5 Great Reasons To Eat 100% Grass-fed HERITAGE Beef

There’s 100% grass-fed beef. And then there’s 100% grass-fed heritage beef.

Most beef in the U.S. (about 98%) is “grain-fed”. A tiny percentage (2%) is all-grass-fed. And a small percentage of that 2% is heritage grass-fed beef…

  • So what’s the difference?
  • And why should you eat heritage beef?
  • And is grass-fed heritage beef even better for you than other types of grass-fed beef?


Heritage beef comes from rare breeds of livestock that you’ve probably never heard of or seen before (except maybe in period movies).

Breeds like:


Belted Galloway

Texas Longhorn

Scottish Highland


The industrialized beef business—which, as mentioned above, produces 98% of beef in the U.S.—won’t take them. And they won’t take them, either because they:

  1. Grow too slowly (rapid production is prized)
  2. Don’t yield as much meat
  3. Have horns (a weapon in the close quarters of a feedlot)
  4. Don’t perform well on grain
  5. Or all of the above!

But even many grass-fed farmers don’t want to raise them, either…


Usually because they take longer to raise—and therefore to profit from—versus other breeds of cattle. Or they may not yield as much beef as other breeds.

So they’re extremely rare…

So rare that, in some cases, a heritage cattle breed borders on extinction!

But there are many great rewards from eating heritage beef that you can find nowhere else…

Read on!


  1. Eat Beef with Better Genetics

Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch in Kansas is considered the “Godfather of Heritage Meats”. He raises the oldest line of turkeys in the United States.

I met him at a conference for the preservation of rare livestock breeds. He explained how you just can’t take cattle whose ancestors spent generations in a feedlot, put their offspring on a grass-fed farm, and get good meat…

But heritage breeds, which were never in feedlots to begin with, have “intact”, healthy, robust genes

Their genetics are strong from hundreds of years of living in outdoor climates. They’ve benefited from natural selection…

That’s why heritage breeds have amazing resistance to disease and a natural hardiness that other cattle do not.

That health and hardiness is hardwired into their cells…

It becomes part of the heritage meat you eat

And, again, as the saying goes: “You are what you eat.”

  1. Ensure the Safety of Our Food Chain

Having a food chain with only a handful of cattle breeds (or potato varieties) is a ticking time bomb…

Look no further than Ireland’s “Great Starvation” (1845 – 49)…

Farmers were raising only a couple of strains of potatoes…

And these strains were vulnerable to a disease that wiped them out.

Had farmers diversified their crop with more varieties, some of those would have had a natural resistance to the blight. And the “Great Hunger” would have been averted.

So eating heritage breeds means a diverse, resilient food chain

A chord of many strands is not easily broken!

  1. Support Conservation

Think of heritage meats as the National Parks System of food. Eating them conserves the rare breeds.


By creating demand. And demand increases the supply…

Many breeds of livestock went extinct in the 20th Century from lack of demand…

Remember that factory farms produce 98% of beef in this country. And if they don’t want certain breeds, there’s no incentive to raise them. They simply die out from lack of demand…

The great irony is that eating rare breeds has the opposite effect: It makes them less rare…by creating the demand that gives farmers an incentive to raise them.

  1. Experience Incredible Flavor!

You’ll notice that, unlike conventional meat, heritage meats have a fuller, richer, “beefier” flavor…

That’s not just because they’re raised on a diet of grasses which are bursting with flavor compounds not found in grain.

It’s also because they grow slowly

And the longer an animal lives, the more those flavors can develop in the meat.

Not only that, but you may also notice a difference in flavor from breed to breed…

…and even farm to farm!

So if you’re a “foodie” and enjoy exploring the nuances of cheeses, microbrew beers, or wines, then you’ll find a home with grass-fed heritage beef.

It’s why the country’s top chefs go crazy for heritage meats

They get premium billing on their menus and command top dollar!

  1. Create a Sense of Culture

Heritage meats have a “historic” flavor. It’s what our ancestors tasted when they ate beef…

Customers of ours who grew up in the 1940s and ‘50s say that “this is what beef used to taste like!”

These are the breeds your ancestors raised in this country, in Old World Europe, and Africa.

So heritage beef is a way to get in touch with your roots…And recover a sense of your ethnic culture, history, and past…

The Irish raised Dexter beef; the Scots, Highland; the Spanish, the Texas Longhorn and the Florida Cracker; the Africans, the Ankole Watusi…

In short, choosing heritage beef is the No. 1 way YOU CAN:

  • Eat the healthiest, most delicious meat money can buy
  • Support small, local farms and their families
  • Recover a sense of history and culture
  • Create a strong, resilient food system
  • Save rare breeds from extinction

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