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What’s the difference between grassfed and grainfed red meat?

Grassfed meat comes from animals that have spent their entire lives grazing on pasture. Grainfed meat comes from animals that graze on grass for most of their lives and then transition to grain-based diets for around 50-120 days on average.

In Australia, most livestock begin their lives in a paddock, grazing on and range of grasses and pasture specific to their climate and region.

Grainfed cattle and sheep also spend most of their lives grazing in pastures before being transitioned to feedlots where they are fed a a nutritious grain-based diet that provides the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins for optimum growth.

Why is grain-feeding necessary? 

Feedlots were born out of necessity in Australia. The simple reason being that many regions in Australia do not produce enough grass to feed and nourish livestock year-round. Even though all Australian cattle and sheep are raised on grass, feeding a grain-based diet in purpose-built facilities (called feedlots) is a complementary system that ensures year round nourishment despite the varying environmental conditions and therefore allowing beef and to be available for consumers at all times.

Australian grainfed beef and lamb generally has more uniform fat, flavour and meat quality which consistently delivers the delicious taste and juicy tenderness required.

Livestock are fed grain for several reasons, including to maintain a consistent meat supply, improve eating quality, meet the energy needs of animals when pasture is limited (such as in drought conditions) and increase animal size.

Grain feeding enables the industry to supply beef of a consistent quality all year round, regardless of environmental conditions. It also means that beef can be produced with less land and less water. Additionally, cattle on grain-based diets at feedlots reach their ideal weights more quickly than they would on grass. Less time on grass results in a measurable reduction in carbon emissions.

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