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Where to Buy Healthy Meat and What’s the Difference?!

Where to Buy Healthy MeatThere are some who will never consider eating meat again based on what they’ve seen and read about conventional farms. I don’t blame them. If that were my only option, I wouldn’t eat meat either. Thankfully, that’s not your only option. Instead, you can get safe, healthy meat from a local farm who raise their animals humanely, feed them what they were meant to eat, don’t give them any hormones, antibiotics or other junk, and let them freely roam around on pasture.

Where to Buy Healthy Meat

Here’s where to order safe, healthy meat online if you don’t have a local source.

(Just looking for beef tallow for healthy frying? Here’s where to find beef tallow online or how to render it yourself. If the big tub of tallow at that link is out of stock, try the smaller tub!)

Pastured meats are so superior to other meats, that once you know more, it’s all you’ll want to feed your family…


Just keep in mind that there are big differences in meats. Kent & I rarely buy from local grocery stores anymore, or even from local meat markets, because each time I’ve asked where their meat comes from, the answer is either “we don’t know“, or it goes something like this:

Can you tell me where you get your beef?”

Oh, it comes from a distributor down in Ohio somewhere.”

Do you know where THEY get their meat?”

I don’t really know, from all over I guess…”

That’s all it takes to convince me to avoid buying our meat there. I rarely even get past where their meat is from, to ask my other questions about what they’re fed, or whether they’re out on pasture, etc.


If you have a local source for quality meat, it’s best to support your local farmer, but if not, ordering safe, healthy meat is a great option. I also get things from them that my local farmer doesn’t have, like Beef Tallow Shortening to make healthy french fries! (Just don’t overheat the oil.) I’m also going to try (get this) Braunsweiger…yes, liver AND “head cheese” – sounds icky, I know, but if it actually tastes good (or at least OK), it’s a great way to get more organ meats into our diets. (I’ll let you know how it goes.)


  • The Amazing Benefits of Grass-fed Meats from Mother Earth News
  • Mother Earth News: Omega-3 fatty acids are another vital nutrient that’s diminished by a feedlot diet. Calves start losing their stores of omega-3s as soon as they start eating grain. By the time they’re ready for market, very little of this heart-healthy fat remains. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fat that appears to be a potent cancer fighter. CLA is higher in grazing animals than in feedlot animals. The longer the animals graze, according to a study published by the Journal of Animal Science, the higher the CLA content of their meat.”
  • Is Fluoride safe in your toothpaste or in your drinking water?
  • Have you visited my Kitchen Kop Shop yet?
  • Does Red Meat Cause Colon Cancer?
  • Union of Concerned Scientists (This is scary about animal cloning.)


  1. I don’t know if the markets around me (Detroit area) are available to most, but I have also found that by asking the butcher directly, I can get more info than a casual glance at labels.

    I discovered that all beef Whole Foods sells (and some of it is quite reasonably priced) is pasture fed, and ‘grain finished’ (the last month before processing.

    A brand Meijer Thrifty Acres carries now, NatureWell, is also pasture fed and grain finished. I’ve found ground beef as low as $2 a lb. (typically it is $5 however.) We also like Laura’s beef which has been available for about 12 or 14 years at Krogers and Farmer Jacks here. Krogers also has their own Organic brand of beef which I believe, is pasture fed.

    One question I have is, is pasture fed the same as grass fed? Organic would mean no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used on the pasture.

    As far as economizing, I have found some fabulous prices on organic grass fed beef by checking for the bright orange Manager Special labels that Kroger & Farmer Jacks use on meat that is due to expire. I am comfortable buying it the day or 2 or 3 before and freezing it until I need it, or cooking it same day.

    My dh says he can definitely taste the difference in organic pasture fed beef, and we all notice it seems far more tender. (Perhaps I am buying less lean cuts, though.)

    HTH : )

  2. Someone has already offered to write a guest post on grass-fed meats for next week (yay!), so I need to ask them to clarify whether grass-fed and grain-finished is close enough to all grass-fed. I’m going to learn a lot from that post!

    And yes, as far as I know, pasture-fed and grass-fed are the same.


  3. Hi Kelly — did you ever find out what is going on with grass-fed then grain-finished beef? It’s been six weeks since your friend offered to clarify this for you; maybe you can “nudge” her! — Kathy

  4. Well I don’t want to give the secret away. But if you live near Ann Arbor, MI. Arbro Farm’s Market sells local grassfed beef from Lamb Farm, for under $3 a lb!

  5. I love the OXYMORONS “healthy meat”; oh, and “happy animals” (until you kill them) – !

    Of course we don’t – “love” anything like that at all – except the irony…….and of course WAR!


  6. I was trying to use the link for purchasing meats but it sends me to a list that has no further information. I’d like the info and if there’s no link, you can’t earn that commission. Hope you get that fixed soon.

    Thanks! 😀 Kayla

  7. I just did some research on NatureWell beef, which is sold at my local Meijer. At first glance of this company, I was excited to see that someone in the Midwest was trying to make a change to how their cattle are raised, handled and fed. Upon further inspection, I discovered, “…our cattle are finished naturally, never receiving antibiotics or added hormones during the final 120 days of the finishing period.” (on their website Also, “The cattle in our program are fed in one of our certified finishing facilities, where they receive an all-vegetarian, corn-based diet

    • Jennifer,

      I must have missed this but just now (a couple years later) am seeing your comment, and wanted to reply in case someone else is wondering…

      The fact that the cattle never receive antibiotics or hormones in their final 120 days should be a given! And a “corn-based diet” is just what you do NOT want them to have. You want them to be on pasture their whole life. Corn is GMO and fed to fatten them up, which is what happens to us when we eat it, too. :(

      Hope that helps.


  8. Thank you for the information, greatly appreciated. What bones do I ask for from the butcher for beef stock. I went to our co-op, and asked for Bone marrow, and he shared, he would need to freeze the bones, and then scrape out the marrow. He didn’t understand what i was asking for. I went to a local buther shop, but English is not their first language. I asked for bone marrow to make stock, he didn’t know what I was asking for. I am not sure I know what I am asking for exaclty, how to explain what part of the animal I need. Could you help me understand , exactly what to ask for, I am excited to try the beef stock recipe. Thanks so much

  9. Hi Kelly!

    I live in the Grand Rapids area. Do you know where I can find a healthy ground turkey? We use grass-fed beef/chicken and eat a good bit of fish. We love turkey but I can’t seem to find a healthy ground option anywhere.

    Any idea?


  10. Hi Kelly, I just discovered your blog…what a find! I am having the darndest time finding pastured chicken and anything better quality than “no antibiotics” for pork. I live in Detroit, and even the Whole Foods doesn’t have them! Any thoughts or will I be forced to order online? Thanks!

  11. Kelly, I live in Florida and have ordered from Slanker’s in Texas. I’ve never seen a comment on their products anywhere. I like their variety, prices and service. Please comment if you know about them. They ship refrigerated to a wide area. Thanks.

    • Hi Kathy, I’m from Michigan so don’t know anything about them, but my best advice is to *go visit* and see for yourself, that’s the only way you’ll know for sure. :)


  12. Both terms are close but usually with a cow it’s pasture grasses (& clover & other stuff) that they’re eating & with chickens it includes bugs and other good stuff. :)

    This is from a girl who has never raised animals but that’s my understanding.


  13. Well I thought I was replying to someone asking if grass-fed & pasture-fed are the same but now I don’t see their comment here…?

    Also though, as mentioned above, grass-fed & grass-finished are where “they” try to get you. There’s a big difference between those two. ALL cows are on grass when they’re young (from my understanding), but most then go into a feedlot where they’re given all grain.

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