As the name implies, grass-fed beef comes from cattle that are are allowed to graze on their natural diet of perennial grasses as opposed to being grain-fed. Perennial grasses are the natural food for cattle, so the practice of feeding them grain can cause a myriad of health problems necessitating the use (and overuse) of medications.
A Better Way to Raise Cattle
It's an unfortunate fact that grain-fed cattle aren't always treated in a humane fashion. They're often packed tightly into feedlots, fed steroids, hormones and antibiotics throughout their lives, then led to slaughter in a stressful environment.
These factors all have a negative impact on the flavor and nutritional quality of grain-fed beef, as well as a damaging effect on our environment.
Cattle that eat only grass are ususally responsibly raised and much healthier in general. Without the use of medication and unnatural chemicals, grass-fed beef is less likely to be linked to health issues like cancer and immune disorders in people. It is lower in fat and calories than grain-fed beef, higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and contains healthy amounts of beta-carotene.
As an added bonus, grass-fed cattle leave behind a smaller carbon footprint than their grain-fed counterparts.
While it's true that grass-fed beef is more expensive, it is most definitely a better choice for the health and well-being of both consumers and the environment. It may be that the wisest choice you can make is to eat less beef overall and spend for the best when you do.