Answers to all of your verde grass-fed, organic beef questions.
What is it, why it’s good for you, and where you can get it right now.
It all comes down to what the cattle eat. 100% grass-fed beef comes from cattle that eat a diet of only grass and other plant forages — the food they’re evolved to eat. As ruminants, cattle are happiest and healthiest when they eat grass, and the meat ends up being healthier (and tastier, we think) as a result. [Note that beef can be labeled “grass-fed” without being 100% grass-fed. See the next question!] Most conventional beef, what you usually find on the shelf, is grain-finished; cattle are given a diet of corn or grain to quickly and dramatically fatten them up. This feeding often takes place in feedlots vs. pasture.
Grass-finished beef means 100% grass-fed beef; that is, the cattle have eaten only grass for their entire life. All cattle technically start off as grass-fed, but most are finished on grain or corn. The USDA doesn’t have a standard requirement for what is labeled “grass-fed.” So if you’re looking for truly grass-fed beef, look for “100% grass-fed” or “grass-finished” stated on the package.
If you care about animal welfare and humanely-raised meat, pay attention to this label. Free range beef, or pasture-raised beef, means cattle are free to roam and graze on open fields, the way nature intended. Free range cattle are NEVER confined to feedlots. (Side note: each of our animals has an average of 2 acres of land to roam!) Important to note, even 100% grass-fed beef is not necessarily free range, and vice versa. Cattle can still be fed grass-pellets (!) in feedlots and be called 100% grass-fed. Conversely, cattle may live on pasture their whole lives but be fed corn or grain.
Sad topic alert. Feedlots are also known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Here, cattle are packed in together in unnatural, stressful, and often unsanitary quarters to be “finished” or fattened up for harvest. They are fed corn, grain, by-products, even candy (seriously) to up their weight as quickly and cheaply as possible. This typically last months, and can last as long as ⅓ of the animal’s total lifespan.
The organic seal ups the ante on cleaner inputs, environmental impact, and animal welfare. For beef to get the organic seal, cattle must be raised on certified organic land and fed certified organic feed — that means no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or GMOS involved. Cattle cannot receive any antibiotics or added growth hormones. Farms have to meet guidelines for sustainability and are certified through third parties.
Nope! Organic, grass-fed, and free range are not synonymous. Beef can be organic without being 100% grass-fed; it can be 100% grass-fed without being organic; and it can also be 100% grass-fed and organic without being free range. For beef to be organic, cattle can only eat organic feed… but that doesn’t mean it has to be grass. Corn and grain can also be organic. Similarly, cattle can be on pasture eating grass for the entirety of their lives, but those farms might not use organic methods. We know, it’s exhausting. So, if the issues of environment, animal welfare, and your own health are of equal importance — look for the organic seal, 100% grass-fed, and free range on your beef label. (Or just buy Verde and trust the meat you eat.)
You bet. When cattle eat their natural diet of grass, the beef is functionally different. Compared to conventional beef, grass-fed beef is leaner, lower in calories, and higher in vitamins and nutrients. Higher in Omega-3s and CLA, beta carotene, Vitamin E, B vitamins, the list goes on. Click the link below to learn more about the health benefits
If you’re used to eating conventional beef, you might notice that grass-fed beef tastes different than conventional, grain-fed beef. A diet of only grass vs. grain or corn often results in a “true beef” flavor. Grass-fed beef tastes the way beef should!
Grass-fed beef is lower in fat than conventional beef, so it cooks quicker. The most common mistake is to overcook grass-fed beef. For steaks, we recommend aiming for 30% reduced cook time and removing from the heat source ~10 degrees less than your usual target temp. We also like to brush grass-fed steaks with a little extra olive oil before throwing them on the grill. Other than that, it’s just like cooking regular beef! Check out more cooking tips on our blog!
At Verde, we set our standards high because we believe in better simple, honest, real food. And we don’t compromise. Our beef is always 100% grass-fed, 100% free-range (no feedlots ever), NEVER contains added hormones or antibiotics, and is raised by family farmers using timeless methods — ones that respect the land, the animals, and you, the consumer. The majority of our beef is also organic. We believe these methods result in the highest quality beef around. Click the button below to learn more about the Verde Way.
Our beef is sourced from a network of family farmers in Uruguay, Australia, and North America who meet our high standards for doing things right.
Uruguay has generations of raising 100% grass-fed beef on open pasture. As one of the world’s largest grass-fed beef producers, Uruguay has some of the best animal welfare, food safety, and technology in the world. With abundant sunshine and water, Uruguay has an ideal climate for year-round grazing on open pastures, and each animal has the equivalent of at least two soccer fields of pasture to roam. About the size of New York state, over 80% of Uruguay’s land is dedicated to raising livestock on pasture. Learn more about how Uruguay raises beef the gaucho way here.
All of the farms we work with have been certified organic by their country’s USDA equivalent organic certifiers. The USDA has approved these equivalents to maintain and uphold the Organic Standards found here in the U.S.
Yes! On our farms, cattle live on pasture the entirety of their lives, living as nature intended. We never confine our cattle and they are never subjected to feedlots at any point in their lives. Animal welfare is incredibly important to us and to our famers. Our farms use animal welfare standards approved by Professor Temple Grandin, a world expert in animal science.
We only use beef breeds known for tenderness and quality, specifically Hereford and Angus. Never dairy cull or tropical breeds, like Brahmin.
You can find Verde at major retailers, including BJ’s Wholesale Club and Market Basket. You can also buy online at Amazon Fresh in certain areas. Not at your local store? Ask your meat manager to start carrying Verde!
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