Cattle eat an optimal, balanced diet of grasses, grains and other forages throughout their lives. While consumers commonly refer to beef as "grass-fed" or "grain-fed" the terms "grass-finished" or "grain-finished" more accurately describe the animal's diet history. You might be surprised to learn that all cattle graze on grass for the majority of their lives. Grass-finished cattle will feed on pasture for their entire lives, while grain-finished cattle will eat a nutritionally balanced diet of corn, wheat, soybeans or other forages for 4 - 6 months after they have grazed on pasture. Just like humans, cattle require the right mix of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins to help them thrive and grow. Although all cattle need the same basic nutrients in their diet, what they eat to obtain those nutrients often depends on where they're raised.
• Grain-finished beef has a slightly higher monounsaturated fat content, the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil.
• Grass-finished beef can be slightly higher in omega-3 fatty acids, but is not considered a good source.
U.S. beef is produced from cattle fed on grass and finished on a carefully balanced grain diet for a minimum of 100 days. Combined with extensive research in cattle breeding, this ensures a consistent production of beef of the highest quality.