If you’re wondering how to find 100% grass-fed beef, I’ve been in your shoes. My own search for grass-fed beef was long, winding and eye opening.
Over time I’ve found some great places to buy grass-fed beef near me, and learned a lot about cross-checking label claims made by the larger brands.
The tips below will help you find grass-fed beef no matter where in the country you live. This is because I’m not recommending specific farms that raise grass-fed beef, but suggesting ways to find grass-fed beef anywhere.
So let’s dive into how to find 100% grass-fed beef. If you’d like more on this topic, check out my roundup of the best places to buy grass-fed beef (online and local options).
6 Ways to Find 100% Grass-Fed Beef
1. Find Farms on EatWild.com
EatWild is an Internet-based directory of farms that raise 100% grass-fed meat and dairy products, including beef.
Organic certification is not required, but it is desired and many of the farms in their directory are organic, in addition to being 100% grass-fed.
The EatWild website is quite easy to use. Simply click on your state (or country), on a map and a page opens with a list of grass-fed beef farms.
The website is updated continuously, but be aware, in addition to meeting the EatWild criteria for farming practices, farms must pay $50 per year to be included in their directory. So it’s not an exhaustive list of every farm out there and small grass-fed farms may choose not to join.
Here’s a tip if you use EatWild.com to find grass-fed beef – Many of the farms listed sell their beef for pickup orders only and some offer delivery in their community. Unless you don’t mind driving across your state to pick up the beef you order, focus on those farms which are nearby or that provide shipping.
2. Check the Cornucopia Beef Scorecard
The Cornucopia organic beef scorecard is another great resource for finding farms that raise 100% grass-fed beef.
The Cornucopia Institute is a non-profit watchdog organization that researches brands and investigates the organic food industry. Their organic beef scorecard is updated continuously but, like EatWild.com it is not an exhaustive list.
In my experience it’s a good place to search for the larger brands you find at the grocery store, but less helpful for researching the small local farms in your own community.
Unlike EatWild.com, Cornucopia does not charge farms to be included on their scorecard.
Farms are scored based not only on whether or not their beef is 100% grass-fed, but other factors such as:
- Whether they are organic or use organic farming practices
- Where is the animal feed sourced?
- How transparent the brand is, and more.
Cornucopia is a good place to cross-check claims you see on product packaging for organic and grass-fed beef in your grocery store.
3. Look for Grass-Fed Beef at Farmers Markets
Your local farmers market is a great place to buy 100% grass-fed beef and sometimes organic as well. Not all farmers markets are attended by cattle farms, but some definitely are, including the one I go to.
If you see a vendor selling beef at the farmers market, ask them a few questions, such as:
- Did you raise these animals, or are you selling for someone else?
- If they didn’t raise the animals, ask them the name of the farm or farms they source from. Then do your own research on that particular farm.
- Ask them if the beef is grass-fed and grass-finished.
- Ask about their organic farming practices if this matters to you. Are they certified organic? If not, do they spray the fields the cattle graze on with pesticides, or any other synthetic chemicals such as fertilizer.
- Ask them what their feed is supplemented with when the animals are not grazing on fields.
If you want to save time, you can also check in advance to see if a particular farmers market has vendors who sell beef. This may mean reaching out to the market organizers via their website.
Or, another trick is to visit the market’s social media feed and see if they post pictures or a list of their vendors each week.
4. Shop at a Local Food Co-Op
Unlike the large supermarket chains, a good food co-op focuses on locally-raised and grown foods.
To find a food co-op near you, open your favorite maps app and search for “food co-op”. In my experience this will also bring up some restaurants and regular grocery stores, so be aware of that.
Call and ask if they sell 100% grass-fed beef.
For a more targeted list of food co-ops you can try LocalHarvest, which maintains a directory of food co-ops around the country (as well as farms). Businesses can apply to create a listing on LocalHarvest for free and they have a strict policy for the types of businesses they accept.
I personally don’t love or often use LocalHarvest as their filtering options are extremely limited which results in a lot to weed through. Many of their listings are also outdated, which means you may be looking at farms that are no longer operational.
5. Join a Farm-Focused Facebook Group in Your State
Here in Florida there is a privately run Facebook group called the Florida Farm Finder. It’s a wonderful resource for finding all sorts and varieties of farms, including farms that raise grass-fed beef.
If you don’t live in Florida, do a search for something similar in your state. Then post to it about exactly what you’re looking for and where.
6. Check your Supermarket for Grass-Fed Beef (With Caution)
With consumer interest in grass-fed beef on the rise, some regular grocery store chains are starting to carry 100% grass-fed beef.
I have the best luck finding grass-fed and organic beef at grocery store chains that cater to the health conscious crowd. The beef isn’t necessarily local though, national grocery store chains tend to have a central supplier for all their stores.
Be sure to do some research into the farm or brand before buying if this matters to you.
- Does the brand represent a farm that raises their own cattle, or are they a distributor who sources from many different farms?
- Does the brand represent small farms or are they a large industrial farming type setup?
- How close is their relationship with their suppliers? Do you trust that the organic and “100% grass-fed” claims are adhered to by these suppliers?
FAQ: How to Find 100% Grass-Fed Beef
How do YOU find grass-fed beef?
I buy 100% grass-fed beef from a combination of the farmers market and a healthy grocery store in my neighborhood. I use the Cornucopia Organic Beef Scorecard and the brand’s website to cross-check the grass-fed beef I find at the grocery store.
If I were starting over today I’d do three things first to find grass-fed beef:
- I’d check nearby farmers markets to see if any farmers are there selling their own grass-fed beef
- I’d check EatWild to see if there are any farms nearby that raise grass-fed beef, and where they sell
- I’d check what brands are available at a nearby healthy grocery store and research those
If I couldn’t find a source I was happy with through those channels, I’d buy grass-fed beef online from a farm that ships.
Is “grass-fed beef” the same as “100% grass-fed beef”?
You’re probably familiar with the “100% grass-fed” label if you’ve already spent time looking for grass-fed beef. Is “100% grass-fed” beef the same as the more generic sounding “grass-fed” beef label?
Yes, according to the USDA which updated their labeling guidelines in 2019 to reduce confusion around animal feed claims.
Technically all beef in the United States is grass-fed because even factory feedlot cows (and steers and heifers) started their lives grazing on pastures eating grass. But only some beef is also “grass-finished”.
Under the new requirements, the “grass-fed” label can only be used if it applies to the animal’s entire lifetime (after weaning off its mother’s milk).
Under these new guidelines, grass-fed beef means 100% grass-fed beef and it also means it was grass-fed and grass-finished. That wasn’t always the case.
Because there is not widespread knowledge of this yet, I’ve used the term “100% grass-fed beef” throughout this article.
Is “100% grass-fed beef” the same as “grass finished beef”?
Not exactly. 100% grass-fed means the cow was only fed grass during its entire lifetime (after being weened from its mother). Grass finished means the cow was only fed grass during the final months of its life – but it might have been fed corn or grain prior to that. What you want to see in this case is “grass-fed and finished” which implies it was only ever fed grass (or “100% grass-fed”).
Final Thoughts on Finding Grass-Fed Beef
I’ll be the first to admit, finding sources for meat and produce that you feel good about can be time-consuming. Especially compared to just grabbing whatever beef your grocery store sells.
But, if eating grass-fed beef is important to you, it’s worth it. And once you find a source – you can stick with it and keep your life easy.
Was the list and advice above helpful? I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to post in the comments below. I read them all.
Recipes Made With 100% Grass-Fed Beef
Hamburger and Macaroni – Hamburger and macaroni is comfort food at its best. If you are looking for something easy and flavorful to make with grass-fed beef – hamburger and macaroni is what’s for dinner!
Gluten-Free Beef Stew on the Stovetop – This gluten-free beef stew is made with an assortment of farmers market root vegetables and grass-fed beef, slow-simmered on the stovetop in red wine and beef broth.
Asian Stir Fried Liver – This Asian stir fried liver is a unique take on the liver and onions recipes we grew up on. The flavors are bright and alive, and if you like liver you’re going to love this stir fried liver recipe!