Continuing on with finding quality whole food, today we discuss finding quality grass-fed, free range meat, eggs and dairy.
First, you may wonder why you should go through the trouble of buying, not just organic, but grass-fed, pasture raised meat, eggs and dairy. So, we’ll hit this point first.
- remains of other animals, including other cattle, in feed (this was the cause of mad cow disease)
- use of hormones and antibiotics
- use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) feed
- can be infected with staph, Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli, and Enterococcus
- feed can contain inorganic arsenic
- High levels of omega 6 fat with artificially low levels of omega 3
- Europeans refuse to buy US chicken-which has been banned in Europe.
- By-products are commonly used in feed such as:
- bakery waste-stale bread and pastries
- potato waste-including french fries and potato chips
- unheated starch/pasta
- other animals
Benefits of grass-fed beef (1)
- Lower in total fat
- Higher in beta-carotene
- Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
- Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
- Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Higher in total omega-3s
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs 4.84)
- Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA)
- Lower in the saturated fats linked with heart disease
Benefits of free-range eggs and chicken (1)
- 1/3 less cholesterol than commercial eggs
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 7 times more beta carotene
Here are some charts from www.eatwild.com highlighting the benefits of healthy, quality meat.
Now that you know how much healthier quality meat is…just where can you find it? I’ll first let you know what my family does. We buy our meat from a local farmer we met at our farmer’s market. We place large orders with him every few weeks. During the growing season, we pick it up at the market. In the off season, he delivers to a pick up spot, as long as he has enough orders. This farmer sells everything from free-range eggs, chicken, beef, yogurt, buttermilk, butter, and ice cream.
If we run out of meat, eggs, etc, we’ll turn to the local grocery store. I think you’ll be surprised just how much high quality meat, eggs and dairy are in your local store. Wegman’s and Giant store chains both sell organic grass fed meat and free range chicken at reasonable prices. (comparable to our farmer) When we are out of eggs, we buy Pete and Gerry’s free range eggs, which are widely available in stores all over the country.
If you want to stay away from grocers for your meat, and buy from local family farms, which is my preference, I’ve done some research for you.
To find a local farmer in your area, you’ll want to go to either EAT WILD or LOCAL HARVEST and do a search for farmers in your area. Go to the farm, a reputable farmer should allow visits. Anyone who doesn’t allow you to tour their farm is a red flag. Ask questions…find out if they deliver to your home or if there is a pick up spot. (like my farmer.)
If you live in a very remote place, or can’t find a farmer in your area, below is a list of companies that ship nationwide. All the companies below are organic and grass-fed. You’ll have to compare prices. Some of the prices were quite high from what I normally pay. Don’t forget to factor in shipping. This list is by no means all inclusive. If you do an internet search, I’m sure there are other companies not on the list.
Best price-handling fee/free shipping-orders must be over $75
Free shipping on orders over $250. Other $15.95 per order for ground shipping/ $39.95 for overnight
Free shipping over $150. Other-standard shipping is $19.95. Expedited shipping $49.95/overnight $125.
Along with organic produce subscriptions, they also have meat.
Other orders are $5 flat fee per box.
Free delivery on orders over $75
Organic grass fed beef only- Shipping-Free shipping over $200 for orders east of the Mississippi. Discounted shipping over $200 on orders west of the Mississippi.
Butcher box is a subscription service, much like produce subscriptions and delivered right to your door. Boxes start at $129 for a 7 – 10 pound box. with free shipping.
If you’re looking for some unusual meats this is the place! I was unable to find their shipping prices. Here are some of their products.
- Wild boar
- Kobe Beef
So, there you have it. Hopefully, some of this information was helpful for you. Let me know if you have any questions or if I missed something. Have a great day all and God Bless!