found in fruits, veggies, and nuts.  So, where do you turn for healthier meat? Stop going to the supermarket and head straight to your farmer. Buy grass-fed or pasture-raised meats, which are leaner and have less saturated fat than their grain-fed counterparts.  Grass-fed beef is becoming increasingly popular because of its higher concentration of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). This acid helps to aid in weight loss and lower cholesterol. You can learn more about the fantastic benefits of CLA by clicking here. Why grass-fed or pasture-raised?  The microbes in a ruminant animal's (AKA Cow’s) gut make CLA. There is a higher microbe count in grass-fed beef because the plants they eat are alive and full of bugs! Recent studies have shown a 300%—500% increase in CLAs in grass-fed beef, making it a much better alternative to manufactured supplements, often made from seed oils like safflower and corn. Knowing all of the facts is essential before you go vegan. Don’t let yourself be misled by flashy marketing campaigns or cool packaging in the supermarket trying to persuade you to buy their food. Purchase your food from farms that you can visit. Talk to your farmer and ask him/her questions about how your food is raised, and make sure they know WHY they follow the practices they follow.  It is now more important than ever to have food you can trust. Click the link below and contact us to schedule a farm visit today! Talk to a farmer you can trust today! Red Hill Harvest Phone:(570) 900-1566 Email: info@redhillharvest.com

Farm Stewardship at Red Hill Harvest

Last Easter, I shared the fact that we always try our best to nurture our community and environment through decisions based on our faith, ancestorial knowledge, and new information gained from experience and education. I want to share with you, exactly how we do this day in and day out on our farm.

with customization by Taste Profit Marketing