A cow’s multi-chambered stomach is designed to digest and metabolize grass. Cows are healthiest – and produce the healthiest and most flavorful meat – when they are eating a diet of purely grass. But most of the beef we eat from the grocery store comes from confinement operations, where cows have zero access to pasture and are fed only grain and corn. They are also fed growth hormones and antibiotics to fight bacterial infection and sickness from the tight quarters. These methods speed up the whole process, as the cow can’t process grain well in her body. Thus, she turns the grain into fat (which we call marbling) and gains weight much quicker. This may be the most expedient way for the farmer or corporation to make money, but it is hardly best for the cow.
In a grassfed system, the cows roam and graze naturally, eat just enough for their bodies and remain healthy without drugs or hormones. Because grassfed cows are munching on nutrient-dense grasses, grassfed beef is higher in nutrients as well, including beta carotene (Vitamin A), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are important in reducing cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and other life-threatening diseases. The meat is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories and the risk of infection by E. coli is virtually eliminated.
So… in short, grass is better for cows and better for you too.