Grass or Grain Fed Beef?

The basic benefits of grass fed beef.
Why did the cow really jump over the moon?

Most of us will remember the story about a cat and a fiddle, a cow and the moon. What a lot of people don’t know is that cow actually came from the lush, green pastures of Tasmania, Australia. The cattle there are treated to picturesque landscapes lapped by ocean swells, rainfall aplenty and some of the cleanest and freshest air in the world. The cow was that happy, it jumped over the moon!

Okay, so maybe the cow didn’t really jump over the moon. But it is true that the grass-fed cattle of Tasmania have to be some of the happiest livestock on earth.

In Tassie (that’s what the Australian’s call it), there is a beautiful area at the north-west tip known as Cape Grim. The name is a little misleading, as there is nothing grim about this place. Thanks to the abundance of rainfall and the perfect environment for keeping the soils rich and fertile, farmers in the region are renowned world-wide for producing premium quality, grass fed beef.

The farms in this area have an ethos on quality rather than quantity and sustainably produced, humanely treated stock is of the upmost importance. Cattle are allowed to roam free in their paddocks and left alone from nasty additives like hormones or antibiotics. As most of the cattle are bred on the farms, or purchased from other producers, farmers have a healthy attachment to their cattle too, being that they virtually raise them from birth. These farmers know that if their cattle are well cared for, they will produce better quality beef.

There is much debate whether grass fed beef reigns supreme over the grain fed type. I’m not beating any drums and screaming into a megaphone about this, however I will provide some factual benefits of grass fed beef for the purpose of being insightful.


Grass has been the natural staple diet of cattle since the dawn of the cow. They were left alone to roam and do precisely what they like, which is in fact to eat grass.

Cows were not designed to metabolise grain, and grain can play havoc with a cow’s stomach and digestive system. This can also weaken a cow’s immune system inviting in bacteria and other nasties. That in turn calls for antibiotics to counteract illness in the grain fed beef. And, you are what you eat remember.


It has been defined that cows who roam free and spend their life grazing pastures (i.e. grass fed beef), produce excellent texture and flavoured beef. Grass fed beef won’t often require too many sauces and marinades either which means less added sugar to your meal. Now that’s a bonus you didn’t see coming.


Letting cattle do what cattle do makes for a happy, stress-free cow (i.e. free range, grass-fed). This in turn is said to produce better quality beef compared to their grain fed counterparts.


Animal researchers from a university in the US, conducted a two-year study feeding Angus steers enclosed in five acre lots, with a mixture of different grass offerings and pearl millet. Each diet had a significant effect on growth, taste and meat quality, altering nutritional components. The pros noted were predominately for grass fed beef:

  • Grass fed beef had less total fat and therefore fewer calories when consumed.

  • Grass fed beef had up to five times the amount of healthy omega-3 fats than grain fed beef.

  • Grass fed beef offered twice the amount of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Studies have shown CLA can be an ally for combating some cancers, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and it may even increase your metabolism.

  • Grass fed beef contains more vitamin A, vitamin E and micronutrients like potassium, iron and zinc.

Australian-produced beef is put through a rigorous testing system, supported by federal government and based on world-leading science, called the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading system. MSA takes into account all factors that can affect eating quality from the paddock right through to the plate. Factors such as age, breed, feed quality, handling methods, processing conditions, type of cut and cooking techniques are deliberated over when grading the produce.

At The Fishwives, we stock the king of the Tasmanian beef range; PureBlack Grass Fed Angus.

Pure Black Grass Fed Angus beef is hand-selected cattle from the Cape Grim region. This grass fed beef is tender, juicy and full of flavour.

Pure Black beef is MSA graded to achieve four and five-star fine dining and retail cuts. This MSA grade guarantees excellent quality beef so we can provide our customers with perfect cuts to suit intended cooking methods. The beef is processed using the world’s best practice HACCP Quality Assurance systems that incorporate stringent hygiene controls and the most modern food safety testing protocols.

The Fishwives offer sustainably and ethically sourced, non-political, bribe-free, grass fed beef, with no bull…

To find out more information about our Tasmanian PureBlack grass fed beef, and our other fresh products, please visit us online for details.

N.B. no cows were harmed in jumping over the moon for the purpose of this article :-)



J.R. Schmidt, M.C. Miller, J.G. Andrae, S.E. Ellis and S.K. Duckett: Journal of Animal Science 2013, Effect of summer foraged species grazed during finishing on animal performance, carcass quality, and meat quality

Copyright 2017 The Fishwives

Permission to reproduce this article must be sought from The Fishwives Pte Ltd

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