GMO-free Sunflower Oil is here!!!!

We recently switched our fryers over to 100% non-GMO premium Sunflower oil!  This was a big change and long in the making.  We started with Canola oil, feeling that of the options we had for a commercial size fast-casual restaurant... it was an okay product.  We think this is better!

The sunflower oil has a a very similar profile to olive oil, is high in mom-unsaturated fat (beneficial cholesterol impact), has a light and clean flavor.  In addition, the packaging it comes in is recyclable and has a reduced packaging disposal load.

Thanks to all of you who have written or contacted us about oils -- we appreciate all your comments and interest!


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USDA & SARE Nutritional Data project: grass-fed beef


This is an exciting study!  I'll attach the link, too.  Shows without a doubt, that grass-fed beef is nutritionally superior!  This is the source of the data on our current USDA Nutritional Database.

Yours in health!  Team Grassburger


Grass-Fed Beef Nutritional Analysis for Consumer Education and Labeling


Project Type:

Farmer/Rancher Project Projected End Date: 2014 Funds Awarded: $22,260 Region: North Central State: Iowa Coordinators:

Kristine Jepsen Email 563-492-3400(Office) Grass Run Farm, Inc 2712 Hoover Drive Dorchester, IA 52140 Website


Brian Buessing, Cattle Producer, BB Cattle
Ryan Jepsen, Cattle Finisher Grass Run Farm, Inc

Wayne Rasmussen Cattle Producer GIOP Livestock

Final Report


In 2013, in partnership with the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Grass Run Farms and its collaborating cattle producers coordinated laboratory analysis of grass-fed beef primals to provide more authentic information to the retail consumer and put actual numbers to the discussion of grass-fed beef's nutritional variation from conventional grain-finished beef.

This grant concluded in May 2014, one year from the design and implementation of the project. Samples were taken in June and July 2013, and nutritional analysis data were received in December 2013. Synthesis of the raw data (namely the creation of Nutrition Facts panels that are recognizable to the consumer) and promotion of the project began in January 2014.


Effective January 1, 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires vendors of raw beef muscle meats to make nutritional labeling available to the consumer at the point of sale, either as a poster displayed near the meat case in your grocery store, or on the package label.

Previously, such labeling was required only on multi-ingredient meat products such as hot dogs, or products claiming a certain meat-to-fat ratio, such as ground beef.

The problem is that the only nutrition data widely available for this type of labeling comes from the USDA's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and represents a wide-ranging compilation of conventional beef analysis, with a few data points for grass-fed beef mixed in. Results have been added over time, as they are produced by large academic studies, often introducing confusion over the exact specifications and method by which cuts of meat are sampled.

This poses two critical issues for producers of grass-fed beef:

  1. The available data doesn't actually represent grass-fed beef production, widely understood to affect the fatty acid profile of livestock, thereby misleading the consumer.

  2. The scattershot nature of the database and lack of grass-fed beef data points doesn't accurately represent the evolution of grass-fed beef production, which has expanded to meet consumer demand and now produces much more consistently finished product with intermuscular fat and a mature fatty acid profile.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Our goals were simple:

1. Collect good samples
2. Synthesize the data resulting from laboratory analysis 3. Broadcast the results to our marketplace


Twelve cuts of beef were sampled across three harvest dates, representing three distinct producers of 100% grass-fed beef. For each cut, nine samples were collected and compared - three from each date. Results were then averaged per cut to produce a composite for comparison with published USDA data for beef nutritional content (source: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26 | USDA Agricultural Research Service).

Samples were taken by USDA-inspected processor Unger Meats, Vadnais Heights, Minn., and analyzed by the laboratories of Iowa State University Department of Animal Science. Sampling specifications were developed in collaboration with Iowa State University staff, and testing was verified accordingly.

Data were synthesized by Grass Run Farms staff to create Nutrition Facts panels, Fact Sheets by cut of beef, spreadsheets representing the cattle used in sampling, and resources for further adaptation of the data in the retail marketplace.

Promotion of these deliverable results is ongoing.

Outcomes and Impacts

Today's finished, marbled grass-fed beef really does compare favorably with conventional beef! Highlights -- Averaged per 4 oz (113g) serving -- include:

? Lower in total calories

? Lower in calories from fat

? Lower in total fat

? Lower in saturated fats

? Higher in protein

? Higher in iron

? Higher in zinc

? Higher in potassium

? Higher in Omega-6 Fatty Acids than Organic Whole Milk
? Higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) than Organic Whole Milk

These results have been published as Nutrition Facts by other meat companies on USDA-approved labels, promoted through press releases to print and digital media, and submitted to major consumer news sources for inclusion in future coverage of grass-fed beef.


In addition to the materials highlighted in the Outcomes above, the data resulting from this project have been synthesized in ways that are useful to our target beneficiaries:

A cloud-based/Internet resource for nutrition information for consumers of grass-fed beef (

Background information and production comparison for producers of grass-fed beef ( RHc&output=html)

Guidelines for grass-fed beef marketers who want to adopt the data for retail labeling ( )

Potential Contributions

This small sampling and its findings should inform future analysis of grass-fed beef, ideally of a sample size that could be included in the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

The sample analysis and its presentation, conducted during the academic year in the laboratories of Iowa State University, also shaped meaningful research work for the college students who coordinated the analysis on campus.


Results of this analysis are downloadable as Fact Sheets from

All resources, including a promotional press release, are downloadable from this project's profile in the SARE virtual database.

The data found in this analysis have been incorporated by Grass Run Farms into retail product labeling and have been requested and used by four other private grass-fed beef resources at the time of this writing.

We continue to push these findings to mainstream and social media, bloggers in the food industry, and grass- fed beef resources, such as and

Future Recommendations

Meat sampling and analysis are complicated and expensive. The analyses completed in this project represent but a handful of data points and were not sampled widely enough for direct inclusion in the USDA database. We also ran into study design variables that may have resulted in our meats being tested using different procedures than the USDA's.

Cholesterol in our study, for example, was measured in a composite of whole muscle tissue -- including any cell membranes in connective tissue. This resulted in our cholesterol data appearing consistently higher than USDA values, which do not include the amount of cholesterol contained in connective tissue.

In the end, we are confident that this snapshot of grass-fed beef production and its effect on the nutritional content of the resulting meat is a useful barometer for grass-fed beef producers, as well as consumers who seek accountability in the sourcing of their food.

We predict that as domestic and imported grass-fed beef expands in the marketplace, consumer interest in current nutritional information will also increase, and we recommend that future studies in this area limit sampling specifications to fewer cuts of meat across a wider sampling base so that relevant data gets into national resources at regular intervals. We recommend basing sampling protocol on this FDA Nutrition Labeling Manual.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.

1122 Patapsco Building | University of Maryland | College Park, MD 20742-6715 Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.

This site is maintained by SARE Outreach for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award No. 2014-38640-22173. SARE Outreach operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education ©2017

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Why Choose Grass-Fed?

Why Choose Grass-fed Beef?

100% grass-fed beef is a gift to your body.  It’s delicious, lower in fat and calories, higher in important, nutritive elements such as Vitamin A, E, CLAs and other amino acids.  It is also 2-4 times higher than grain-fed beef in Omega 3 fatty acids.  These good fats play a vital role in human bodies and is considered the most heart friendly of all the fats.

100% grass-fed beef is a gift to the earth.  When good quality pasture management is consciously followed it works to enrich the soil and promotes grass health and protects the land.  Check out or

100% grass-fed beef is a gift to the animal.  They don't eat food they can’t digest -- a common contributor to disease and digestive disorders forcing the use of antibiotics.  It doesn't force them to put on weight/fat at an unnatural pace, and it allows them to flourish and grow in their natural environment.

The grass-fed beef we serve is raised on a humanely certified family owned ranch that practices sustainable grass and pasture management.  The matriarch of the ranch (Patricia Whisant) is the past President of the American Grassfed Association and a large animal vet.  Their multi-generational ranch has been raising grass-fed cattle for over 25 years.

We created Grassburger to bring 100% grass-fed beef to the masses.  I believe that we can change the world one burger at a time.  If one chooses to eat meat then take a stand – make certain it is healthy, wholesome, ethical and above all … delicious!

Yours in health,






Hi  -

Many people have asked Ed and I why we created Grassburger - and of course, there is a story behind it!  It began with our three children....two of whom have serious food allergies.  When it came time to go out to eat, particularly when traveling, we felt extremely limited.

Most of the time, we would choose a burger place.  It seemed the safest option in avoiding dairy & peanuts.  And the boys all loved burgers.  But because of the way we ate at home (wholesome and nutritious, emphasis on clean foods), I was always very unhappy with the restaurants we found.

At home, we ate grass-fed beef purchased from local ranchers and made our own veggie patties out of beans.  Both types of burgers became family favorites and we started having burger parties with friends and family.  While we never envisioned ourselves running an actual restaurant, when a local restaurant owner came to us to discuss some business, we started thinking about it in earnest.  The timing seemed right and once we wrote the business plan... it moved forward quickly.

When we wrote the plan for what eventually became Grassburger, we realized that what we were looking for was what a lot of other consumers were looking for!  Clean, great-tasting food at an affordable price.  And whether you have allergies, eat Paleo, are trying to create healthier eating habits or just want a delicious burger .... we could have something for everyone!

Sounds simple right?  Just order a bunch of food and start serving it .... not so fast!  While we were finely tuned into the clean food movement, we quickly discovered that serving this food outside of our home wasn't that easy.  Here were some of our challenges:

  • Finding grass-fed beef sourcing (at the time, there were few ranches who were able to operate on a large enough scale to meet a restaurant's needs, plus grass-fed beef is expensive!).
  • Finding commercial vendors who understood our "clean food" focus.
  • Finding clean food that was affordable.
  • How to add in local farmer produce... again in an affordable way.
  • How to address the wide range of allergies.
  • How to create a GF friendly environment.
  • Education of staff and public.

Each of these pieces has had its own story and challenges.  We are better at some than others.  We learned much both before and after opening in Durango... and now in Albuquerque. We are STILL learning and evolving.  We hope you will share this journey with us!

Warmly,  Jess & Ed Kileen

Early construction of Grassburger Durango

Crew:  Jonathan Byers, our Restaurant Consultant, Michael Carrier and Ben Fisher, owners of Alpenglow Construction, Ed