Articles from July 2014

Grass-Fed or Pasture-Raised?

What’s the difference?


In Colorado, where grazing is unavailable during the long winter, grass is farmed and harvested as hay for feeding cattle. Photos by Fern Gavelek

According to purists, grass-fed beef comes from cattle that are fed and finished on grass their entire lives. It doesn’t signify that cattle are always grazing out in the pasture as grass-fed cattle can be fed hay in a barn. However, with Hawai’i’s year-round temperate weather, it’s possible for cattle here to eat year-round out on a pasture.

Pasture-raised animals are those that are fed in their natural environment. They move among managed pastures to feed on grass and might also have their feed supplemented for a variety of reasons. Due to drought, pasture health and availability, or the desire to “finish” cattle with a higher energy/protein diet, ranchers may supplement pasture to better bring the animal to market. Supplements may include cull-crop fruit and vegetables, ag by-products like corn stalks and wheat mill run, beet pulp, soybean meal, molasses, etc.

Either way, both grass-fed beef and pasture-raised beef are marketed as free from growth hormones, antibiotics or steroids.

Pasture-Raised and Grass-Fed: Why Taste Supports Both Meat Production Methods

In year’s past, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range has touted the preparation and enjoyment of “grass-fed” beef and other locally produced agricultural products by our local chefs.

“This healthy food initiative has been an effort to support our local ranchers who finish their cattle on grass, showcase our farmers and their products, encourage our chefs to use and create dishes with grass-fed beef and local agricultural products and to educate and encourage Island residents and guests to support local agriculture,” says Jeri Moniz, rancher and event chairperson.

This year Taste will feature and support ranchers producing both grass-finished beef and pasture-raised beef as both products have entered our local beef markets and in doing so, have improved Hawai‘i’s food security.

Beef will be served at 2014 Taste that comes from cattle that is both grass-fed and pasture-raised.

Beef will be served at 2014 Taste that comes from cattle that is both grass-fed and pasture-raised.

“Most of the beef served at Taste will be grass-fed; however, Taste culinary stations will be identified as serving either grass-fed or pasture-raised beef for attendees wanting to know and both meats will be free from growth hormones, antibiotics or steroids,” she adds.
Why is Taste serving both types of beef? It’s because the success of Taste has resulted in local chefs promoting and featuring more local grass-fed beef on their menus and in turn, local beef cattle producers are keeping more beef cattle home for finishing. The increased need for local beef on the island has presented challenges that require beef production flexibility.

For example, there are few geographic locations throughout the State where year-round growth of grass is consistent and where droughts have minimal affect on grass production. There are even fewer places where it is feasible for water to be used to irrigate forage and ensure year-round grass production. As a result, producers participating in the statewide food security initiative by increasing the local finishing of beef animals for local marketing may find it is necessary to supplement their cattle on pasture. These supplements offer additional energy and protein to properly grow and finish cattle with an adequate, balance diet.

“In Hawai’i, a wheat processing by-product is a favorite of cattle producers because of its high-energy and protein content,” details Moniz. “Wheat mill run is a by-product of wheat milled on O‘ahu. It’s barged throughout the State to supplement cattle in pasture-raised programs. The ability for producers to feed a supplement like wheat mill run allows them to keep more cattle home for local production and maintain steady gains, resulting in a more consistent product marketed at a younger age, which tends to improve tenderness.”

Taste to Use Pasture-Raised Branding

Moniz says supporting both pasture-raised and grass-fed beef producers “is the right thing to do” in Hawai’i Island’s quest for food security and sustainability.

“We at Taste don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves and exclude island ranches that have to supplement their cattle on basic grass diets,” says Moniz. “With ranching, there are uncontrollable weather-related conditions that can make supplementation necessary. In addition, some ranchers choose to finish their cattle with supplemental feed to insure a consistent, final product.”

Either way, both grass-fed/grass-finished and pasture-raised beef is a good, healthy product and promotes the humane and sustainable production of our island food.

Rather than differentiating between them, Taste is collectively referring to all its beef as “pasture-raised” in all current and future branding on the website, facebook, etc.


Where to Get Pasture-Raised Beef on Hawai‘i Island

Food4By Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Retailers, Restaurants and Resorts

Retailers are listed in bold.

Info is subject to change. This list is alphabetized and divided into geographic areas for convenience. Check with resorts for specific restaurants serving pasture-raised beef. This list was compiled by contacting restaurants and retailers—however, some locations may have been inadvertently missed. To have your biz put on this list, kindly email Updated 7.2014. Mahalo!



Grandma’s Kitchen, Honoka’a-775-9943
Green Café, Honoka’ai-775-0004
JJ’s Country Market, Honoka‘a-775-7744
Tex Drive In, Honoka‘a-775-0598
The Landing, Honoka’a-775-0888


Bueno Burrito-930-6565
Café Pesto-969-6640
Don’s Grill-935-9099
Hilo Bay Café-935-4939
Island Naturals Market & Deli-935-5533
KTA Super Stores: Puainako St.- 959-9111, Keawe St.-935-3751

Food5East Hawai‘i-South

Foodland, Kea‘au-966-9316
Island Naturals Market & Deli, Pahoa-965-8322
J Hara Store, Kuristown-966-5462
Kaleo’s Restaurant, Pahoa-965-5600
Malama Market, Pahoa-965-2105
Verna’s Too, Mountain View-968-8774
Volcano Store, Volcano Village-967-7210


Hana Hou Restaurant, Na‘alehu-929-9717
Island Market, Na‘alehu-929-7527


North Kohala/Kawaihae

Big Island Brewhaus, Waimea-887-1717
Blue Dragoon, Kawaihae-882-7771
Café Pesto, Kawaihae-882-1071
Figs Mix Plate, Kapa‘au-889-1989
Hawai‘i Island Retreat, Kapa‘au-889-6336
Kahua Ranch, North Kohala-882-4646
Kohala Burger & Taco, Kawaihae Shopping Center-880-1923
M. Nakahara Store, Hawi-889-6359
Minnie’s ‘Ohana Lim Style, Kapa‘au-889-5288
Sushi Rock, Hawi-889-5900
Takata Store, Hawi-889-5261


Earl’s Waimea-887-1800
Healthways II, Parker Ranch Center-885-6775
KTA Super Store-885-8866
Paniolo Country Inn-885-4377
The Fish & The Hog Market Cafe-885-6268
Village Burger, Parker Ranch Center-885-7319

Kohala Coast/Waikoloa Village

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, Kohala Coast-885-2000
Foodland Farms, Shops at Mauna Lani-887-6101
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Ka‘upulehu-325-8000
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Kohala Coast-880-1111
Island Gourmet Market, Waikoloa Queens’ MarketPlace-886-3577
Lava Lava Beach Club, ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay, 769-5282
Merriman’s Mediterranean Café, Waikoloa Kings’ Shops-886-1700
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kohala Coast, 882-7222
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Kohala Coast-885-6622
Napua at Mauna Lani Beach Club, Kohala Coast-885-5910
Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill, Waikoloa Kings’ Shops-886-4321
Three Fat Pigs, Waikoloa Kings’ Shops-339-7145
Tommy’s Bahama Restaurant & Bar, Shops at Mauna Lani-881-8686
Waikoloa Village Market, Waikoloa Highlands Center-883-1088


Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers, Kainaliu-324-6000
Choice Mart Super Market, Captain Cook-323-3994
Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona, 329-2911
Daylight Mind Coffee Co., Waterfront Row, Kailua-Kona-329-7824
Harbor House, Honokohau Marina-326-4166
Holuakoa Café, Holualoa-322-2233
Humpy’s Big Island Ale House, Kailua-Kona-324-2337
Island Lava Java Bistro & Grill, Kailua-Kona-327-2161
Kona Brew Pub, Kailua-Kona-334-2739
Island Naturals Market & Deli: Kailua-Kona-326-1122, Kainaliu-930-7550
Kona Natural Foods, Crossroads Center, Kailua-Kona-329-2296
KTA Super Stores: Kailua-Kona-329-1677, Keauhou-322-231
Mahina Café, Captain Cook-323-3200
Mi’s Italian Bistro, Captain Cook-323-3880
Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Keauhou Shopping Center-333-3434
Sandy’s Drive In, Kainaliu-322-2161
Ultimate Burger, Kailua-Kona-329-2326

Taste-of-the-Hawaiian-range--2013--227To Purchase Beef in Bulk

Hawaii Beef Producers, Pa‘auilo-776-1109 or JJ’s Country Market, Honoka‘a-775-7744
Kahua Ranch, North Kohala-882-4646
Kulana Foods, Hilo-959-9144

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9.26.2014 for Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range at the Hilton Waikoloa Village


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