I remember when I had family dinners at restaurants and they would state on the menu whether the steak was grass or grain fed, and I didn’t give a hoot about it at the time. It didn’t occur to me that there would be any difference health-wise. Alhamdulillah, I am not that ignorant anymore.
It all started after I got married and started cooking for my husband. On our grocery trip (we were living overseas at the time), we saw that the beef were clearly labeled as “grass-fed” or “grain-fed”. After a bit of pondering which was better (health-wise), we chose “grass-fed” as we knew cows naturally eat grass.
Later at home, we researched the topic and were glad we made the right choice. Some reading material that might be of interest:
– Grass-Fed Meats
– Grass-Fed vs Grain-Fed Beef: Is There a Taste Difference?
– Corn-Fed vs Grass-Fed Beef
– Why Grass-Fed Trumps Grain-Fed
– Raising the Steaks (A cook-off. See who won.)
I wouldn’t call myself a meat connoisseur, so I can’t really tell if grass-fed tastes better than grain-fed. All I know is that the beef tastes delicious when I cook it and the fact that grass-fed is healthier makes it the only reason for me to buy it. Some of the articles I linked above might say it’s a bit difficult to cook grass-fed meat as it’s leaner, but I didn’t encounter any problems and I’m no masterchef.
Anyway, upon returning to Malaysia, I checked the meat labels at the grocery stores (Cold Storage, Village Grocer, Mercato, etc) and was disappointed to find out that they weren’t marked as grass or grain fed. I was contemplating asking the workers there because you know how it is — they don’t know themselves. I also wondered about going local and buying from the “pasar tani” (farmer’s market) because I figured our cows would eat grass. But the thought of asking the seller there to confirm the cows’ diet kind of put me off because I don’t want my question to be answered with a blank expression. Haha. Any of you know what our local livestock are fed?
Well, Alhamdulillah, my prayer was answered a few months ago. I recently found that the grocery stores were now stating whether the meat was grass or grain fed. Although some that I came across didn’t do a good job at labeling — due to the character limit of the label, they came out as “GRA”. Thanks, that helps a LOT! GRAss or GRAin? Hmm.