After grumbling and complaining about the prices of organic meat, we got together with friends to look into the buying half a cattle (black angus beef). Here is what we found:
|Cattle from Librock Farms in Western NY|
a) We first tried the beef by way of a small package of ground meat that we made into the juiciest burgers I’ve ever consumed. So, infinitely higher quality than what I’m used to.
b) Keep in mind that after a year in the freezer beef will start to lose it’s flavor and nutritional value, so make sure you don’t buy more than you can use in that period of time. We went in on our purchase with 2 other families to manage the amount.
c) Find out what the animal is being fed. Ours is grass fed, grain finished to ensure the beef has just the right amount of marbling. It was also raised naturally with no growth hormones or antibiotics.
a) Typically your beef will be about $3 per pound. You will not come anywhere near that in a store.
b) You will need to have a separate freezer. Take that into consideration in your investment.
c) Be smart about how it’s processed. If you have it all turned into hamburger you will probably pay more than if you bought it at the grocery store. You want your beef broken down into steaks, roasts, ground beef, prime rib, filet Mignon, skirt steak, London broil, etc.
a) For your initial purchase, you’ll need to make an appointment with the farmer, or meet them at their booth at the local farmer’s market.
b) Once you get the meat home, 99% of it will be frozen so you’ll need to plan meals ahead for the week so that you can allow time for defrosting.
If you feel you’d like to save money on organic meat, have the capacity to store a year’s worth of meat and you consume enough beef that it’s worth your while, take a trip to your local farmer’s market to meet the source of the meat and get all the specifics on cattle feed, processing, inspection and packaging.
And hey, if you think you’ll get bored of beef, get half a pig while you’re at it – we did!
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