Where's the (Grass-fed) Beef?

For several months our family has been researching a place to buy a grass-fed cow. Seems like a weird quest, you think. Actually, it was all part of the penny-pinchin', healthy-living journey we are on. We have drastically reduced the amount of meat - particularly beef - our family eats. It was one of our baby steps (or New Year's resolutions) from a few years ago. Don't get me wrong; I love my beef. I was raised an Italian-Filipino carnivore and although I love a lot of vegetarian fare I can't say bye-bye to all meat.

After reading a particularly poignant book, WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING by Dr. Rex Russell, we were convinced not to eat pork. (That's a story for another day.) We also just watched Michael Pollan's recent movie, Food, Inc., which made a good case for why cows should not be eating corn in the first place. Their bodies were not designed to digest corn. Sure, we can kill them off and make them into fat steaks before they die themselves because of major digestive issues but is that really the kind of food you want to put on your table? Our family is working to basically eat organic beef, chicken, turkey and vegetarian meals about twice a week.

There are loads of health benefits to eating grass-fed beef over the corn-fed meat featured in most restaurants and on grocery shelves. Grass-fed meat is leaner, which means less "bad fat" but more omega-3s, which are vital to brain development and help with immunity to sickness.

What's a steak-loving gal or guy to do when corn-fed, fat cows dominate the market? Buy your own cow. We actually decided to buy half a cow. (According to my friend Gail the other half is running around on her street.) We bought our grass-fed happy half a cow from a guy named Chuck (No joke!) who goes to our church, The Bridge. Chuck likes to raise grass-fed cattle for a hobby and he gave us a screaming deal. We're talking $2/pound for everything. Compare that to Costco or Trader Joe's where I normally would buy ground beef for $6/pound and much more for the finer cuts. Chuck's price included tri-trip, ground beef, beef ribs, steaks, soup bones - you name it.

We didn't even know a lot of the different cuts of beef so Chuck sent us to this great web site called Ask The Butcher. Chuck isn't certified "organic" but my hubby asked him lots of questions about the pastures where his cows graze and the way he cares for them. We were satisfied with his careful practices. You might not have a "Chuck" in your circle of friends but you might investigate another option for grass-fed beef in your area. For example, Fresno is home to Organic Pastures, which sells raw dairy products as well as grass-fed, organic beef. We split our meat with several families and that enabled us all to share in the benefits.

The bottom line is: we are saving on doctor bills in the future by feeding our family quality beef today. Plus, we're saving a bunch of moolah in process.

Now that we have all this great beef in our freezer we are on a quest to find some tasty recipes. Any suggestions? What's your fave way to prepare steaks, roast, burgers?


terry rios said...

That's awesome Dorina! We are also beef lovers but eat it sparingly because of the cost of organic grass-fed beef. Thanks for providing some information on some economical alternatives.

My favorite way to eat beef is to stirfry it with onions, red bell peppers and tomatoes. I season it all with cumin, salt and 21 seasoning salute from trader joes and serve it over some brown rice. If you add a bit of water you can simmer it for at least 40 minutes..super yummy that way.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for a place to buy grass-fed beef and saw your site, so I have to tell you that I would like to know where I can buy some of Chuck's beef. I don't have a lot of in my refrig and I am by myself, but do want to eat healthy food. I attend People's church in Fresno, CA so when I saw that you attend The Bridge I just had to write. Jan @ fabulousjan@yahoo.com

The Gilmores said...

Hi Jan,
Chuck is no longer raising cattle but we are looking into a different source. A local farmer is willing to sell to us. We will email you directly with information. Thanks for reading! Sorry for the delay in response!

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