They sure sound similar, so why aren’t they the same thing?
Well, in a way, they are.
Both grass-fed and organic meat can be far superior to standard meats in terms of taste, environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
Yet there are still some important differences between the two that you can understand to help you make that decision at the supermarket!
Meats that are labelled with the grass-fed stickers come from animals that have been raised entirely from forage products.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all cows and sheep are grass-fed, but usually they are also given a mixture of corn, grains, or other additional supplements.
The rules and restrictions in place for these products are strict, which means that only edible herbaceous plant material is allowed in the animal’s diet. This can be any kind of grass, hay or haylage, but cannot under any circumstances include grains.
What this means for you is a meal with fewer calories and higher levels of vitamin A and E, antioxidants and healthy omega-3 fats than produced beef.
However, if the animal becomes sick or injured, then the farmer can administer antibiotic treatments, in which case the final product will be marketed as a produced beef rather than grass-fed.
Organic meat is even harder to produce, so organic meat suppliers have many more hoops to jump through for certification.
It takes more time, effort and documentation from the farmers but results in a product of excellent quality.
To meet requirements, animal diets can only include food that is 100 per cent organic. This means that there can be no fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides used on the forage offered to the animals.
Also, cattle and sheep must be given access to the outdoors so that 30 per cent of their daily intake comes from their natural surroundings.
In terms of taste, all that really needs to be said is that it’s worth the extra effort!