Many cows eat a diet based on grain, but of course, cows are designed to eat grass.
Consuming grain, particularly soy and corn, isn’t a natural cow’s diet.
Studies show that cows fed on grain become more prone to bacteria and disease when consuming a grain-rich
diet. Therefore, the question arises: Are there other differences, such as taste and smell, between cows fed differently?
Does grass fed beef smell different?
Most of us cannot smell any difference between grass-fed beef and grain fed beef. However, these people are in the minority, and most of us cannot smell any difference.
Is there an actual difference between hay-fed and grass-fed beef?
Although a grass-fed diet is more natural and healthier for cattle, does beef that is grass-fed smell or taste different from beef that is grain-fed?
Which has the better smell, grass-fed or grain-fed beef?
The cow’s diet ultimately influences the way its meat smells to us.
However, it turns out that the perception of that smell is a matter of personal preference for the minority of people who can actually detect a difference.
In the final months of a cow’s existence, they are fed a diet high in grains, consisting of soy, corn, corn by-products, and other nutrients.
This makes the cow grow bigger and also increases its fat, resulting in a “fattier”, less meaty smell.
Grass-fed cattle eat a mix of foliates and grass.
Their muscles are leaner, resulting in a “meatier” smell, which some people describe as smelling a lot like game meat.
Which has the better flavor, grass-fed or grain-fed beef?
Many people might not realize that taste is very closely related to smell.
In fact, if a person has lost his or her sense of smell, they have also lost their sense of taste too!
Many people argue that grass-fed beef has a superior flavor because it is more natural, but this doesn’t really make any sense.
In reality, while fat is a source of some of the texture and flavor, fat doesn’t always translate to better-tasting steak.
A cow on a grass-fed diet increases the fat fibers deep within its muscles.
Grass-fed beef is rich in nutrients in fats and muscle fibers, resulting in “marbling”, an indisputable feature of the most sought-after beef.
Which is healthier, grain-fed or grass-fed beef?
Despite the grain-fed and grass-fed arguments, many consumers are choosing grass-fed beef.
The most important reason such people give is the benefit to their health.
In the first place, there are fewer calories in grass-fed beef.
Sure, we all want the bigger, fattier steaks; however, each steak brings with it extra calories and fat.
Steak that is fed grass is leaner, meaning it has fewer calories per ounce.
Additionally, grass-fed beef has greater levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital nutrients.
It has been reported that grass-fed beef has an additional five times as many omega-3-fatty acids compared to beef fed with grain.
Additionally, grass-fed beef is richer in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), more than twice as much as grain-fed beef.
CLA, a fatty acid, promotes healthiness in several ways.
Which gives the yummier fat, grass-fed, or grain-fed beef?
There’s fat, then there’s yummy fat.
Fat is what gives beef its taste.
However, just as too much of anything is bad, too much fat alters beef’s smell, texture, and taste and can make the beef less appetizing.
Instead, it is best to have “delicious fat”.
This is the benefit grass-fed steak gives over grain-fed steak.
Grass-fed cows have less fat than their grain-fed alternates, but the fat they have is “delicious fat” full of flavor.
This is due to the nutrients contained within the fat.
More about grass-fed beef
Although grass-fed beef is more nutritious and generally is more flavorful, there are other considerations to take into account that can affect the smell and flavor of your beef.
The cut of the beef is one excellent illustration.
Certain cuts are leaner and taste better. For instance, those who aren’t fans of a lot of fat can select sirloin caps.
The length of time that beef ages can also impact smell and flavor. A proper aging process lets enzymes reduce the amount of muscle tissue.
Beef typically is aged from several days up to several weeks.
While grain-fed steak has greater visual marbling and overall fat content, the fat here is blander, which causes the steak to have a chewier, less appetizing taste and texture.
Which contains better nutrients, grain-fed or grass-fed beef?
Visually, the fat in grain-fed steak is white, while the fat in grass-fed steak is a deep yellow hue due to its beta-carotene nutrient.
The yellower the fat, therefore, the more nutritious the beef.
Beta-carotene is a valuable antioxidant. It is present at higher levels in grass-fed cattle.
Beta-carotene is a major component of food pigmentation.
Beta-carotene is what gives carrots their orange color.
Well-known benefits of eating grass-fed beef
Whether grass- or grain-fed, beef is an excellent source of nutrients and vitamins that aid cells fight off damage and assist the body build more muscle and cartilage.
However, compared to grain-fed beef, along with being loaded chockfull of B-vitamins, grass-fed beef is also richer in Vitamins A and E and other antioxidants.
So, grass-fed beef comes with all the health benefits of grain-fed beef, but research has revealed that it has plenty of additional benefits.
Grass-fed beef and heart health
Grass-fed beef is significantly lower in saturated fat levels than grain-fed beef.
In reality, the content of fat in grass-fed beef is comparable to chicken, even chicken that has been deskinned!
The replacement of saturated fats in grain-fed beef by the unsaturated fat found in grass-fed beef has been shown to lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Lean meat, for instance, grass-fed beef, improves cholesterol levels.
Frequently Asked Questions About Does Grass Fed Beef Smell Different
Why is grass-fed beef said to be better for humans?
Research has shown that grass-fed meat contains at least twice as many omega-3 fats than grain-fed beef, maybe even up to six times as much. Omega-3 fatty acids effectively prevent and treat various diseases, including stroke, heart disease, and autoimmune reactions like eczema and lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and various other diseases. Grass-fed meat has more antioxidants than beef fed with grain–antioxidants that protect cells from damage that could lead to serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
How does grass-fed beef help prevent anemia?
Beef is a rich source of iron, in particular the type known as heme iron, which is absorbed by the body extremely easily. A lack of iron can cause anemia, an illness in which blood has fewer red blood cells and a lesser ability to transport oxygen. To be fair, all beef helps prevent anemia, but more so with grass-fed beef.
Afterword: Does grass-fed beef smell different?
In a blind test (Huffington Post, 2014) comparing the taste of a burger made using standard-issue grain-fed supermarket beef to one made using grass-fed beef.
“Nearly 100%” of participants preferred the burger made from grass-fed beef.
This included people who had previously stated they “couldn’t stand the smell” of grass-fed beef!
Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)
Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.