In the grocery store you may see packs of beef labeled as “grass fed” or “grass finished.” At L’Chaim Meats, all of our bison are grass fed their whole lives. But what does that mean? And why does it matter?
Part of the distinction is how the animals are raised and fed. In nature, cattle and bison are both ruminants. This type of animal, which also includes sheep and goats, are grazers that eat plant material that would be inedible to humans such as grass and hay. (Hay is cut, dried grass– preserved to be used as animal feed in months when it is too cold for grass to grow.)
But in cattle farming practices, corners had to be cut to make the cows bigger faster, creating more meat to sell. Therefore the cattle were fed more grains, such as corn and soybeans, to speed the process of their growth. In addition, feeding cows grain means they do not need to roam like grass fed cows do, and are often kept confined and crowded. There is also grass-finished, which means that the cows may have had grain at some point in their lives.
Another distinction is flavor. Some consumers prefer grain fed beef, which is marbled with white fat, as opposed to grass-fed beef which has less fat, and a slightly wild gamey flavor.
But this distinction is only for beef– not bison. The reason for this is that bison have evolved alongside the prairie grass they consume, which provides just the right amount of fat and nutrition. The result is a delicious, buttery bison meat with no grassy flavor.
At L’Chaim Meat, we make meat as nature intended, with delicious results. At our South Dakota Ranch every single bison has 30 acres each– to roam, eat, feel the sun on their face and the wind on their hide. Our Bison are grass fed, and never given any kind of growth hormone or antibiotic. Order some of our delicious Bison meat and taste the difference for yourself!