Hi Kelly, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I just bought a bunch of grass fed ground beef, roasts, and steaks. So far I've cooked the ground beef and one roast. The meat is sooo different and has a yucky type of smell to it. Honestly, I just don't like it. I thought that since it was natural and not messed with, it would taste better than what you buy in the stores. Is there something I'm missing…maybe a process of making it taste better or something? The smell of it cooking makes me want to gag, but at the same time I want my family to be healthy. Any advice???
That happened to us once and we had purchased HALF OF A COW!!! It was icky and I was so disappointed, too. Thankfully I didn't give up – we tried another grass-fed farm, and now I looooooove our meat – it tastes “normal”, like the beefy taste we're used to.
Does Your Raw Milk Ever Taste “Off”?
The same thing happened at the farm where we used to get our raw milk. As a matter of fact, most of the summer I couldn't even drink it. But where we get it now is much more consistent. Only once in a great while do I notice an off taste, but normally it’s so delicious and fresh tasting, even all summer long when the cows are on grass. That’s when the milk has the most nutrients, but also when it’s more likely to have the off taste because of where they’re grazing.
Why is milk (and meat) from “grass-fed” animals more nutritious?
From “Real Food: What to Eat and Why”: “Cows on grass contain more omega-3 fats, more vitamin A, and more beta-carotene and other antioxidants. Butter and cream from grass-fed cows are a rare source of the unique and beneficial fat CLA – CLA prevents heart disease, fights cancer, and builds lean muscle. It aids weight loss in several ways: by decreasing the amount of fat stored after eating, increasing the rate at which fat cells are broken down, and reducing the number of fat cells.” (Learn why raw milk is the best milk for us: Raw Milk Benefits and Information: Q & A with Mark McAfee).
Do you notice any taste difference?
Some people don't notice this off taste in the milk or meat at all (like Kent and two of our kids), but some totally notice and dislike it (like myself and the other two kids). It used to drive me crazy, I’d say, “How could you not notice that?!” I thought there was something wrong with me, why did my picky palate not like the more nutritious foods?! I really wanted to be able to drink the milk all summer long, when the cows were out on grass and it was most nutritious, and I’m so thankful we’re getting it at a new farm now.
If you don’t have many choices near you and can’t find another farm, try talking to your farmer to see if they’ll be able to figure out what’s causing it. I’m hoping to get some good comments on this post from others who are much more knowledgeable than I am and can clue us in more… I’d love to hear from grass-fed meat and dairy farmers to get your take on this. Has anyone else dealt with similar issues?
Why does that happen?
Kent’s guess is that it’s because the farmers where we get our raw milk now do a better job of managing their fields. At the other place the cows were probably wandering into more weedy areas or spots with dandelions or something else that gave the milk the off taste.
What to do with the off-tasting meat?
To use up the beef that you have, just make things like spaghetti sauce or something spicy. Then ask around before you try another farm, and be sure to try just one package of ground beef until you're sure it tastes good to you.
Here’s a book on the topic that you’ll definitely want to read: The Untold Story of Milk
- “Raw”/unpasteurized milk? Are you crazy?!
- Raw Milk Benefits and Information: Q & A with Mark McAfee
- Finding healthy meat options
- All about MILK: why not low fat? What should you watch out for with organic milk?
- Need a new perspective on DIETING?
photo by jelles