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Grass-fed meat - anyone have experience buying?


Lanky Livingston

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So, I'm starting to get into grass-fed meats to avoid the industrial farm and "organic" industries (yes, I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma at the moment). I've found a few places online (including a couple in Texas), but I was wondering if anyone has had problems with these sorts of places. Some of the really hardcore ones like Polyface Farms won't even let you order them online, which has a certain appeal to it.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has had experience with these places and has any tips, and to a lesser extent if anyone is trying the paleo diet (the other inspiration for getting grass-fed meats).
 

Goaldeje

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We use our local South of the James Farmers Market in Richmond to get natural foods, including some meat. I would recommend going to a farmers market, but shopping very, very carefully. There is a lot of good out there, but also a lot of crap as well.

I read In Defense of Food, which got me thinking about natural foods (wife too). We don't have the money to go completely organic or natural, but we do the best we can. The Farmers Market really does give us some nice options.
 

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I have also done the Farmer's Market thing periodically. We can get locally raised ostrich meat there (if you haven't tried it), ostrich is a very lean red meat, very similar to beef, that is great on the grill. I'll confess I don't buy it for ethical, political or any other reason, but I do recognize it's a better and 'greener' use of resources to buy local food when possible. Then again, I grow at least some of my food. I'm not familiar with the pluses of grass-fed beef but am interested.
 

Burgundy Burner

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Ostrich meat? Ok, that's a first for me. How does it taste? Is it good for you?
 

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Yes - seriously - if you didn't look closely, you'd think it was beef. But it's much leaner than beef. Quick google search article:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Ostrich-Meat

It is very low in fat, so you can't overcook it, but it works great with marinades and is very tasty. Finding it is the biggest challenge, but if you do have a farmer's market near you, it's commonly sold there by local breeders.
 

Elephant

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Yes - seriously - if you didn't look closely, you'd think it was beef. But it's much leaner than beef. Quick google search article:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Ostrich-Meat

It is very low in fat, so you can't overcook it, but it works great with marinades and is very tasty. Finding it is the biggest challenge, but if you do have a farmer's market near you, it's commonly sold there by local breeders.
Boone, I have actually served it in Florida when I was in the restaurant business years ago, but if I recall correctly it is pricey. Do you find it to be expensive or has it become reasonably priced?
 

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It's not bad if you can find it at something like a Farmer's market. Been awhile since I've made that trip, but I don't recall it being exhorbitantly-priced. Biggest issue I've had is, when people find out what it is, they are nervous about it.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Boone - I recommend reading the paleonu.com blog for info on grass-fed vs grain-fed beef. They actually make a lot of scientific arguments for grass-fed meat.
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Lanky Livingston

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Also, as pointed out in the Omnivore's Dilemma, there is a huge disparity (sometimes) in eating good vs eating "organic."
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DenverBronco

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I have some experience with his here in Colorado, we have purchased a 1/4 each year for the past 4 years from a rancher in Wyoming that my wife knows. They only do natural grass fed cattle, no hormones etc. It's amazing how much better it tastes and how much less fat there is in it. We can choose what cuts we want and they have availability at different times of the year. The later ones are a lot larger, and it's more economical for us to purchase this way. Yes, it's a large outlay of cash (usually $450-$600 per quarter) but overall the average cost per pound is around $1.19.

The T-Bone's are to die for, we usually treat ourselves for holidays with them.

So overall I would say my experience has been great with this.

Alan.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Thanks DB! I've actually got a buddy who has a similar connection outside of Houston, but said it would be around $3 a pound. Still cheap, but I want your deal!

Mike - at almost 31 I'm definitely more concerned with what I eat. One of the sites I listed in the OP has Bison.
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