Can anyone tell me a good way of getting good quality, grass-fed, beef affordably (ie as cheap as possible but still good)?
Do you have a Tader Je's store anywhere near you?if so they sell Austrailan grass feed beef steaks pretty cheap...that store is awesome..
Damn i meant Trader Joe's i dont know what the hell happened to my spelling there
Ditto on the TJ's Australian beef patties. Great tasting on the grill (better than traditional ground beef)!
4 protein packed patties for $2.99.
The real way to do this is to buy in bulk (like a half of beef) from a local farmer that you know feeds only grass to the cows. that's what I do. we have a local farm that sells organic, grass-fed pastured beef.
But guess what? Often times, what is called grassfed in the store isn't true grass-fed. I think almost all cows start out grass-fed, so if they want to be sneaky, they can use this. If they're more reputable, they still likely finish off the cows with grains for the last few months before slaughter.
There are mail-order places, but shipping will kill you. The best is to look for a local farm. I ordered 90 lbs of beef for 1.75/lb. Not bad! Especially considering it's totally grass-fed.
I buy Laura's Lean Beef, which is grass-fed and hormone free, from Kroger or Albertsons...you can check out the website at www.laurasleanbeef.com.
All the grass fed beef you could want at http://www.grasslandbeef.com/ This is where I buy my beef. Sorry, but it ain't cheap.
You do have to be careful. All beef is grass fed until it gets shipped to the finishing lots, where the beef is fed grains to fatten it up. Even organic beef will get grain finished, albeit organic grain. If the beef is grass fed and grass finished, the package will let you know. If not, you can assume it's not grass finished.
I checked out Laura's lean Beef and they even state that they DO feed their cattle grains. Laura's Beef is NOT 100% grass fed.
But how much grain do they feed? A little bit is sometimes used, but often it is an insignificant portion of their diet and really won't matter. It would be like if you ate one cookie.
Anybody know of any stores besides Whole Foods who sell game?
You are probably going to have to go to a butcher. Usually they can at least order stuff for you. As far as cost effectiveness, its probably not the best route. The last time I looked for venison I found a fairly good size roast in the freezer section. It was only $56.
I'm going to second Yorik's comments and add another consideration.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Australian beef can still be feed remanants(other cattle in there feed).
This is one of the mechanisms which mad cow outbreaks are started through, a practice which has been discontinued is US raised beef.
Anyone know for sure?
Damn that's not bad. My hunting cost me about $5000 a year and I got 125 lb. of meat out of it this year. $40 a pound but the fun was priceless.
"This is one of the mechanisms which mad cow outbreaks are started through, a practice which has been discontinued is US raised beef.
Anyone know for sure?"
Yes, I do know for sure that mad cow disease had nothing to do with meat being in their feed. They have had meat in their feed for around a hundred years, and it has never been a problem.
What IS a problem is the heavy use of pesticides and herbicides that the cows get exposed to. This is what causes mad cow disease.
I get mine from a local rancher. It is grain finished, but at least I know it is hormone and antibiotic free. He finishes them himself and takes two a month in for processing.
And it is very, very, very good stuff.
Last week I cooked a 5lb chuck that we ate on Sunday, and again Thursday (leftover pot roast, mmmmm). Saturday we had burgers, and tonight we had sirloin.
I've got another 4lb chuck roast in the freezer and the kids are begging for more pot roast. 48 hours at 180 degrees in a cast iron dutch oven; add some taters, carrots, turnip, onion and cabbage for the last hour. Yummy.
I guess if you only fed your cattle a little grain it would be OK, but why would anybody feed their cattle only a little? The whole purpose of feeding grain is to fatten up the beef for "flavor", isn't it?
As for the mad cow comment, I've also read that the BSE (mad cow disease) is theorized to be caused by certain organophosphate pesticides. You can check out this link http://www.westonaprice.org/myths_truths/myths_truths_mad.html for one version of the story.