Grass-Fed Beef

Grass-fed beef: awesome or icky? Hounds are divided. Grass-fed beef certainly has a unique flavor, says mojoeater. Those who dislike it describe the flavor as gamy; some don’t mind it but prefer grain-finished beef.

Grass-fed partisans like wayne keyser think that it tastes like beef—not cardboard, like the grain-fed product. Grass-fed beef has a meatier flavor that might be disturbing to those not conditioned to expect it. Sam Fujisaka in Colombia is used to grass-fed beef. “When I visit the US, beef tastes like … nothing,” he says.

Feedlots exist to eliminate variation in flavor—and, some may argue, any flavor at all. Gooseberry loves the weird, wild flavors of beef fed on indigenous vegetation in Swaziland. Cattle are inherently different from one another, and environmental factors definitely affect flavor. lunchbox once brought four ranch-raised tenderloins to a party. “Each one tasted drastically different from the next, running the gamut from mild and almost beefy, to lamb-like, all the way to very, very gamy.”

One’s preference for grass-fed or grain-fed tends to correspond with one’s upbringing. mlgb grew up eating grass-fed beef, and finds that American beef tastes like pink cotton wool: bland and mushy.

lisa13 likens the difference between feedlot beef and grass-fed beef to the difference between Budweiser and a wonderful microbrew. “I really enjoy the way the flavor is different depending on the time of year and other factors. To me, these differences are akin to a wine’s terroir. Grain fed beef is quite literally a factory product. If that is your bag, fine. I, personally, am not keen on it,” she says.

Board Link: 100% grass fed beef. Icky! Am I crazy?