We're heard it and seen it at the store, grass-fed beef is more expensive. It appears that most people don't know why. Here are the three top reasons why grass-fed beef costs more:
1. Time: Cattle raised in a feedlot only need 12-13 months to reach their processing weight. They are able to achieve this weight quickly due to the unnatural diet of grain and corn. Grass-fed/ finished cows need approximately 18-24 months to reach their processing weight on a diet of solely grass.
2. Acreage: Ranchers who raise grass-fed/finished cows can only sustain a certain size of herd dependent on the size of the ranch. Land is not cheap! Feedlots on the other hand tend to cram hundreds of cattle into a small area.
3. The Feed: Believe it or not, corn is cheaper to feed cattle than grass. Thanks (or no thanks) to government subsidies!
While we realize that what we do may be more work or may mean that we can't process cattle as quickly. However, we do this because we believe that it's the right way. The end result of grass-fed/ finished beef worth it because it is healthier and tastes better!
For a little more information, check out this blog post we published last year.