Grass Fed Beef vs Corn Fed Beef

2012-05-27

Some articles have come out showing benefits of grass fed beef over corn in the past few years. More on that in this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/14/AR2006031400312.html

It seems to be the consensus that grass fed is healthier.

The important thing, which tastes better, I wanted to find out for myself. I went to Central Market, a pretty cool super market in the North West. Grass fed is hard unless you go to a higher end place like Whole Foods or a local gourmet store. They had an aged corn fed rib eye, and a grass fed rib eye. I purchased one of each, both within .50 cents of $19.00 and within .1 pounds of each other.

I expected to see more marbling in the corn fed as they are supposed to be fattier, but I wouldn't have been able to tell the different by appearance.

I brought them home to prepare. I normally cook my steaks over a charcoal grill, but because I was comparing tastes I wanted to keep that smoked flavor out of the equation. I heated a cast iron skillet, salted one side of each of the steaks and threw them both in the pan. Cast iron is known for heating very evenly so I knew both steaks would be cooked under almost the exact same conditions.

I took one steak and put it on it's own plate. One of our plates has a small chip on the side so I used this to keep track of which steak was which. I had my wife cut a piece of each steak and decide which one she liked best. After she made her decision I closed my eyes and had her feed me one piece from each steak. I bit into the first piece, not bad at all, good taste, decent texture. Then I bit into the second piece. The juiced flowed out of this one freely, flavor exploding in my mouth. There was no question this steak was better.

Now it was time to compare notes and reveal which steak was which. The best case scenario for dinner was each of us would have picked different steaks as we still had to eat dinner afterwards and we' d both get out favorites. This turned out not to be the case however. Both of us agreed one steak was significantly more delicious than the other.

This steak turned out to be corn fed. My wife of course got the corn fed steak for her dinner. At least I was eating healthier, right? Oh well. Turns out you can't get the best of both worlds in one steak.

Even though there are health benefits to grass fed, mainly higher omega-3 content, I don't eat steak often enough for this to make a huge difference in my health.

So when the times come I decide to splurge on an expensive steak, I am going to pick flavor over health from now on.