Is Culver’s Beef Grass Fed? The Complete Guide

When it comes to fast food, the quality of ingredients is often a concern for health-conscious consumers. One popular chain, Culver’s, has been promoting their use of fresh, never frozen beef in their ButterBurgers.

But what about the source of that beef? Is it grass-fed and ethically raised?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Culver’s beef sourcing and explore the benefits of grass-fed beef.

Is Culver’s Beef Grass Fed?

According to Culver’s website, their ButterBurgers use 100 percent Midwest-raised, grain-fed beef from three cuts: chuck, sirloin, and plate. While this beef is not explicitly labeled as grass-fed, it is important to note that grain-fed beef is the industry standard for fast food chains.

Grass-fed beef, on the other hand, comes from cows that are raised on a diet of grass and other forages. This type of beef is often considered to be healthier and more sustainable than grain-fed beef.

Culver’s Beef Sourcing

Culver’s takes pride in sourcing their beef from Midwest family farms that prioritize animal welfare and responsible farming practices. While the specific farms are not named, Culver’s ensures that they work with farmers who prioritize animal care and use sustainable farming practices. The beef is fresh, never frozen, and hand-formed into patties for each order.

It is also worth noting that Culver’s sources their cheese curds from Wisconsin dairy farms and their Frozen Custard uses family farm-fresh dairy. This commitment to sourcing ingredients from responsible and local farms reinforces Culver’s dedication to quality and sustainability.

What Is Grass-Fed Beef?

Grass-fed beef is a type of beef that comes from cows that are raised on a diet of grass and other forages, rather than grain. This means that the cows are allowed to graze freely in pastures, rather than being confined to feedlots and fed a diet of corn and other grains mixed with antibiotics and hormones.

The quality of grass-fed beef is often considered to be superior to that of conventional beef, as it is leaner, more flavorful, and contains higher levels of beneficial nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Additionally, grass-fed beef is often considered to be more sustainable and ethical, as it promotes better animal welfare and supports regenerative farming practices.

At Dakota Grass-Fed, for example, their ground beef is made from 65% grass-fed lean beef mixed with about 35% nutritious grass-fed fat. They proudly offer regenerative beef raised in Texas, which describes holistic management practices that improve the health of the soil and land. Their beef is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, ensuring that it is completely free of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.

While Culver’s beef is not explicitly labeled as grass-fed, it is important to note that grass-fed beef is often considered to be a healthier and more sustainable option. So if you are looking for a healthier and more ethical option when it comes to your burgers, it may be worth seeking out grass-fed beef from a trusted source like Dakota Grass-Fed.

Benefits Of Grass-Fed Beef

There are several benefits to choosing grass-fed beef over grain-fed beef. One of the most significant differences is in the nutritional content. Grass-fed beef has been found to have lower calories, higher protein, lower saturated fat, higher omega-3 fat, and more vitamins and minerals than grain-fed beef.

Grass-fed beef has been shown to contain more vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients have been linked to fighting a number of diseases and ailments.

In addition, grass-fed beef contains more omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than standard beef. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to improved immunity and anti-inflammatory benefits. CLA has been linked to reducing body fat and improving insulin sensitivity.

Furthermore, grass-fed beef is up to 2/3 lower in fat and calories than feedlot-raised beef. This means that switching to grass-fed beef can save you over 17,000 calories per year if you eat a typical amount of beef. Even if everything else in your diet remains the same, you can still lose about six pounds a year from switching to grass-fed beef.

Another benefit of grass-fed beef is that it is less likely to contain “superbugs”—bacteria that have become resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics—so it’s considered superior from a food safety perspective as well.

While grass-fed beef may be more expensive than grain-fed beef, consumers realize that the cost of food goes beyond the sticker price. Grass-fed beef is simply a better, healthier option than conventionally-raised beef. If you’re looking for a healthier option for your next meal at Culver’s, consider choosing a grass-fed burger.

Ethical Considerations In Beef Production

Ethical considerations are an important aspect of beef production. Consumers expect that the animals raised for food are treated humanely and with respect. The U.S. beef industry has developed guidelines for cattle care and handling called the Beef Quality Assurance program, which aligns with the internationally recognized Five Freedoms of animal welfare.

However, the debate over the ethics of beef production is ongoing, particularly when it comes to feedlot operations. While some argue that feedlots provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to raise cattle, others criticize them for their impact on the environment and animal welfare.

Grass-fed beef is often marketed as a more environmentally friendly and ethical choice than grain-fed beef. This is because grass-fed cows are allowed to graze on pastures and eat a natural diet, which can reduce the need for antibiotics and other medications. Additionally, grass-fed beef is often produced on smaller, family-owned farms that prioritize animal welfare.

Ultimately, the decision to choose grass-fed or grain-fed beef is a personal one that depends on individual values and priorities. However, it is important for consumers to be informed about the different production methods and their potential impact on animal welfare, the environment, and human health.

Other Fast Food Chains And Their Beef Sourcing Practices

While Culver’s uses grain-fed beef, there are a few fast food chains that have made the switch to grass-fed beef. Elevation Burger, for example, uses 100% organic, grass-fed, free-range beef in all of its locations, which are located both nationally and internationally. Similarly, BurgerFi offers grass-fed beef burgers, as well as chicken and veggie burgers and natural-beef hot dogs. Shake Shack is another chain that has earned an A for serving only antibiotic-free beef in their burgers.

Chipotle also sources its beef from grass-fed cows in Australia and meets or exceeds the husbandry standards set forth by the American Grassfed Association. While McDonald’s can’t guarantee that all of its beef is grass-fed, it does mention that some cattle spend time grazing before being finished on grain. However, the chain has made an effort to reduce the use of antibiotics in their beef and has announced a policy to do so.

A recent report graded 25 U.S. burger chains over their policies for antibiotics use in their beef, with only two chains scoring A’s for their policies. The majority of chains (22 out of 25) received F’s for having no policies against antibiotics. Wendy’s received a D- because 15% of its beef comes from producers that are cutting down on the medically important antibiotic tylosin.

It’s clear that while some fast food chains have made efforts to improve their beef sourcing practices, there is still a long way to go for the industry as a whole. As consumers become more conscious about the food they eat and their impact on the environment, it’s important for fast food chains to take responsibility and make changes to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future.

Conclusion: Making Informed Choices About Fast Food Beef

When it comes to making informed choices about fast food beef, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to read the label and look for key phrases like “grass-fed,” “natural,” “no added hormones,” and “organic.” These labels indicate that the beef is likely to be of higher quality and raised in a more sustainable way.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to reduce portion sizes and opt for single-patty burgers instead of double-patty burgers. This can help to reduce calorie and fat intake.

Finally, consider finding a local farmer who raises grass-fed beef using sustainable practices. This can not only provide you with high-quality meat but also support local agriculture and reduce the environmental impact of your food choices.

By being an informed consumer and making conscious choices about the beef you consume, you can enjoy fast food without sacrificing quality or sustainability.