View Full Version : HELP! Free Range Beef, Chicken & Pork

04-18-2008, 11:30 AM
This is a post about helping me find an alternative to the grocery store beef, chicken, pork.....After seeing that news segment a while ago on how that poor cow was being abused terribly while he/she couldn't even stand up! Oh God, it was awful. Since then I haven't bought any beef or otherwise from the grocery stores. And I'm getting desperate for some meat. My freezer is pretty empty.

I'm looking for a farm that has it's animals graze openly free range and preferrably grass fed. But what I'm finding is how expensive it is for just one pound of ground beef. $6.00! I can't even fathom paying that kind of money, and I don't have that kind of money. But I want to support the good farmers who treat their livestock humanely and kill them humanely - if that's even possible. I hate thinking about that part. I am so not a farm girl. :teehee:

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to find this kind of farm but not have to pay so much money? I know the more you buy the cheaper it is, but we don't have a big freezer as we don't own our own home yet so I'm quite limited by space.

04-18-2008, 11:36 AM
I don't know about farms but do you have a Whole Foods close to you?

04-18-2008, 12:43 PM
Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Trader Joe's, Wild Oats (same as WF) will offer free range, grass fed, etc. meats. They rock too!! They are expensive but so much more worthy.
Or, if you live in an area that has co-ops you may be able to hook up with one of them that offers meat also. Co-ops are great, http://www.localharvest.org/food-coops/

04-18-2008, 12:58 PM
Of those, Trader Joe's will probably have the best prices.

04-18-2008, 01:02 PM
There are places online that you can order from. Yes, it is more expensive, but you are gaining many benefits from eating free range/grass fed meat.

My store carries a small assortment of such products. We regularly buy grass-fed buffalo meat, but we do pay more. It doesn't matter to me. It has much less fat, and I know it's better for our bodies. Same goes with the chicken.

I'll try to find some links to some good companies. Many times, you can break down an order and share with a friend or family member. That cuts costs somewhat. It's often much cheaper to buy a whole cow than bits and pieces.

04-18-2008, 01:09 PM
I would give anything to be able to buy venison in the store.

04-18-2008, 02:01 PM
Good luck finding a farm - I agree you will want to find someplace that allows you to buy in bulk and then pack it into a deep freezer. We were fortunate enough to live near a Buffalo Ranch that ran a store - which has since closed it's doors b/c of all the new cattle regulations. Personally don't eat red meat, but the family loved it. I live in the land of farms and it is difficult to buy meat directly from them as any commercial butcher shop has to be FDA inspected. Therefore, Joe Farmer can butcher for his family and give it to friends, but it cannot be sold.
We recently had an inspector at the farmers market giving people trouble for selling locally made goat cheese b/c the farm is not inspected etc.

04-18-2008, 02:46 PM
Really? Trader Joes! That's terrific. I'll have to drive about 45 minutes to get there, but that's okay by me. I know there's a Whole Foods around here somewhere so I'll have to look it up.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! :muah: :muah: :muah: You guys/gals are awesome.

We do have some farms near us, but like I said it would cost us $6/lb and I just can't afford that much. And I just don't have the storage for a whole or even a half of a cow. I must pay off my credit card before I could even think of spending that much on meat. Like I said, I refuse to buy from the grocery store anymore, I just can't. So we will have to make some sacrifies until we can afford to buy from the farms.

Thanks again!! :hug:

04-18-2008, 05:43 PM
How many pounds do you get in a whole cow? :??

04-18-2008, 05:49 PM
You can check out PETA's website and find a ton of animal friendly retailers.

Also, there are vegan/vegetarian foods that are wonderful! There's the Morningstar line of foods, Boca, and Gardenburger that all have a huge selection of meatless meat like products and they taste great (and won't kill your bank account)! Also, check out Full Circle (http://www.fullcirclefoods.com/site/epage/45399_650.htm) for natural and organic foods. My local grocery store carries a ton of Full Circle products .Hope that helps :)

04-19-2008, 06:37 AM
How many pounds do you get in a whole cow? :??

As a farmer's daughter who grew up eating the cows we raised (well not all of them... that would be a lot of freakin' meat!) i can say 1 cow is a LOT of meat. Of course it isn't all ground meat though I suppose if you REALLY wanted to it could be. But there were lots of steaks and roasts and packages of ground beef and liver etc... When we butchered a cow it was usually enough meat to feed our family of 4 (with Grandma getting the gross stuff like the tongue!) for a year.

04-19-2008, 07:56 AM
another thought--

you can also buy oftentimes what is called a "mixed quarter"....you get a little of this, a little of that. you do need a freezer--but it's worth it. last time i did it two years ago, i paid 3.50 a lb.

04-19-2008, 08:29 AM
My "free range" is the woods and the livestock is whitetail.
I'm also on a roadkill list. About 1 1/2 deer will feed me for a year. One from hunting and the half from roadkill.

Pork is another hunting option. Many southern states have a year round season on feral hogs.

If hunting or roadkill isn't an option I would go for buffalo. I've never heard of them being lot raised and I've heard they are tender. But it's also very expensive when packaged.
You can readily buy that here at healthfood groceries.

The bad thing about sides or quarters is how much burger you get. Even with the deer I end up with too much burger. I even bought a ground beef jerky shooter to use some of it up.

Yes, it is more expensive, but you are gaining many benefits from eating free range/grass fed meat.
LOL, spoken like a true southerner ;)

Come on up here and taste the difference between corn fed and grass fed. Fat is the flavor. I couldn't believe the difference between IL beef and TX beef when I was there.
One thing I greatly miss from eating so much venison is the fat (and I'm like Jack Sprat when it comes to cutting the fat off steaks but just having it there adds a lot of flavor).

How many pounds do you get in a whole cow?
Of meat I'm not sure, but around 1500 lbs on the hoof according to a rancher friend.
Going by whitetail about 1/2 of that would be meat.
I think that's about right for what I've seen sides of beef going for.

Of course that greatly depends on the type and how old it was.

04-19-2008, 08:33 AM
Here are the sites I had bookmarked...hope they are helpful...

Local Harvest (http://www.localharvest.org/)

PaiDom Meats (http://www.paidom.com/)

04-19-2008, 04:41 PM
Hi all, well we checked Trader Joes and all they had were these tiny 1 lb packages, nothing larger than that. And their price was $5.00/lb! I might as well go to the farm.

We're going to try and find a Whole Foods out here and see what they have....this is harder than I thought it would be.

04-20-2008, 03:14 PM
if you have a local farmer's market, they will often have local meat suppliers also. Have you thought about decreasing the amount of meat your family eats? I'm not a vegetarian, but I cut down a lot. You can stretch small amounts by cooking things like stir-fry and mixing smaller amounts with other foods to get enough protein to keep everyone satisfied.

If everyone cut their consumption by 10-20%, there could be some significant benefits.