HEALTHY MEAT: Grass Fed Beef, Pork, Lamb & Poultry – Where to Buy

September 30, 2008 · 28 comments

There 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 your 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.

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

(Looking for beef tallow for healthy frying?  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!)

Grass fed is so superior to other meats, that once you know about it, it’s all you’ll want to feed your family.

ALL MEATS ARE NOT THE SAME

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.

QUALITY MEAT

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.)

MORE INFORMATION TO LOOK OVER:

  • 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.)
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    { 22 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Throwback at Trapper Creek October 1, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Great blog – thanks for getting the word out about healthy eating!

    Reply

    2 Christine February 21, 2009 at 11:54 am

    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 : )

    Reply

    3 Kelly February 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    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.

    Kelly

    Reply

    4 Kathy April 9, 2009 at 7:38 am

    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

    Reply

    5 Kelly April 9, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Kathy,

    Yes, she wrote the post a while ago where she talks about that very question, here it is:

    http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/02/5-ways-to-achieve-grass-fed-beef-cooking-nirvana-guest-post-from-the-food-renegade.html

    Kelly

    Reply

    6 Stephanie Magewick August 7, 2009 at 1:58 am

    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!

    Reply

    7 KitchenKop August 7, 2009 at 2:16 am

    Stephanie, my sister does live near there, so I just emailed her, thank you!

    Reply

    8 Dr Dal Turner March 5, 2010 at 7:02 am

    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!

    puhleeze

    Reply

    9 KitchenKop March 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Dr. Dal,
    I take it you’re a vegetarian, but how many bugs and other critters are killed with an agriculture-based diet?
    I encourage you to check out this related post: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/11/are-meat-eaters-ruining-the-earth.html, including the links and hopefully even the book that is referenced there.
    Kelly

    Reply

    10 Kayla May 27, 2011 at 12:49 am

    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! :D Kayla

    Reply

    11 Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 27, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Hi Kayla,
    Do you have an ad blocker on? If so, the links won’t show up. I just checked and my meat sponsor is still there for me. :)
    Thanks,
    Kelly

    Reply

    12 Jennifer June 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    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 http://www.naturewellbeef.com/). Also, “The cattle in our program are fed in one of our certified finishing facilities, where they receive an all-vegetarian, corn-based diet

    Reply

    13 KitchenKop January 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    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.

    Kelly

    Reply

    14 healing123 August 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    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

    Reply

    15 KitchenKop August 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    This is what Sally Fallon has in her “Broth is Beautiful” recipe (http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/broth-is-beautiful):

    “About 4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones, 1 calves foot, cut into pieces (optional), 3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones”

    So there may be something special about those bones, but I just ask for *any* bones (or use whatever bone is in the cut of meat I’m making for dinner) and continue with the instructions I shared here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/01/part-2-how-to-make-delicious-and-nutritious-homemade-stock-bone-broth-from-chef-glenn-at-reds-on-the-river.html

    Hope that helps!

    Reply

    16 Angie November 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    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?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    17 KitchenKop November 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Angie, I’ll email you. :)
    Kelly

    Reply

    18 Lilly March 20, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    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!

    Reply

    19 KitchenKop March 21, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Hi Lilly, have you tried checking with your local WAPF chapter?
    http://www.westonaprice.org/local-chapters/find-local-chapter
    Kelly

    Reply

    20 Lilly March 21, 2014 at 9:17 am

    No, I hadn’t. But thanks for the tip!

    Reply

    21 KitchenKop September 4, 2014 at 6:02 am

    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.

    Kelly

    Reply

    22 KitchenKop September 4, 2014 at 6:06 am

    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.

    Reply

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