There are multiple benefits from eating grass-fed meat, not only for your health, but also for peace of mind on how animals have been treated. To be sure you are buying 100% grass-fed meat it’s important that you choose a supplier who has been certified by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) and carries the ‘Pasture for Life’ logo to guarantee the meat has come from animals that have only ever eaten pasture. Below we list the ‘good’ and ‘best choices’ of online UK Grass-Fed Meat Suppliers.
Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Meat
A diet that includes grass-fed meat is closer to that of our ancestors – the diet that is most in harmony with our physiology. Our bodies will function better when we eat products from animals raised on grass. Health benefits include:
- Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner than grain-fed beef.
- Omega 3s in beef that feed on grass is 7% of the total fat content, compared to 1% in grain-only fed beef.
- Grass-fed beef has the recommended ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fats (3:1)
- Grass-fed beef is loaded with other natural minerals and vitamins, plus it’s a great source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders.
As well as health benefits, grass-fed meat that carries the ‘Pasture for Life’ logo is guaranteed to come from animals that have only ever eaten pasture, and have been looked after extremely well. It gives people peace of mind knowing that the animals will have been treated well and raised in a natural manner. Grass-based farming also has benefits for the environment, particularly the health of the soil. Read more about this here.
By buying Pasture Beef and Pasture Lamb from a supplier who has been certified by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association you eliminate the risk of eating meat with an unknown and complex chain of production from farm to plate.
Meat that carries the ‘Pasture for Life’ logo comes from an animal that has only ever eaten grass and forage crops.
Organic is the only system of farming that bans the use of artificial pesticides, fertilisers and growth hormones as well as the routine use of antibiotics. By choosing Organic Certified, you can be confident that your meat was produced as nature intended and can guarantee what you’re eating.
However, there is no legal definition for the term ‘grass-fed’ and it has become quite a marketing buzz word. There are many outlets that sell dairy and meat that they call ‘grass-fed’ but that has also been fed grains and other concentrates.
In fact, even the Soil Association (the main UK certification body for organic) allows up to 40% of the diet to be grains yet still be marketed as ‘grass-fed’.
The PFLA is the only UK certification body for 100% grass-fed i.e. no grains. So unless a producer is approved by the PFLA then there is no guarantee that their produce is not fed grains.
The reason that it is so important for ruminants (cattle & sheep) to not be fed any grains at all, is because this is not a natural food for them and the superior nutritional and health benefits of a purely grass-fed diet are lost when any grain is fed.
UK Grass-Fed Meat Suppliers
Beef and lamb produced purely from pasture may be available from local butchers’ shops, farmers’ markets or directly from producers through their farm shop and by mail order. Here’s a selection of online UK grass-fed meat suppliers that may be useful:
Good Choices – these companies state their meat is grass-fed but are not certified by the PFLA or The Soil Association
- Live Lean
Suppliers of premium, grass-fed meats (beef, poultry, offal and game) delivered fresh to your door. They say, “Eat clean; Live Lean.”
- Pipers Farm
Pipers Farm in Devon benefits from old-fashioned grasses and herbs that are deep-rooted, drawing nutrients from the Devon soil, with red and white clovers naturally drawing nitrogen from the air to fertilise the plants around them. They say, “It gives our animals the perfect “5 -a- day nourishment” with no need for health supplements!”
- Donald Russell
Donald Russell specialise in grass-fed beef and lamb, and they’re the proud beneficiaries of a Royal Warrant, held since 1984. They say, “Only the best producers qualify to supply our meat and the welfare of their animals must be paramount as this yields the most tender and flavoursome meat.”
- Green Pasture Farms
Green Pasture Farms is a collective of traditional family farms in the North Lancashire area of Pendle, with 100% grass-fed beef and lamb. Although the meat is not certified as organic (in order to keep the cost economical), they don’t use herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilisers on their fields, nor do they give animals unnatural feed or routine administrations of drugs. They say, “We pride ourselves on being Ethical, Ecological and Economical.”
- Field & Flower
Field & Flower was created in 2010 and combines over 100 years of traditional farming experience with a passion to provide superior fresh meat, with provenance, directly to your front door. “We rear only grass-fed animals as it is the most ethical and free-range way. It’s worth it to ensure the animal has led a happy life and their meat is of the highest quality.”
Better Choices – Pasture for Life Certified or Soil Association Certified
- Smiling Tree Farm
Smiling Tree Farm produces PFLA certified 100% grass-fed beef, lamb and 100% grass-fed (pending certification) raw milk, cream & butter on a small Shropshire farm using organic practices (but not certified organic); collection and nationwide delivery.
Farm2Fork are a farm in Somerset certified by PFLA. “Our animals eat well here at Farm2Fork, the cattle and sheep feeding simply on grass from herb-enriched pastures, and nothing else. The chicken and geese benefit from a little grain, and all the animals live exactly as nature intended.”
- Primal Meats
Primal Meats’ beef, lamb, mutton and hogget are 100% grass-fed and carry the ‘Pasture for life’ logo, providing reassurance of nutrient quality and traceability. They say, “Our meats are perfect for those following diets based on ancestral wisdom as they are as close as possible to meats from the wild.”
- The Well Hung Meat Company
The Well Hung Meat Company source grass-fed cattle from certified organic farms. They say, “At the core of all we do is a passionate team of organic farmers and butchers who really care about bringing you the best quality meat.” Organic Certified but not PFLA.
- Coombe Farm Organic
Soil Association certified, Coombe Farm Organic have been farming their estate in Somerset since the 1940’s. They say “Serving Beef & Lamb with provenance and the highest regard for ethical, sustainable and organic farming.”
- Graig Farm Organics
In 1999 the family achieved their ambition to farm organically, and have not looked back since. They take pleasure in watching their lambs and cattle graze on lush pastures full of grasses, clovers and herbs, and the pigs forage in the woods.
- Gwaun Valley Meats
Gwaun Valley Meats is the sole supplier of Pembrokeshire Heathland Beef, produced by a group of local farmers working in partnership with the National Trust.
- Abel & Cole
Free range organic grass-fed meat. Ethically sourced.
Best Choices (Certified 100% Grass-Fed and Organic)
- Eversfield Organic
Eversfield Organic Farm in Devon supply meat from farms that are certified by the PFLA and the Soil Association or Organic Farmers and Growers. They say, “All of the organic beef, pork and lamb is farmed by ourselves or derives from one of the local farms which supply us.”
You can now buy Eversfield Organic’s meat through Ocado with the rest of your supermarket shop so it is easy to get hold of.
Do Supermarkets Sell Grass-Fed Meat?
While the network of farmers producing beef and lamb purely from pasture in the UK is growing, you’ll find it hard to find purely grass-fed meats in supermarkets, or meat you can trace back to the farmer. Ocado now sell Eversfield Organic so that is the option I most often go for.
The meat sold in supermarkets usually says on the label that it is ‘somewhat grass-fed’ and ‘grain finished’. Waitrose organic beef states that the cows are fed a healthy grass and cereal-based diet.
You may not need the supermarket to buy grass-fed meat anyway as many of the suppliers offer the convenience of ordering online and delivering to your house – with the added bonus that you’ll be supporting local businesses direct.
- The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association http://www.pastureforlife.org/
- Paleo Britain Shopping Guide http://www.paleo-britain.co.uk/paleo-shopping-guide/
- The Soil Association http://www.soilassociation.org/
- Organic Farmers and Growers http://www.organicfarmers.org.uk/