Grass-fed beef popularity rises - Supply struggles to follow

May 16, 2024


As consumer tastes shift towards grass-fed beef, producers find it difficult to scale up due to economic and ecological hurdles. According to the Food Institute, this rising demand has not yet been met by adequate supply, primarily due to the high costs and the scarcity of suitable grazing land.

Industry expert Matt Buhmann explains that consumer awareness about meat sourcing is increasing, with many preferring the environmentally sound and animal-friendly process of grass-fed beef production over traditional methods.

Research by FMI reveals that a significant majority of meat purchasers value environmental and ethical aspects, choosing products like grass-fed beef that promise these qualities.

Grass Fed Foods, now the largest producer of grass-fed beef in the nation, aims to boost supply by collaborating with major ranches across the country, including Montana's Matador Ranch & Cattle. This strategic expansion could help meet consumer needs more effectively.

The environmental impact of grass-fed beef is still debated. While such practices can enhance soil health and biodiversity, they also result in higher methane emissions from cattle.

The definition of "grass-fed" remains ambiguous, potentially misleading consumers. The USDA is working on guidelines to ensure that producers accurately substantiate their claims, aiming for greater transparency in the market.

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