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Is Grassfed Beef Too Pricey?

I recently got an email from a reader asking that if grassfed beef was out of the question budget wise, whether a paleo dietary style still ought to include meat. Of course, a resounding yes. I think that most people will gravitate to higher quality once they experience the results of real food eating to the exclusion of junk.

So, get started and the rest will follow. Had I told my parents a couple of years ago that it had to be grassfed or nothing, they would have probably figured this dietary style was a bit too pricey for them, too exclusive and elitist. Now they go out of their way (including a 100 mile drive yesterday) to get grassfed beef. Once you know that this is the way you will eat for life, it’s pretty easy to make it economical. We’re talking high-value dense nutrition. In terms of nutrient density, paleo is cheap compared to the empty, sugar, flour, crap laden junk in boxes & packages.

I just got back from the Campbell Farmer’s Market. Wow, it was packed to the hilt and it’s a big market. Amongst a few other things like fresh sauerkraut (smoked jalapeno!), a shot of kraut juice, three fresh oysters on the half shell with my preferred vinegar & lemon rather than cocktail sauce (eaten on the spot), and some very fresh scallops I’m going to do sous vide, I stocked up on some grassfed beef from Prather Ranch. Click for the larger image.

Grassfed Beef
Prather Ranch Grassfed Beef

Three pounds of 85/15 ground beef, a pack of short ribs, two briskets and two chuck roasts. In all, 13.5 pounds of grassfed goodness and with the specials factored in, it was $95 (instead of $110). That comes out to a very respectable $7 per pound of tastiness and top value nutrition.

I’m about to throw one of those briskets in the crock pot with a bit of beef stock and one, maybe both of those fennel bulbs. Maybe some onion.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

69 Comments

  1. Patrik on March 7, 2010 at 13:18

    Prather Ranch Meat Company is stellar. Whenever I am in SF, I stop by their outlet in the Ferry Building and get some lard.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 7, 2010 at 13:25

      Oh yea, I restocked on their lard too. My dad got the last one. They bring about 4 tubs down per week. Used to be a friend in the Marina District of SF would get it for me but for the last few months I can get it myself.

      • Dave C. on March 7, 2010 at 13:35

        I’m currently trying to figure out where I can get some lard. The grocery store only carries the ConAgra hydrogenated stuff, and the co-op store doesn’t carry any. :/



      • Clover on March 7, 2010 at 16:08

        You can render your own if you can figure out where to buy fat. I know I’ve seen pork belly at the Ferry Building farmers’ market on Saturday mornings but I’m not sure if they have plain fat, or how much the pork belly costs. To render, just cut up the fat into small pieces and melt it in a pot.

        I keep the fat and stock from a whole chicken roast, and the fat from bacon and store them both in separate Tupperware in the fridge. I use stainless steel pans exclusively (nonstick PTFE cookware can outgas and kill my pet birds, and isn’t great for humans either), so I go through a lot of fat, and one chicken plus a half pound of bacon keeps me going for about a week. Good way of getting lard without paying extra or doing extra work.



  2. Sylvie O. on March 7, 2010 at 13:06

    I prefer to see this as an investment in my health rather than just another expense.

    • Heather Lackey on March 7, 2010 at 15:23

      Yes–an investment in health and the sheer pleasure of good food. Moving to quality, nutrient-dense ingredients really upped the flavor of our meals. It’s been months of eating this way now, and my eyes still roll back in my head a little when I take the first bite. Dining out, on the other hand, is mostly a disappointment, the exception being when we dine at a local/farm-to-table restaurant. Coincidence? Probably not….

    • Organic Gabe on March 8, 2010 at 16:21

      Exactly the way I see it as well.

      Pricier indeed, but should we be stingy when it comes to our health?

      I did find an farm about 30 miles from us where they raise healthy grass fed cows. I placed the second order last week.

  3. Suzan on March 7, 2010 at 13:23

    I gladly pay a little extra. After cutting grains/sugars/legumes from the diet, we spend the money on good meat and veggies instead. Years ago we made the decision to eat healthy. We’ve had to cut other things from our budget in order to accomplish this, but we have no regrets. I save money by ordering grass-fed beef in bulk online when I have a 15% off coupon code.

    For what you are getting in nutrition, grass-fed beef is a bargain compared to grains/legumes.

  4. Travis on March 7, 2010 at 13:24

    Yes, I also see it as an investment in my well-being. I prefer spend a little more on high-quality meats and cut back elsewhere.

  5. John FitzGibbon on March 7, 2010 at 13:29

    I notice richard, that you don’t seem to eat a lot of pork. At least judging from your posts, is it the lack of suppliers of pastured pork? I’m just curious, I was able to find one last summer and both their lard and their chops were great, but I have to admit is was pricey (maybe cause they were the only act in town). I also think that a lot of people think meat is expensive, but most of those people consider beef to be something you grill. They ignore the cheaper cuts that you have to take some time with like a chuck roast for example. I personally have a love for short ribs, always with lots of fat, and doing em low and slow. The crockpot is always a great tool to save money on meat. When you have something that cooks for a few hours I find I can get other things done at home while they’re cooking.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 7, 2010 at 13:45

      I eat a decent amount of pork, most of it bacon; not pastured generally but at least butcher quality (I always buy the bacon from the butcher counter). There’s a few restaurants I go to that have quality ham, and a few others I go to for dry rub ribs.

      I’ve been known to do a pork butt in the crock pot now and then, as well as chili verde. Oh, and don’t forget the pork chops sous vide.

  6. Laurie on March 7, 2010 at 13:31

    I just paid $1.75 per lb for a 710 lb hanging weight grass-fed whole beef. I am splitting it with three other people. I will also have to pay the butcher fee for custom cutting, wrapping, and freezing. The end result will be just about $3.50 a lb for a split side of beef that will last my husband and I and my daughter a year. I can go about 5 miles from my house to see where the cattle are raised by a friend of mine. He also raised pastured pigs, which I will buy in October.

    If you can find a grass-fed beef grower, it is much cheaper than buying separate cuts. The investment in a small freezer is worth it. And the meat is absolutely tender and delicious!

    Laurie

    • Richard Nikoley on March 7, 2010 at 13:49

      Goot job, Laurie. My only concern is freshness. Does the butcher vacuum seal each cut, or just wrap in butcher paper?

      At any rate, I think I’m going to do Marin Sun Farm’s CSA, probably package #3. I’ll give the 6-month one a try and if I like it, I’ll keep doing it.

      • Laurie on March 7, 2010 at 14:37

        It is wrapped in butcher paper and flash frozen. If you keep meat in a real freezer (not the one on a refrigerator), the temps are much lower and keep the meat fresh. I’ve had no problems with altered taste or quality even up to one year. The ground meat is in plastic tubes (for lack of a better description). What is interesting is that the meat from each steer has a slightly different taste. The first year’s steer was fairly strong, darker meat. Last year’s steer was young and a bit “sweeter.” This year’s was just right, a perfect blend. I would guess it depends on the pasture that year. These are happy steers – I have seen them grazing on green, rolling hill pastures – and if cattle could smile, these guys would be doing it. They are never fed grain, get hay from the same pastures in winter, and are never given antibiotics or hormones. They are slaughtered as humanely as possible with little to no stress. Even the butcher is local. It’s a good deal all around!



      • pecanmike on March 8, 2010 at 04:23

        I have put up grassfed beef for years that I raise and believe me the investment in vacuum packaging is well worth it. The real freezer and low temperatures are true but the vacuum bag is an impermeable membrane so the last steak is as fresh and tasty as the first. Never any freezer burn or off taste.



    • Heather Lackey on March 7, 2010 at 15:26

      Excellent deal! We just paid $5.50/lb for a quarter share (dry aged for three weeks, mmm) from a farm down the road. Good stuff.

  7. Trish on March 7, 2010 at 13:49

    I recently joined a co-op in my city, a group of about forty local farmers, and I can now get grassfed beef, pastured pork and chicken, all of which have been awesome–and I’m really not spending any more than I have. I have two nice ribeyes ready to go tonight. We did invest in a small freezer last year which I am slowly filling up with good stuff.

  8. Alan on March 7, 2010 at 13:51

    Man, that looks so gooood.

  9. Rick on March 7, 2010 at 14:23

    It’s too bad we’re so quick to cheap out when it comes to the quality of the food we consume. We’ll cut back on at the risk of our health, but we’ll keep paying that 100$ monthly for cable TV and other junk things that in the end, are not as important.

    I now look at where my food is from, as opposed to just how much it will cut into my pay. I understand some have tighter budget constraints though.

  10. Don Matesz on March 7, 2010 at 15:58

    I second your recommendation Richard. I consider it far more important to eat a species-appropriate diet than to worry about quality.

    Like Laurie and Heather, I buy frozen grass-fed beef in bulk from Kenny Aschbacher or Anya and Harry Owens (A-Bar-H Ranch). I love the quality and the price. I highly recommend investing in a deep freeze for this purpose. Both of these sources freeze in vacuum sealed plastic. Always fresh and tasty.

    I also agree with Sylvie, Travis, and Rick. When you buy food, you are purchasing health, or disease. The bill comes due at the butcher/market or at the doctor’s office, take your pick.

  11. Chris G on March 7, 2010 at 15:59

    We also bought a half share in a grass fed cow. Yes, wrapped in butcher-paper, but I can’t complain about the quality – it’s been outstanding. Also bought a lamb last fall same way….

  12. Dave RN on March 7, 2010 at 16:20

    I’ve commented before that when you take inflation into account I did it using an online inflation calculator as provoded by the US government), grassfed was the same as my parents paid for meat in 1969.

  13. Chris P on March 7, 2010 at 16:48

    Just ordered 40 lbs of grass fed beef from a farmer near me. 20 lbs burger. 10 lbs roasts. 10 lbs steaks. $4.50 per lb for the roasts and burger, anywhere from $6.50 to $10 per lb for the steaks, steak by steak, depending on what cuts I end up with (he chooses).

    The farmer lives about 3 hours away from the Twin Cities (where I am) but has to come in every now and then anyway and makes his deliveries then. So I have to wait two weeks. Damn.

  14. Aaron M Fraser on March 7, 2010 at 17:17

    I would argue that it’s too pricey.

    I am in the bottom of the income bracket, and I understand the roadblocks that other people in my situation would have attempting this lifestyle. Luckily for me, I get a lot of (mostly) grassfed beef for free from the farmers in my family.

    The sad thing is, it doesn’t HAVE to be this expensive; Big Agra has gone to great lengths to ensure that it is, though.

    I highly recommend Joel Salatin’s book ‘Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal’ for some insight into -why- it’s so expensive… Or I guess why all the shit food is inexpensive.

    I can buy that the good stuff essentially costs the same as meat did before the CAFOs wrecked the market, inflation taken into account and all, but it is definitely true that it would be cheaper if not for all the ridiculous bureaucracy that bogs down the small farmer and literally tries to choke the life out of him/her.

    • Flying Burrito Nola on March 8, 2010 at 11:41

      I was thinking the same. Sometimes the Paleo diet to me smacks of a kind of inadvertent elitism. It requires someone being pretty flush. How many working stiffs really can afford to eat like Kings–eat steak and enjoy the various medallions of choice grass-fed or wild beef. I look at the menu here on the blog sometimes and wince. If a poor person or working stiff guy/girl wants to eat Paleo, they’re basically stuck with eggs (or ground beef from the local grocer that isn’t grassfed). It’s a quandary, poor folks just don’t have the same resources as the upper middle class that can afford to pick and choose and eat right. This has also plagued me by proxy for the last ten years or so. Even before going caveman, I realized that poor people buy crap like Wonder Bread and Velveeta because that’s all the money they got in the world. So that is sad and I wonder what the solution is. I don’t know. I eat a lot of eggs–it’s fortunate that I love eggs…sometimes I find grass fed skirt steak or a nice cut of meat goes on sale–but fresh fish, forget about it. If I can, I’ll buy 50 lbs or more of beef because you can usually shave off a couple bucks per pound that way but it’s not everyday I have a $100 to blow a week on just this. To compensate, I also eat a lot of tins of tuna and salmon but again, not the same. I go to my local groceries-r-us place and read labels furiously because shopping organic can be a bit tenuous financially. Too bad we’re all not living in our own forests and can hunt for our food like Ted Nugent (I’m not politically aligned with him one way or another but just saying, he eats wild game every night from his own enormous bit of acreage). Nuts too aren’t all that cheap. I don’t mean to stir up the pot and please don’t kill the messenger, but there it is–eating right is well out of range of many good folks. You begin to gravitate towards starches again…like just potatoes, and that just ain’t right. So what to do? What advice to give an ordinary working stiff that can’t afford $5 to $12 a pound for grass fed “fresh meat” (to quote the lion from aardvark animations that plaintively quips, “I just want some fresh meat”)? Ideas?

      • James on March 8, 2010 at 13:05

        I’m lucky enough to be able to grow my own hormone-free, pasture-raised beef, but the last 2 I had butchered were mostly turned into ground beef. I don’t need the social status of the prime cuts. It’s all in how you cook it. Also, the grass-fed ground beef in the store isn’t near as overpriced as the steaks.

        You might also look into the government subsidies that go into grains each year. Taking money out of your pocket, and putting it in the pockets of the grain industry wether you want to buy their product or not.



      • Flying Burrito on March 8, 2010 at 21:18

        Today was a warm sunny day and there were great deals on grassfed beef and poultry all over the map…some homegrown spicy sausages too and so I bought a $100 worth. Color me crazy and no regrets. Got a couple dozen Amish eggs thrown into the whole kit n caboodle too. Man, that meaty stuff just stretches somehow–I’m still trying to get used to how much fuel I get from all these various proteins and their respective nutritive constructs…so in a way, my grocery bill is the same as the halcyon daze (sic) of too many copious grains and pre-packaged junk. Got some organic cauliflower too for a great price and going to try one of Richard’s recipes. But I still wonder what one says to the folks that can’t afford the hit. Well, I suppose there’s always the omelette route…the UK just did a story on some report saying how amazing eggs are for you — better late than never, right? Anyway, GO LOCAL, to be sure.



      • James on March 9, 2010 at 18:18

        One thing to be aware of with sausage is Sodium Nitrite & other preservatives. Not paleo. Not healthy (the preservatives in the sausage). You can get preservative-free, but you’ll need to focus for that.



      • Mat on March 9, 2010 at 11:39

        12 oz canned Brazilian corned beef sells for $2.50 and is grass fed I think?
        In Georgia we are overrun with deer. Many hunters donate meat.



      • Mat on March 9, 2010 at 12:06

        I bought some marked down lamb at Kroger. This is grass fed I think? I have to ask the butcher about the livers, tongues, brains, etc. Sheep farming is getting very big in my area.



  15. Mike Gruber on March 7, 2010 at 17:24

    I grew up in the Bay Area (Sunnyvale, West San Jose). Reading about the Campbell farmer’s market is about the only thing I’ve ever seen that makes me wish, even for an instant, that I still lived in that cesspool. I might have to run by there next time I’m down to see my dad (who’s still in Sunnyvale).

  16. Feel Good Without Breaking The Bank | Zen to Fitness on March 8, 2010 at 09:47

    […] a great place to buy meat in bulk is at the farmers market. They will be more than happy to negotiate a price for a big […]

  17. Rob K on March 7, 2010 at 19:02

    Hunting is the best source of “grassfed” meat. There’s nothing like the taste of fresh venison. Raising your own is next best.

  18. […] Is GrassFed beef too pricey? […]

  19. Elizabeth @ The Nourished Life on March 8, 2010 at 08:15

    Wow, I feel very lucky that my grass fed beef works out to be about $4.50/lb. I buy a half a side at a time, get plenty of steaks and roasts and ribs, and of course lots of ground meat, too. But I guess that’s one advantage of living in the sticks–plenty of beef to go around!

  20. Matthew on March 8, 2010 at 09:37

    Looks like some very high quality meat. Grassfed meat, cut for cut, is more expensive than conventional, but it is still possible to eat this way even on a budget.

    I like going to the Marin Farmer’s Market, to the Marin Sun Farms stall, and buying as much offal as possible, such as heart, liver, and kidneys, but also cheaper cuts such as shank. Overall they are pricier than what I could procure at Safeway, but the nutritional profile is phenomenally better.

    Personally, I think the best “middle road” between quality and cheapness is buying conventional lean meats like top round and then buying grassfed offal and cheap cuts. That way you get maximal nutrition for minimal price, and it is much easier to stay within budget.

  21. James on March 8, 2010 at 09:54

    Potentially, for every extra dollar you spend for organic, non-starchy/sugary vegetables & fruits or pesticide-free/hormone-free/grain-free beef, is a thousand dollars saved on future medical bills and decreased productivity/quality of life.
    Also, don’t find yourself not aware of the hundreds of billions in subsidies going toward grain each year, which could otherwise be left in your pocket to fund your healthy-food habit.

  22. James on March 8, 2010 at 09:57

    One other thing I’ve noticed some of my paleo-brothers/sisters being guilty of is nailing the composition, but ignoring the quantity issue. Grocery bills usually always go down once paleo-quantity is factored into practice.

  23. Carla on March 8, 2010 at 11:30

    I attempted to look into grass fed meat but the sites I went to were so complex and you had to wait for certain times of the year and buy a lot of meat at one time. I am single and don’t eat that much meat. I am interested in finding a way for people who don’t need half a cow or people in lower income brackets to have access to grass fed beef, pork and chicken.

    I usually wait to have stuff done for me but it seems that for this task I am going to have to do it myself. I would like to start a little coop of people who want the grass fed beef and maybe one of us can go to the farm (because there aren’t any in Kent Washington) to find the meat and bring it back and divvy it up. Is someone already doing this because I don’t know where to start.

    • whee on March 8, 2010 at 23:47

      thundering hooves will deliver local to you (they have numerous pick-up sites and you can also join one of several buying clubs), and they do any size orders. they deliver all over puget sound. grassfed beef, pork, lamb and sometimes goat when they have it.

      http://www.thunderinghooves.net

      as for expense, since our household went paleo/primalish, we spend far less on food and as little as 20$/week apiece on meat.

      • Carla on March 9, 2010 at 08:40

        Thanks for the link.



  24. Jim on March 8, 2010 at 11:34

    Well, speaking as that reader who emailed you, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I just got a little thrown off – I’ve been working my way through “The Primal Blueprint” and he seemed pretty zealous about all your meat being grassfed.

    I don’t mind paying a little extra – but to go from the typical $4-7 price range to suddenly paying $18 at Whole Foods is a culture shock. But then, most of Whole Foods’ prices are highway robbery, so I guess I’ll need to shop around a little bit more. As I said in my last email, Richard, the Stop and Shop near me has a “Nature’s Promise” brand that looks legit, and they don’t price gouge like WF does. They don’t have beef, but I can stock up on my chicken and lamb from there, and then just pick up steak gradually.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Jim

  25. Tim Starr on March 8, 2010 at 14:26

    I’m yet to be convinced that grass-fed is worthwhile, when I can get USDA prime top sirloin at Costco for about $4/lb. What about the study from a while back that found no health differences between those who ate organic & those who didn’t? I’ve seen a lot of fluff about eating organic, but no science. Is there any?

    • Rob K on March 8, 2010 at 14:39

      Grass fed is not equivalent to organic.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 8, 2010 at 16:42

      Tim: It’s not so much the organic as the fatty-acid composition of the beef. Wild ruminants that eat only perennial grasses have little omega-6 fatty acids and a good amount of three, i.e., nature’s balance if you’re gottin into how 6 & 3 kinda offset each other in the body, natural diets are reasonably close to a 1:1 ratio of 6:3 and modern diets are now 15-30:1 in favor of pro-inflammatory 6.

      Other issues are the hormones and antibiotics. The reason for the antibiotics is that ruminants are not designed to eat grain and so they get sick.

      Finally, while by no means an animal rights activist I am willing to pay more for humane treatment of my food and feeding animals things they were not designed to eat is inhumane in my view. Not so much a moral issue for me as just one of good will.

      • Tim Starr on March 8, 2010 at 16:45

        I guess I’d like to see a decoupling of “grass-fed” and “organic.” That “natural” category of beef from Prather looks good. Wish it was easier to find, though.



      • James on March 8, 2010 at 17:26

        Is there a such thing as non-organic, grass fed, or is all grass fed also organic, while not all organic is grassfed?



      • Tim Starr on March 8, 2010 at 17:46

        All the grass-fed I’ve seen is also organic. I suspect it’s the “organic” bit that really drives up the cost.



      • Richard Nikoley on March 8, 2010 at 17:57

        Hmm, why would a farmer want or need to spray pesticides on the grass? If anything, you want the cows eating bugs right along with the grass. Organic, to my understanding applies to grain fed beef where the grains are not sprayed and perhaps some other stuff.

        That’s why grassfed is so the way to go long term and sustainably. The cattle and the roaming hills get along just fine without much intervention. It’s like…they were made for each other.



      • Tim Starr on March 8, 2010 at 21:00

        “Grass” (a.k.a., hay & alfalfa) is a crop, too, or can be. Pesticides would be good for keeping the bugs from reducing the size of the crop, thus reducing the amount of feed that can be stored for the winter. Or is “grass-fed” the same as “pastured”?



      • Rob K on March 9, 2010 at 05:31

        It’s not just pesticides, it’s fertilizer also. And unless you have a hell of a lot of pasture, you have to supplement with hay in the winter.



      • Richard Nikoley on March 9, 2010 at 10:32

        Tim:

        Yea, grassfed is synonymous with pastured. Ruminants grazing on grass are topsoil builders by means of the feces, urine, and blood & bones when they die. No need of anything in terms of pesticide or fertilizer.

        Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth is a great read on this topic.



      • Tim Starr on March 9, 2010 at 16:47

        So, what do grass-fed cattle eat in the winter?



      • James on March 9, 2010 at 18:35

        Depends, I guess. Mine get hay and other non-grain nutrition.



      • Andreas on August 19, 2010 at 12:59

        Gras feeding also drives up cost. It takes a lot longer for the animal to put on weight.



  26. Becky on March 8, 2010 at 14:43

    IMO the cheapest, most efficient way to source raw milk, free range eggs, grass fed beef, chicken, pork, lamb, turkey…etc…is to purchase directly from the farmer. This can be done via the local farmer’s market or farmer’s cooperative or take a drive to the country some day and visit your neighbourhood farmer. If he/she doesn’t sell direct, they will f or sure know someone who does.
    If you don’t want an entire side or 1/4 animal consider placing an order that would be split up between you and friends and family. Many butchers offer deals on X number of lbs cut to order.

    That said, if I lived in an area where getting to the farmer was an ordeal, I wouldn’t sweat eating whatever was available at the grocers. Eating meat from an animal that was fed grain is far and away an improvement from eating the grain ourselves like when we were eating the S.A.D. Charles Washington at ZeroCarb prefers grain fed beef and has some interesting reasons for this.

    For me sourcing from the farmer(s) and a trusted small abbatoir(s) isn’t about the quality of the meat so much as its about the safety of the meat. I know the meat I get is coming from 1 animal (that was likely treated and killed humanely) and said animal is the only one that is slaughtered, quartered, cut and wrapped at a time so the chances of getting ecoli or listeria or something like that is greatly reduced and easily contained and corrected if it occurs. I’m just fortunate that I live in an area where sourcing in this way is relatively simple.
    Even the lay mash I feed my free range hens is gound fresh locally.
    This seems like a good question to have over at Paleohacks.

  27. Becky on March 8, 2010 at 14:45

    I forgot to mention that sourcing direct from the (small) farmer sends a powerful message to the gov’t and big agra.

  28. Tim Starr on March 8, 2010 at 14:47

    Oh, and about the “just go to your local farmer’s market” advice: every one I can find (near Fremont, CA) is only open on Saturday morning, when I have conflicting commitments (sleep, martial arts practice). What genius decided on that schedule?

    • James on March 8, 2010 at 14:54

      Someone who didn’t get your memo?

  29. Your Beauty and Fitness » Blog Archive » Feel Good Without Breaking The Bank on March 8, 2010 at 17:53

    […] a great place to buy meat in bulk is at the farmers market. They will be more than happy to negotiate a price for a big […]

    • Flying Burrito on March 8, 2010 at 21:20

      Good idea to talk to the farmers at the market about bulk…will do.

  30. Christoph Dollis on March 9, 2010 at 17:35

    A useful post. Appreciated.

  31. […] morning new info from a favorite source to incorporate. In the meantime, some meals. First, after Sunday's take at the Farmer's Market I got right to work on a brisket in the crock pot, along with two bulbs of fennel, a half onion, […]

  32. Jennifer on March 9, 2010 at 12:22

    You people need to go direct to farmers. $7 a pound for meat is ridiculous. My neighbor raises Angus (grass fed, not certified organic but no grass farmer wastes money on sprays) and he sells them to an Amish butcher in New Holland, PA (or thereabouts). I don’t even want to THINK what kind of money that butcher is making off of those cattle selling to the metro markets down there. My neighbor gets merely a decent price for his Angus, but everyone up the chain from there is making more than he is, and he’s got two years invested in each animal.

    I raise my own beef,as well, and second the idea of getting the vacuum packed if you can. I’ve still got some beef in the freezer from three years ago that is perfect because it’s vacuum packed. Freezer paper keeps it for up to a year in good shape, but if you are a single person and want to make a big meat purchase, you won’t regret buying it if you can get it done with the vacuum pack. It does cost more, but the quality of the meat coming out of storage is outstanding.

    BTW, here in the Northeast there is getting to be a shortage of custom slaughter/butchering outfits. The money disappeared from it ten years ago or so and people closed up. Now people want the meat from the smaller farm operations and it’s hard to find anyone who will butcher. The guy I use is getting ready to retire and it’s going to be hard finding someone to replace him.

  33. James on March 9, 2010 at 18:22

    Let me also recommend goat. I raise, eat, & trade them. You can get a good eatin’ goat for $40. This is an animal you can butcher yourself, just like you would a deer. Beef is another story. GOAT. Remember goat.

    • Tim Starr on March 9, 2010 at 22:54

      Been meaning to try goat. My Indian carpooler says it’s great, had some at at an Indian restaurant & liked it. Am told I can get some at the local Halal grocery in Fremont.

  34. GIGI on March 9, 2010 at 20:31

    Um it sounds like Prather beef is grain & grass fed….??

    • Richard Nikoley on March 11, 2010 at 11:29

      GiGi:

      I believe in the winter the cattle get a barley-rice supplement mixed in with the hay. None of their cattle get corn or soy, ever.

  35. Jacob on March 10, 2010 at 07:29

    I have a friend who’s into doing organic farming. I get my ground grass fed beef from him for $5 a pound. We get lots of stuff from him – we love it.

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