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Grass-fed beef vs. Grain Fed beef

Everyone who likes steak loves a nicely marbled piece of meat. But what about grass fed beef... The flavor can be very different. Anyone who's tried grass-fed beef care to weigh-in?

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  1. I had Big Island raised grass fed beef at Merriman's in Hawaii. For me it was leaner and kind of gamey. I prefer grain-fed beef to grass-fed.

    1. Y'know, I've recently been intrigued by this topic. Like me, most urban Americans growing up in the last 40-50 years have been conditioned to grain-fed beef as the standard. I love a good steak as much as the next guy. Well, I noticed in the last year or so that Trader Joe's sometimes had fresh grass-fed beef -- generally either top sirloin steaks or 80-20 ground beef. IIRC, the package may warned that the meat would cook much faster than grain-fed beef. Why, I don't know, although I vaguely remember surfing online and reading about the fat in grass-fed animals having a lower melting point ... whatever ...

      My results: I've done the steaks three times, on my Weber over charcoal, and dammit it's true, they grill VERY fast, even with little to no visible fat or marbling. The first time was unfortunate -- nine minutes total grilling time, 4+ minutes per side, grey steaks, still tasty. I went to school on that and did better with shorter cooking time, but still more done than expected. Burgers, same ... 6-8 minutes for half-pound burgers, almost all color gone but still JUICY and DELICIOUS!!! How to describe the flavor? Hmm ... full, clean, beefy to the Nth degree ... anything but tough or gristly, far from it ... if anything, my reservations stem from the fat content, since I try to eat lean except for occasional plurges, but then is much of it running off, melting away?

      So, there may be someting to this lower melting point thing, but I'll leave it to others to figure it out, or whether other cuts from other purveyors would not match my experience. Me? After 5-6 experiences, it has been unequivocally yummy -- juicy, intensely flavorful, tricky to control, watch it intently!

      2 Replies
      1. re: misohungrychewlow

        yes, grassfed takes a bit more skill--

        fyi many cuts of grass fed beef have 1/2 the fat of corn fed beef, less saturated fats and more omega 3s, so if you're eating lean, grass-fed is a good way to go.

        1. re: misohungrychewlow

          I've also found that pastured meat of all kinds cooks quicker -- the lamb and chicken we source from local farmers cooks much more quickly (nearly a half-hour quicker when roasting red meat, I've found).

        2. I lived in Argentina for 2 years and Brazil for 1, where beef is king and all of it is grass fed. Hmmmm...how to put this best.

          America is the land of corn fed. Corn fed processed foods, corn fed cows, and corn fed people. This results in corn fed asses, hence the expression "She's a corn fed farm girl", which usually doesn't imply lean. Read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilema" on the concequences for our health and environment of cheap corn dominating our food supply. Scary.

          South America is the land of grain fed. The asses and health of people reflect that. And so do the beef.

          When I lived in Buenos Aires, I ate steak at least 4 times a week. The steak is cooked slowly, over wood coals, and is redder, leaner, and tastes cleaner than grain fed beef. Even on "Lomo", which is filet, the meat is tender, juicy, and lean. I could eat 3x the amount of beef that I would eat back home (say 30 or 40 oz) and feel fine...go out and party or surf or do work.

          When I returned home it was a kick in the gut. The first steak I had (a decent supermaket sirloin) was like eating beef soaked in water. It tasted bland and though the fat ribbon on the side was flavorful, the meat itself was tough. Even at great steakhouses, like G and Georgetti's in Chicago, I've yet to find something that equals what my cheap neighborhood place in Argentina could deliver.

          Grass fed, all the way. Cows weren't born to eat corn any more than they were born to eat ground up dead cattle. Nature tates best the way it was designed.

          9 Replies
          1. re: mutant4

            Mutant, your post cracked me up. I have a great friend who is Argentinian, and he's already told me exactly what you've said, right down to narrating a run-in he had with the waiter at a "high-end" Chicago steakhouse.

            He went there to have a special occasion meal with his wife (also Argentine), and when they brought out what he regarded as an undercooked, over-lean steak, he told them so. They informed him that apparently he just hadn't experienced excellent steak before. That's not something you want to tell an Argentine!

              1. re: alyxdm

                not all grains are created equal, especially for cattle. Steer are not built to digest corn: feeding them corn creates all kinds of health-problems, above and beyond the obvious ethical ones.

                These health issues affect not only the cattle, but also people in more ways than you might imagine: corn's affect on the pH of a steer's stomach affects E.Coli strains, to cite one particularly frightening example.

                1. re: withinseason

                  It is often said cattle aren't built to digest corn. Does anyone have a scientific reference for this? I tried the goolge, but came up empty.

                  Thanks,
                  jb

              2. re: mutant4

                When I was growing up in PR, the cheaper meats came from South America, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. All of those places were at the time had mainly grass fed beef.

                They were tougher, especially the cheaper cuts, but it was more flavorful, it worked really well on beef stews and PR's bistec encebollado, which is cooked in a vinegar and onion sauce.

                To this day, the best steak I ever had was a churrasco and tostones I had in Venezuela.

                I prefer grass fed, it may be a bit tougher sometimes, but the flavor more than makes up for it.

                1. re: mutant4

                  Just got back from Argentina. Grass fed was definitely superior in flavor. I'm now scrambling to look for the same type of meats we had there. Living in LA, I've heard that Whole Foods doesn't even cut it. Anyway, I am not patronizing WF right now due to their CEO.

                  1. re: trvlcrzy

                    Whole Foods has a variety of types provenance... including 100% grass fed beef. Here in NY anyway.

                    1. re: trvlcrzy

                      This report, "Argentina Forage Finished Beef", explains why Argentina's grassfed beef is so good. The cattle in Argentina are primarily Angus and Red Angus breeds, they are finished on alfalfa pastures, and they are supplemented with corn at a rate of 1% of body weight per day.

                      http://mbfc.s3.amazonaws.com/2007_pro...

                      Argentina's beef doesn't meet the American Grassfed Association definition of grassfed. If you want really good grassfed beef like you had in Argentinia, find someone that is finishing beef cattle on grass pastures and is supplementing them with corn. It is really difficult to find in the United States.

                      There are a couple of beef brands (Neiman Ranch and Branch Ranch) that claim their beef is pasture raised, grass fed, grain finished. What they don't advertise is that their beef is grain finished in a dry (no grass) feedlot just like every other piece of commercial beef.

                      There is only one ranch that I know of in the U.S. that is finishing their beef on grass pastures with grain. They are serving their Angus beef at 18 Oaks restaurant at the J.W. Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa, the customers there demand that it has to be good.

                      http://www.countryworldnews.com/news/...

                      1. re: AngusCattleman

                        Hey AC: "...find someone that is finishing beef cattle on grass pastures and is supplementing them with corn."

                        Bingo. That's the way I was taught to feed, and haven't had any complaints yet. As you probably know (and others don't), finishing on corn can be somewhat technical--you need a balance of grass fodder and corn up to a limit, and if you exceed a certain % of corn, you might as well make it 100% corn. Past that magic number you're wasting your other fodder and sickening the animals that graze.

                        Anymore, I only raise 2-3 animals at a time for my freezer and a couple neighbors', so the steers get plenty of watchful attention. When the grass turns the corner in the Fall, they appreciate the corn and silage. I even give them a "last" meal of grape pommace from the wine fermenters and we have a little party...

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                  2. I wonder if grain fed is the right term. Grain-fattened might be better. I can't claim any inside knowledge on this, but I believe most cattle in the USA are raised on grass (or hay) in open range. At some point they are sold as 'feeder cattle', sent to feed lot, and fatten up to market size on a grain rich diet. The sedentary nature of those last few months may contribute as much to their meat quality as the diet itself.

                    paulj

                    93 Replies
                    1. re: paulj

                      No, grain fed is entirely correct, think feedlots, not pastures. The Pollan book _Omivoire's Dilemma_ is a MUST read for anyone who likes food,

                      1. re: Quine

                        Pollan actually verifies that steer are raised on grass and then fattened in feed lots. As ruminants, cows have evolved to eat grass, break it down in their rumen and then pass it on through the rest of their digestive system. Despite the desires of the US cattle industry, raising calfs in feedlots is too much of a shock to this natural system, so most cows spend a time (6 months?) on grass before being moved to feedlots.

                        Benefits of Grass - cows must walk around to eat, so they get more excercise which creates leaner, more flavorful beef. Also, more flavor due to the varied diet (grazing fields actually contain many breed of grass, clover, etc). Downsides - unpredictable and difficult to control diet, longer time required to fatten cattle, tougher beef, and most importantly a more expensive process with a lot more variables to control than feeed lot farming.

                        The handful of times I have had grass fed beef have been in higher end restaurants and it has been spectacular. So much more beef flavor that standard corn fed seems bland in comparison. In fact, of all the characteristics of beef (fat content, dry v. wet aging, grass v. corn v. grain fed) my expereince has been that grass feeding can have more positive impact than anything else. I'd rather eat a good qualtiy Choice non-aged grass fed beef than Prime dry-aged corn fed - or so has been my experience anyway.

                        1. re: wak

                          Pollan actually describes the process from birth to butcher. Calves are force weened from their mothers and moved to CAFO's at about 3 months. There, they are raised entirely on grain (which cows were not meant to digest), so they have health issues and tend to have lots of parasitic/organism issues, resulting in lots of steroids and antibiotics to keep them healthy enough to make it to market. Pollan's argument is this: if the cows were *finished* on grass, the parasite level drops off dramatically, and the steroid/antibiotics are also purged from the cattle's system (mostly).
                          Regardless, grass fed beef does taste much better, especially if it is dry aged.

                          1. re: gsshark

                            no cows are fed exclusively grain. You're right. Cows aren't meant to eat only grain. If they did, they'd DIE. They're fed a diet WITH a LOT of grain, but not SOLELY grain. Their diet MUST have plant fiber in it, and plenty of it. Often what they'll do is give the whole grain plant for the cows to eat - so the cow gets the nice grain at the top of the plant that will make her fat, but she also gets the fibrous stem and leaves, which she needs on a regular basis.

                      2. re: paulj

                        We have been raising our beef as 100% grass fed for about 15 years and selling them direct to customers. Raising cattle is our primary livelihood.
                        A few comments about typical raising of beef in the cattle industry. Up until recently, many calves went directly from weaning (at about 9 months old) into a feedlot. Some calves were held as "grass calves" which are lightweight calves that were overwintered often on the home ranch, or weaned later, and then put on spring grass for a few months. These calves would then go into a feedlot at about 12 to 14 months old at heavier weights than the weaner calves.
                        Almost all beef available in the U.S. is finished in a feedlot, even many grass-fed beef brands. The advantages of a feedlot are many: easy access to and control of cattle, precise mixing of feeds; efficiency in feeding, and consistent product (this last reason is the primary reason even many grass fed brands are finished in the controlled environment of the feedlot). Corn and soybean meal are the primary feedstuff, although other grains, and other things with energy and protein are used as well.
                        With the current ethanol-driven increase in corn prices, there have been some articles in the industry publications about putting more weight on beef using grass. The economies of grass vs. corn are tipping toward grass because feedlots are competing with ethanol plants for corn. There have also been many articles about the conversion to using "distiller's grain" in feedlots; which is a by-product of ethanol production.
                        Finishing cattle on high-quality hay fed loose in the pasture (which is what we do in the winter) or on grass during the growing season, is like producing a fine wine- the producer has to take into account his varieties (the genetics of his or her cattle herd), growing conditions, soils, grass types, timing of harvest, final production (dry-aging)--all things it takes experience to manage. It took us many years to refine a product we could be proud of, and we still make it better every year.

                        1. re: Alderspring

                          Thank you for contributing your knowledge to this thread. It is always informative to hear the perspective of a working rancher.

                          1. re: Alderspring

                            You have my respect, what you are doing is not easy. We could never produce quality grass-fed cattle down here in Texas, there just is not enough rainfall to do it, too much risk of drought. The level of nutrition in the grass is just not high enough for any length of time to grass finish cattle here. Until recently I thought all grass-fed beef had an off taste. But my opinion is beginning to change. I'm beginning to think that grass-fed beef can be very good if it is produced properly. The Brazilians, the Argentinians, and the Europeans all prefer grass-feed beef. I think there are quite a few American ranches that are trying unsuccessfully to produce a product with good consistent flavor. Like you said, it takes some serious management of your grass and cattle. You are one of the few ranches in the United States that has figured out how to do this properly. I just noticed the article in Slate in 2006 where your steaks beat Allen Brothers, Strube Ranch, and Niman Ranch. That is impressive, those are some big names.

                              1. re: mcf

                                I think "some" would be more accurate. Alderspring's post above is a good read detailing how hard it is produce consistently good grass finished beef.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  There are several ranches that raise grass fed beef. Anyone with a cow, a bull, and a pasture can raise grass fed beef. But, grass fed beef can tend to have an offensive flavor that some people can not bear to eat. I have only heard of one ranch that consistently gets very good feedback about the flavor of their beef. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows of another ranch in North America that is producing grass fed beef with a taste that can consistently beat the taste of the beef from the best steakhouses that you know of.

                                  If you do find someone else, could you ask them how they are doing it, what breed of cattle are they using, what climate are they raising their cattle in, what is their annual rainfall amount, are they finishing their cattle on pasture or a feedlot, what type of grass are they finishing their beef on, how long do they graze the finishing pastures before they harvest their beef.

                                  I know personally, it is not easy to produce good tasting grass fed beef. The beef producers that I have heard of that are producing good tasting grass fed beef are usually located along the coast where they get a lot of rain. Most of the beef produced in the United States comes from the middle of the country, in areas that may have lower rainfall, a warm climate, or lower quality pastures. Not so good for good tasting grass-fed beef. That is why most of the beef produced in the United States has to be grain fed, else it would have an offensive taste that no one would buy.

                                  MCF, do you eat grass fed beef? Where does it come from? Do you produce grass fed beef? Do you think that the taste of the beef is good enough that people would prefer the grass fed beef that you eat over corn finished beef at any of the finest steakhouses?

                                  1. re: AngusCattleman

                                    Yes, we've had this discussion and I think it's clear why you show up to respond to 6 year old posts.

                                    I only buy grass fed and finished beef, and have only ever had one bad tasting steak, that was not properly bled out and aged. I've been buying only grass fed for about a decade.

                                    Your arguments will never counter the movement toward regional farming and local buying and away from the terrible practices of most beef production and the disastrous impact on the enviroment and public health they have.

                                    Put me in the grass fed column for life.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      I would think Angus Cattleman or any other rancher would gladly raise grass finished beef if the public as a whole were willing to eat it and pay the additional cost for it which is substantial.

                                      TASTE: The US population as a whole prefers grain finished beef, plain and simple.

                                      COST: Consumers are strange. They will drop $40.00 for a nicely marbled Top Choice Certified Angus Beef steak at a nice restaurant on a regular basis. However, when they go to the supermarket, they pass right by the $9.00 LB nicely marbled Certified Angus Beef top choice strip steak (Identical to what they had in the restaurant) and pick up a bottom choice store brand strip steak with a small marbling score for $7.00 a LB. They then go home and grill it and come to the conclusion that the restaurant must have a special magic broiler / grill that can't be duplicated at home because their steak is nowhere near as good.

                                      My point is that if the general public as a whole is not willing to put out an extra 20% for a high quality grain finished steak such as (CAB) that is consistently tender, Juicy and flavorful .........they will never pay 100% more for dry, chewy inconsistently flavored grass finished meat. Yes there is a niche market for grass finished and some ranchers will accommodate that market as long as the customers are willing to pay the significant premium for it.

                                      I think it must also be put out there that the loosey-goosey terminology used to imply that a given product is free of this & never given that are controversial to say the least.

                                      1. re: Tom34

                                        I live in the northeast, where folks are making a point of patronizing places that cook with sustainable agricultural products and meats, including grass fed.

                                        Quality grass fed meat costs more than the crap in supermarkets, but no more than the grain finished "natural" beef (antibiotic, hormone free) from the natural foods store.

                                        At some point, the "generic" public that keeps buying grain fed, antibiotic loaded beef is going to die off from superbugs and only us grass fed beef consumers will still be around. ;-)

                                      2. re: mcf

                                        The reason I am asking these questions is that I am a small local producer who would like to find someone to buy the beef that I produce. But besides all of the talk about the movement to local products, there is actually no market. I have to sell the cattle that I produce into the mainstream, that puts them into a feed lot, then ships them to the supermarket. And that is a shame.

                                        1. re: AngusCattleman

                                          What steps have you taken to reach a wider audience? And what practices are you willing to adopt to make your product and animal handling more appealing to folks who care about the whole life cycle, not just the supermarket end?

                                          It may involve adhering to the standards of sellers who do the marketing for you, something along the lines of Heritage Foods, for instance, who sell a number of farmer's products to email customers like me, when I can't get local stuff like heritage breeds of pork, for example.

                                          1. re: AngusCattleman

                                            Where are you? My farmers' market in Syracuse is awash in grass fed meats.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Sorry you're not closer. The grass fed beef provider I usually patronize supplies frozen beef which she ships for orders. I'd rather not buy frozen meat, although it's convenient in many ways, but it keeps her in business.

                                                1. re: sr44

                                                  I think you're confused. I have no problem getting grass fed beef. AngusCattleman is who you were responding to, I just told you where he is. :-)

                                          2. re: mcf

                                            mcf,
                                            Do you eat grass fed beef because you think it tastes better than corn fed beef. Or because the cattle are treated better than cattle fed in a feedlot. Or because it uses no hormones or antibiotics? Or because you think it is healthier than corn fed beef? Or maybe all of these reasons?

                                            There is a huge camp that supports grass fed beef producers and a huge camp that supports the mainstream beef producers. I'm just a small breeder that finishes beef for my family on grass pasture and corn feed. I don't fit in very well with either camp. I think I fit better with the grass fed group, but I'm excluded from that group because I feed corn to my cattle. I'm more like an illegitimate child than a family member. There is no large organization with a tremendous marketing campaign supporting the way that I raise beef. No website that tells people where to find me. I just don't fit in.

                                            1. re: AngusCattleman

                                              I eat grass fed beef for multiple reasons.

                                              I think it tastes better.
                                              It produces a healthier product for consumption and for preventing superbugs and abx resistance
                                              I know pastured and grass finished/sileage cattle are healthier and their lives are better than those in feedlot conditions, particularly CAFOs.
                                              It doesn't have the kind of contaminants in runoff pollution that CAFOs do

                                              I'm just someone eating grass fed beef; I have no stake in selling something else, from meat to antibiotics for some pharma company.

                                              But I'm also an assiduous researcher about anything that interests me or concerns me about my health and public health.

                                              So I have various perspectives on this issue.

                                              The way I see it, you're marketing something that neither group wants, though I think the corn feeding crowd would be more up your alley. From my POV, unless you are completely sure that there is no upside for you, I'd get with the feeding/husbandry program that companies like Whole Foods require, or eatwild.org will accept, or Heritage Foods.

                                              You apear to be saying that doing business your way closes the markets to you. Why not contact some ranchers listed on eatwild.org or Heritage Foods or Whole Foods and see how they feel about their experiences and financial rewards?

                                              If you keep doing what you've always done, you're going to keep getting shoved aside. Maybe split your operation between your traditional one and 100% gf? Sileage is allowed off season, AFAIK.

                                              Either that, or you have to undertake an expensive or well manned marketing operation to sell your beef as a boutique product in your state, I guess, or your wider region.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Boneless CAB 0x1 top choice strip loin is $6.50 sub primal, $7.50 portioned.

                                                How much is the equivalent ......TRUE grass finished / organic / no pesticides / no phosphate fertilizers / NEVER any antibiotic / beef?

                                                Still waiting for an answer! PS: I know the answer .....I just want somebody who promotes the product to put it in writing.

                                                Micro-brews are fantastic but out purchased 100 :1 by the major producers products. Why, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                  I don't "promote" any products. Not drugs, not beef. Prices I've researched for pastured beef vary greatly depending upon your ability to buy and store a quarter to a half an animal, which is how I expect to proceed once I get a backup generator, since I live where all the weather keeps knocking power out for weeks at a time.

                                                  The price for the net hanging weight I've come up with is pretty comparable with what you cite above. But retail is much higher per lb, as I'm sure you know. The highest price I pay is for my favorite, rib steak, 2" thick at Whole Foods for 100% grass fed, and I think that was about $16 or 17 per lb last purchase.

                                                  I don't drink beer.

                                                  I hope you took note of the Infectious Disease Society of America's stance on the role of agricultural antibiotics in human illness and antibiotic resistance.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    You your self have concerns storing hundreds of pounds of meat. The fact that you are are posting on ChowHound is a pretty good indication you know what to do with a 1/4 or 1/2 side of beef. Most folks don't, plain and simple.

                                                    Most folks go to the supermarket and buy a few steaks and some ground beef. $16 to $17 per lb is far more than the avg person can afford. Whole foods BTW has been duped many times concerning their suppliers products. Lot more regulation needed.

                                                    I can pretty much afford any food products I want and it sounds like you can too. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is not the case. The beef industry is not without sin, but IMHO, there are more critical areas of the food chain that need enhanced gubberment scrutiny.

                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                      Yes, I view the levels of access we have as a privilege, but one that should be less so due to momentum towards regionalization of food supply and mobile or localized meat processors.

                                                      But I think you're wrong about who is more likely to buy or store a large quantity or whole animal. IME, growing up in a working class neighborhood, most of my neighbors had chest freezers in their basements for venison they'd hunted upstate or large meat deliveries from butchers.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        Yeah, but remember, now days more often than not it takes 2 full time incomes to keep up and sadly the big meals every night are not commonplace anymore.

                                                        My mom, like so many other women back in the day, knew what to do with just about every cut of meat there was and a side for her would have been no problem. I think a good bit of a side today would end up freezer burned in more houses than not.

                                                        I think a good goal to shoot for would be wide availability of smaller quantities of grass finished at more reasonable prices. Regulation has to be improved though as fraud is pretty common.

                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                          I think both are needed, definitely. The thing about buying a half is that you can get it cut the way you want. I don't want anyone else grinding meat for me, for instance, but I do like large chuck roasts, thick rib steaks, etc... you get to choose, though not so much with a quarter. Don't have to buy a half.

                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                            What are you doing for pork? I normally get a butcher friend to cut a whole bone in loin into double thick chops. He gets Leidy's (Pennsylvania Dutch). Not organic or grass finished but also NOT pumped. Well marbled and lots of pork flavor.

                                                            Ran out and my wife picked up a few chops at Shoprite. Pulled them at 140 degrees & they finished at just under 150 degrees. Cut into them and the plate filled with water. Yes they were juicy, but not tender and NO pork flavor.

                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                              I buy pork chops from Heritage Foods (heritagefoods.com) along with spare ribs. I also get Dubreton pork at Fairway Market and Whole Foods. I don't ever buy supermarket meat any more. And yeah, even cooked med/rare, there's no juicy fat and flavor, just solution. :-/

                                                              Heritage often has a package of pork chops that's a very decent deal, even with the cost of packing and shipping on ice. And when I told them how bad that one grass fed steak was (more blood than meat in the package), they insisted on refunding me PLUS... very committed to customer care. http://store.heritagefoodsusa.com/por...

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                A gallon of water weighs about 8 lbs and costs about 1 cent. Its getting late and I have had a few but that comes out to about an 1/8 of a cent per pound but yet the pork industry is charging about $2.50 lb for it. Same for the Poultry industry.

                                                                1/8 of a cent cost per lb to $2.50 a LB is outrageous. If these profit percentages were present in the energy industry the news media would be all over it. Why the silence?

                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                  Folks who are buying those waterlogged meats may not be the same as folks like us who consider its properties and its origins.

                                                                  I certainly don't get bloated meat from the sources I buy from.

                                                                  When I said there's no juicy fat and flavor above, I was referring to the supermarket stuff, not the Berkshire and other pork I've been buying. The spare ribs are especially meaty and good... fat in pork, who'd a thunk it??

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    Yeah, much of the mid western pork is very lean which is what the supermarkets around my way sell. I just couldn't believe how much water filled the plate when I cut into it.

                                                                    I have had good luck with the Leidy's but just have not had a chance to get to my buddy to get it. While not organic it is none the less well marbled and actually tastes like pork.

                                                                    I am pretty sure Sysco sells Berkshire. Last I saw double thick premium chops were just under $5.00 lb. through them. I didn't check but my guess would be min size would be a 20 lb case.

                                                                2. re: mcf

                                                                  mcf,
                                                                  You do realize that Whole Foods is a supermarket, right? So you can't actually say that you don't buy supermarket meat. Companies like Heritage Foods and Whole Foods may produce meat products that are hormone free and antibiotic free, but they are still large corporations that are purchasing their products from producers that are also large corporations. A small farmer, even a large group of many small farmers, would never be able to produce enough product to supply these mega-markets. That is what is killing small farmers. We can not sell our products because we can not offer the convenience of one stop shopping for all of your groceries like large corporate markets can.

                                                                  So, if you are buying your grass fed beef from Heritage Foods, you don't actually have any experience purchasing grassfed beef from a small local farmer, and you can't actually speak about the flavor of the beef that small local grass feeders are producing in Texas, right?

                                                                  So, I've been looking into grass feeding a little more, because I know there are people who are buying grass fed beef who are disappointed with the flavor of the beef they buy. I think the main reason for the bad taste of some grass fed beef is because it is raised in an area with a hot, dry climate, in areas where the pasture grass just does not produce enough nutrition or calories to properly finish the beef. The poor quality of the pastures is what gives the beef an off flavor.

                                                                  And I've recently learned that in addition to grass, grass fed beef can be fed forage that consists of almost any type of plant material except for grain. So, the main health benefit of grass fed beef is that it can be eaten by people with celiac disease, wheat allergies, and corn allergies.

                                                                  The pasture quality in Texas can be pretty weak for producing grass fed beef, but since grass fed beef can be fed a wide variety of forages in addition to grass, it opens up the door for small producers to raise good tasting grass fed beef here. The only problem is that if people continue to buy their beef from corporations like Whole Foods Market Incorporated, it really does no good for small farmers. Small farmers can not produce products and survive if no one is buying from them.

                                                                  1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                    I do not buy feedlot or CAFO or grain finished beef. I buy from distant and local purveyors depending on season and availability. I buy from local region producers at Whole Foods and from the independent farming network through Heritage Foods, too. Sometimes I buy online from grass fed meat producers.

                                                                    If you want to compete, you have to produce what people are willing to pay good money for. Misrepresentations about the safety of agricultural antibiotics and the quality of grass fed meat products, or the nature of successful grass fed meat programs isn't going to do you any good. Smart consumers will do their own homework and reject you and your product.

                                                                    Here's some information about Heritage Foods farmers:
                                                                    http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/farme...

                                                                    http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/new...

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      These companies have some really good marketing plans and attractive websites that lead the consumer to believe that they are helping small and local farmers, I won't deny that.

                                                                      But their definition of small and my definition of small are two different things. Their definition of small farmer is someone with a net worth of $10 to $12 Million selling $600,000 to $3.6 million of product a year.

                                                                      No truly small producer is going to get their products into these markets.

                                                                      1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                        Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but no one is entitled to his own facts.

                                                                        My local, tiny chocolate shop with a hand full of employees is part of the Whole Foods local producer program. They have a range of business sizes in each region.

                                                                        Same with the farms.

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          I was wrong about Whole Foods Market, you were right.

                                                                          Their grain fed beef comes from a huge cooperative of giant ranches, but their grassfed beef all comes from small local ranches. There is a cooperative of 15 small ranches that supply 18 Whole Foods Market stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The cooperative is called Grassfed Livestock Alliance http://www.grassfedlivestockalliance....

                                                                          The Whole Foods Market where you buy grassfed beef is probably buying the beef from a small cooperative of ranchers located near you.

                                                                          I am definately going to have to start raising grassfed beef.

                                                                          You have every right to say "I told you so". You were right.

                                                                          1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                            Damn right, I was! :-)

                                                                            My sig line: "often wrong, never in doubt."

                                                                    2. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                      the biggest health benefit to grass fed and finished beef is the high omega 3 content (versus grain fed has high omega 6). its not just for celiacs and wheat or corn allergies. i only eat grassfed beef because it is healthier for me AND for the cow AND for the environment. sure it is expensive (i live in the city and don't have a big freezer for 1/4 or 1/2 cow shares), but imho, i would rather pay the small scale rancher direct (i.e. novy ranches at my local farmers market - although its all dry aged which doesn't make sense to me for cheaper cuts of meat) or butcher (i.e. lindy and grundy) or whole foods ($29.99/lbs for filet here) than pay doctors and hospitals. plus the expense keeps you from over eating beef. there is a market, a huge and growing market for quality grass fed beef and in 2009 i had a new year's resolution to learn to enjoy the "gamier" flavor of grass fed beef over corn. now i will never go back.....

                                                                      1. re: tamizami

                                                                        The market is going our way... fortunately. There are more than just omega 3 benefits... grass fed beef has more CLA and lower arachidonic acid. Grass fed meat isn't pro inflammation the way grain fed is.

                                                                          1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                            Not buying it. Neither are any objective scientists or medical professionals.

                                                                            You may have confused me for someone who makes decisions and ignores data. I did a whole lot of research from a variety of non commercial sources before deciding not to buy anything but grass fed beef, and to the extent I can, dairy.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              I respect your sticktoitiveness mcf.

                                                                              Like you, I've come to believe in the superiority of grassfed beef. But I prefer my grassfed beef to be finished with a little bit of corn too.

                                                                              1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                                Unlike you, my concerns were not about flavor and I didn't accept someone else's word for what was best.

                                                                                I read a lot of science. And then I found out how much better grass fed tastes, too.

                                                                                Then I found out how much better grass fed beef without any corn or grains tastes.

                                                                      2. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                        Interesting info there. I would add though that, as a Celiac, beef from any source is no problem.

                                                  2. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Maybe more like bluefish to the other one :).....Seriously though, very different end products "grass finished vs grain finished." Like just about everything else, it really comes down to the preference of who's doing the chewing.

                                                    I like both but overall I have had much better luck with grain fed in terms of "consistent" (flavor, juiciness & tenderness). ALDERSPRING has a good post above about raising good grass finished beef. Not as simple as many would make it out to be.

                                                  3. re: AngusCattleman

                                                    I buy a 1/4 steer from the Flying B Bar Ranch near Strausburg, CO every year, 100% pasture raised and grass-finished. It’s the best beef I’ve ever had! They raise certified Angus cattle. Check out their website for how they raise them. They do have their own water sources on the ranch (3 large ponds plus snow pack from the Lower Platte River Valley). They manage their pastures w/ rotational grazing, growing their own hay for the Winter, and reseeding pastures every year w/ all wild, native grasses that are drought resistant and highly nutritional. They call themselves “hay and grass farmers first and cattle ranchers second.” They take the health and quality of their pastures and grasses very seriously.

                                                    They also dry-age all their beef for a minimum of 14 days and up to 3 weeks if the customer prefers.

                                                    They can also feed supplemental grains for extra marbling if the customer wishes it, but the steer is NEVER taken off of fresh grass and never given excessive grain that would upset the steers PH balance in the rumen (which causes excessive bacterial growth and requires sub-theraputic antibiotics).

                                                    I find the meat to be rich, tender w/ a slight chew, and with an incredible beefy flavor that I happen to adore. I love wild game meats and lamb, so gaminess doesn’t offend me, and I *know* what gaminess tastes like. My beef doesn’t have that at all.

                                              2. re: Alderspring

                                                I've had Alderspring beef, and it is delicious! I've also ordered grass fed beef by the breed; my #1 choice is Charolaise. It's great beef and the tallow is tops in flavor. But currently I'm getting my grass fed beef from a local purveyor that raises, slaughters, dry ages, and delivers to my kitchen twice a month. "Burgundy Beef," for any in the DFW area who may be interested.

                                                I grew up on grass fed beef. It was not until after WWII that corn fed feed-lot beef flooded the market as a means of meeting the demand of a large jump in U.S. population. Turns out corn isn't very good for cattle, nor for the people who eat the cattle that eat the corn! If you want citings, just Google "benefits of grass fed beef." Netflix also has several documentaries dealing with the subject.

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  One of the problems these days is people don't want all the cuts that come in the package. My question would be this: Could a customer buy just the high quality cuts such as rib steaks, shortloins, striploins, filet .......... along with say 2 lb bags of burger.

                                                  If they could, the next hurdle is what would the cost be? Currently, a whole Certified Angus Beef 21 day wet aged top choice 0x1 strip loin can be had for about $6.50 lb. which translates to about $7.50 lb portioned out. The same sub primal cut of grass finished at a place like whole foods is close to $20.00 lb. How much would this sub primal be through a local rancher? I can venture a guess but I would rather hear it straight from a small rancher.

                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                    There aren't a lot of purveyors of grass fed beef who insist you buy a half or even a quarter of a steer. You CAN buy it that way if you wish -- even a whole carcass if you have a freezer big enough -- but for the most part there are multiple choices of which cuts you want, the price per pound is clearly given, and you order what you want. Shipping costs are set out at check out. It's a pretty straight forward process, but occasionally you may be notified that they've run out of a popular cut you've ordered. Try it, you'll like it! '-)

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      We know that, but to get the cost per lb down while preserving choices about how it's cut usually requires a half purchase. A quarter usually has a minimum amount of ground meat and a set number of various cuts. The main purpose is keeping costs down below retail for such meats.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        Sorry it's taken so long for me to see this. I live in an area where I can have grass fed beef delivered to my door twice a month. I would never consider buying a half or quarter beef because there are way too many of the "uninteresting" cuts that get shoved aside to cook "later." I buy what I know I will cook and enjoy, which lately runs to things like oxtail, shanks, brisket and roasts. When I do do steaks, they are usually Wagyu, not Angus, though I do love a good Charolaise steak. They're husky critters and produce fantastic beef!

                                                        I very rarely cook beef by any method other than sous vide. That method provides excellent consistency, great texture, and amazing flavor. If you're a beef lover, the price of a Sous Vide Supreme is a sound investment. I grew up on grass fed beef. Back then, there wasn't any other kind! I enjoy knowing I can eat as much beef as I like without a worry about cholesterol or blood pressure. My bad cholesterol count runs on the low side of normal, and yesterday my blood pressure was 120/73. Not too shabby for age 79! Yay grass fed beef...!!! '-)

                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                          I just bought and cooked my first Akaushi beef meal, ribs this time.

                                                          Places where you buy a half will cut it how you want it, which is a benefit if you can't have it delivered twice monthly the way you want it, which sounds wonderful!

                                                          I don't want to cook my meals in plastic, so no sous vide for moi.

                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                            I'm smiling, and if you have an aversion to plastic (good luck in this day and age!), I assume you are aware that ALL beef comes from the meat packer wrapped in plastic today?

                                                            But I do agree that there are SOME plastics that should never touch food. The sous vide bags I use do not fall in that category. (I hope!) '-)

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                Yes, I get beef in plastic, but I don't heat anything in it, nor do I use plastic containers in my own home. I can't avoid it all, of course, but food grade or not, I just don't want to heat stuff in plastic.

                                                                The other thing is, I don't like the texture of sous vide foods always, like salmon, for instance.

                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                  I agree about ANY fish sous vide. But sous vide now reminds me of microwave ovens when they were new to the market. Ridiculous ends that didn't end well! My mother-in-law sent me a special 'grill' to cook steaks with a microwave. It was made of pyroceram that had metal embedded in it, and you had to heat it on high in the microwave for 20 minutes, then take it out an lay the steaks in it. SMOKE BOMB! And it was a short cut to ruined beef. There are a LOT of things that should not be cooked sous vide. But for those that should, it's fantastic! But it is just ONE of MANY tools in my kitchen. I use 'em all! '-)

                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                    I know the Eades are really high on it, as are quite a number of Top Chefs... Enjoy!

                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                          I have had it and when everything is perfect its delicious. The problem is consistency.

                                                          I have a butcher friend who can and does occasionally bring it in for very affluent people. He has been in the business for over 40 years, knows all the local farmers and their track records. He will tell you up front there are so many variables he just can't guarantee the product. This guy is old school too and deals mostly in hanging meat and custom ages it for very high end restaurants. He forgot more than most of today's meat cutters know.

                                                          That post above from Alderspring detailing how it took them years of experimentation to come up with a good grass finished product is a good read.

                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                            Cooking grass fed beef is very different than cooking grain fed beef, and if you don't know what you're doing, you can very easily end up with an unappetizing mess and blame it on the beef instead of the cook! Grass fed cooks quicker at lower temperatures than grain fed beef. At my age, I have a major advantage over those who are under 50. It's what I grew up with, and cooking it 'comes natural.'

                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                              I learned the hard way, and now that I cook it lower and slower after an inital sear, I'm always amazed how velvety and buttery a lean looking steak can taste.

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                I have pretty much perfected the finger press to hit med rare every time. My issue is the gamey/liver flavor that unfortunately often comes with grass finished. 50% of the time I detect that flavor and it just does not appeal to me. So many variables with grass finished (vs) feedlot grain finished. Hopefully as time goes on some of these variables can be better controlled.

                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                  I don't think the livery flavor is from grass finishing, I think it's from packaging it with too much blood, not adequate hang time or aging. In all these years, I've never had a livery one, and I only had one very bloody and tough one. Heritagefoodsusa.com refunded me the cost, no questions asked.

                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                    I don't think the livery flavor is from grass finishing, I think it's from packaging it with too much blood, not adequate hang time or aging.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      I have been told by people in the business that some of the key factors effecting the flavor of grass finished beef are: Soil, rainfall, the type of grass the animal is finished on, the maturity of the grass & whats growing with the grass. In addition, with no grain to fatten them up, genetics are extremely important. Bottom line, many many variables often leads to inconsistent flavor.

                                                                      Most beef these days is wet aged in cryovac bags. Studies have shown that this wet aging increases tenderness but does not really have much impact on flavor like dry aging does. I have read that aging to long in the bag can give the meat a bloody sour livery flavor. I have seen many old subprimals where the cryovac was puffy and had lots of puddled blood. My guess is this is what they are talking about but I never bought one to find out.

                                                                      It sounds like your getting your beef from a small farmer who does everything right from start to finish including at least some dry age. You might be a little disappointed if you bought some grass finished beef at the supermarket chain.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        I have bought much of my grass fed beef at a supermarket chain, as I stated; OBE organic from Oz.

                                                                        I have yet to find a small farmer to buy from locally, so I go to Whole Foods for their use of regional sources, too.

                                                                        Yes, where they graze effects taste but the liver problem appears to have more to do with poor processing.

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          Our local Shoprite Australian Grass finished was terrible. Will be trying their new brand of grass finished soon.

                                                                          A co-worker who is a steak fanatic bought all his grass finished beef from Whole Foods. He said sometimes it was great, some times good and sometimes down right terrible. He said the most consistent thing about it was the super high price.

                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                            I have found Whole Foods grass fed and finished ribeyes to be the same price as the "natural" angus grain finished beef at my local natural grocery and bette than the slightly higher priced OBE organic at Fairway.

                                                                            Have never had an off piece yet.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              This is where you find grassfed beef from a local farmer:

                                                                              http://newyork.craigslist.org/search/...

                                                                              The off taste of some grassfed beef is caused by poor nutrition in the animal's diet. If you buy your beef from an animal that is eating plenty of lush green grass, the flavor will be excellent. If you buy your beef from an animal that has been kept on short, overgrazed pastures, or on dead, dry grass pastures, the flavor will be unpleasant. Buy your grassfed beef locally when the grass is green.

                                                                              1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                                This is where you find it, other than stores. eatwild.org

                                                                                I think it's kind of soon for your advice on where to find it, since you only recently came to the conclusion that it might be worth trying.

                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                  I've been raising cattle for 17 years. I've been feeding cattle to produce my own beef for 5 years. I've been feeding and tasting both grassfed beef and grainfed beef for just long enough to think that I've figure out why some beef tastes really good and why some beef tastes really bad. My recent conclusion is that cattle that are fed the most nutritious diet, whether they are grassfed or grainfed or fed both grass and grain, will have the best taste.

                                                                                  1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                                    Hi, AC:

                                                                                    Gee, only 17 years of experience? How dare you deign to disagree with an urbanite who's never tasted a bad piece of grass-fed beef! My family's been raising and feeding beef cattle for 3 generations, and you're spot on.

                                                                                    Do a search. You'll learn that any disagreement is very presumptuous on your part.

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                      I am a huge beef fan and buy only sub primals. With feed lot grain finished, I can look at the first cut end of a whole striploin, check marbling, fat color, lean color & texture and pick one that I can be 90% sure will be high choice / low prime and out of this world delicious and tender.

                                                                                      With grass finished I am clueless, especially with regard to flavor. A friend is an old school butcher and he said the same thing when it comes to the flavor, IE "you just don't know with grass finished until you bite into it." For this reason I have not bought a whole grass finished striploin for fear of being stuck with a whole lot of not so good tasting beef.

                                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                                        Here is an option for the dilemma of uncertainty with grassfed beef. If you are thinking about buying grassfed beef, find someone who will sell you a single steak. If you like the flavor, buy more beef from the very same animal that the steak came from. Anyone who is producing good beef is going to be putting some away for themselves, they'll have beef in their freezer that you can "try it before you buy it". You don't have to buy a whole lot of beef without knowing what you are getting.

                                                                                        With feedlot beef you will definately get consistent beef, but you are not going to get the best tasting beef. But your not going to get the worst tasting beef either. If you can find someone that is raising good beef that has been eating grass up until its very last day, you'll probably be surprised by the difference in taste and refuse to eat feedlot beef ever again.

                                                                                        But if you get poorly fed beef that has been eating grass, it could turn you off of grassfed beef forever.

                                                                                        If you are a huge beef fan, and you are buying primals, you should get hooked up with someone who is doing a better job at feeding their beef, better than feedlot, commodity beef. I can't tell you who that person is, or even if there is someone raising better beef near you. But if you are buying grainfed beef from a grocery store or purveyor, you are getting feedlot beef. It's convenient, it's consistent, but it's not "to-die-for". I'm a huge beef fan too, and I'm lucky that I can raise my own beef because grocery store beef, feedlot beef, does not have the great taste that I was looking for.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          Amen, Brother Tom!

                                                                                          It sounds so poetic, the vision of happy cattle, heads down, wandering freely, bellies-deep in lush green grass, making for the best-tasting beef... until you watch the bloat, the Out Holes, and the projectile diarrhea geysers (and the vet bills for foundering). IMO, a steady diet of lush green grass isn't necessarily a good thing for the animals or the meat, just as full-time grain isn't. I *mow* my pastures when the grass needs it and my steers don't.

                                                                                          But what do I know?

                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                2. re: mcf

                                                                                  "Grass finished" ....."Natural"......."Organic"

                                                                                  The term grass finished is pretty straight forward. I wonder though about the other terms. Seems there has been one scandal after another with the other terms.

                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                    I may have screwed up. Shoprite says one thing but Claytons site says "Organic grass fed, organic GRAIN finished".

                                                                2. re: Tom34

                                                                  Assuming that a forage based diet costs twice as much as a grain based diet, an average cost of $5.50 per pound of carcass weight, or $8.40 per pound of retail product for all cuts (steaks, roasts, ground beef, cut and wrapped) would not be out of line if you purchase a half beef.

                                                                  Burgundy's Prices:
                                                                  Hamburger - $7.00 to $8.50/Lb, Sirloin Steak - $12.39/Lb, Strip Steak - $17.33/Lb, Ribeye - $22.67/Lb, Fillet - $32.00/Lb

                                                                  Alderspring's Prices:
                                                                  1/8 Beef - $5.50 to $6.70/Lb. for Mixed Cuts and Hamburger
                                                                  Hamburger - $7.45 to $ $9.10/Lb, Sirloin Steak - $17.00/Lb, Strip Steak - $40.00/Lb, Ribeye $46.40/Lb, Fillet - $62.00/Lb

                                                                  The same cuts of beef from an all-natural, pasture raised, grain fed beef would be about half the price as an all-natural, pasture raised, grass fed beef. Grass fed beef is not cheap, I raise my own beef and I can't afford to eat grass fed. If you are buying grass fed beef for the first time I certainly would not recommend buying a large quantity of beef. You'd better know what you are getting and how it will taste before you put the money down.

                                                                  1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                    I've been buying and loving grass fed beef for a decade or so.

                                                                    If I buy a grass fed, organic ribeye at retail, I pay less than half what you listed there: $20. For non organic, $17.

                                                                    You keep making stuff up.

                                                                    1. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                      my whole foods charges comparable prices for 100% grass fed and the grain finished (organic) beef cuts (the bison is also priced comparably). i'm in an expensive market and our rib eye's are about $20/lbs. i like to buy cheaper cuts though from the butcher, i.e. flatiron's (chicken steak) @$13/lbs. i never buy ground beef, only the cuts and grind myself. and if you are willing to eat frozen beef, you have a myriad of choices online for grassfed....

                                                                      but you are correct, the taste can take getting used to for some. a little garlic powder is a great equalizer, though.

                                                                      1. re: tamizami

                                                                        I have never had an off tasting piece of grass fed beef. Nor would I never use garlic powder on it!

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          to each his own, but i needed garlic at first to help me transition to the different taste from corn fed (which is probably more like no taste). i still need garlic on bison, its just too gamey for my preference. i no longer use garlic on my grassfed beef.

                                                                          but this does bring up a point that proper cooking of grassfed beef also makes a difference in the outcome compared to CAFO beef. i never salt my beef before cooking, always bring to room temp before cooking (1-2 hours before), never cook above medium rare (comes off of heat at 120F), always rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. and it helps to know that it cooks about 30% faster than CAFO beef.

                                                                          1. re: tamizami

                                                                            I will often serve flank steak with a garlic aioli, but garlic cooked on a steak turns bitter, and garlic powder especially.

                                                                            I always have brought beef to room temp prior to cooking and let it rest after cooking. But I also season it with either salt and pepper or a more complex rub an hour or so before cooking, too.

                                                                            It sounds like you have the technique down, cook it slower, let it finish cooking while resting and don't over cook.

                                                                            I find that a 2" thick ribeye seared over high direct heat, then finished at medium indirect heat is very buttery and delicious.

                                                                            Bison isn't gamey to me but I hate how lean it is, not enough flavor, IMO.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              so you don't find that the salt dries out your meat? i have read that salting grass fed beef can dry it out....

                                                                              yes, if i'm not grilling, a good high heat sear (i use a little lard for this, leaf lard has no flavor or i'll use some saved bacon grease) and finished in a 350F oven is a great way to do a nice thick grass fed rib eye.

                                                                              1. re: tamizami

                                                                                Nope. If anything, it may help me get the char crust, but the interior is med rare and very moist and buttery. Lots of juices.

                                                                                I do it on the grill the whole way, except last night due to snowy weather. Then I did seared and used the oven, but at 400.

                                                                      2. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                        My primary purchase is the whole 0x1 strip loin. If I get it from my buddy (my private stock) its dry aged on the bone for several weeks. Wife and kids like the wet aged and I often get the whole 0x1 CAB for them.

                                                                        Wet aged CAB is about $7.50 portioned. My Dry aged is probably $14.00 portioned.

                                                                        Taste is an individual thing. A nice thick med rare top choice / low prime grain finished strip steak is one of my favorite meals and I grill them over lump charcoal. It is extremely consistent. l only eat it 2x a month so the health concern is not that great to me. (When compared to processed foods & Asian farm raised seafood)

                                                                        I have had great grass finished steak, Ok grass finished and horrible grass finished. Paid the same amount for all three. If the consistency improves, price comes down a little and the kids move out I would pursue it a little more.

                                                                        As for the Omega 3, I get a good amount of that from my other vice, "Seafood".

                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                          there isn't much seafood i eat these days, i am quite concerned about the mislabeling and 95% of the industry shipping their fish to china for processing (i.e. deboning)....and of course the mercury levels. i do enjoy wild alaskan salmon and loves me some anchovies, though. i'm pretty sure 90% of my omega 3 levels come from grass fed beef and pastured eggs....

                                                                          1. re: tamizami

                                                                            Yeah, I don't have the chart in front of me but I think wild salmon is a good source of omega 3. Mercury is a concern in certain species and I do limit intake of those. Many red flags have been coming up with much of the Asian farm raised seafood for unregulated antibiotic use and heavy metals among other things. Processed foods and lunch meats loaded with nitrates are another concern.

                                                                            Increasing consumption of the healthier foods & decreasing consumption of the less healthy foods, balance, common sense & limiting overall caloric intake seem to work well for me but the last can be a problem adhering to :)

                                                                            1. re: Tom34

                                                                              I know you agree with me that "common sense" is an oxymoron.
                                                                              :-)

                                                                              All we can do is the best we can do... make the healthiest choices and the most environmentally responsible ones we can.

                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                Common Sense / oxymoron................. Definitely! I think some of the nitrate issues will be dealt with in the near future.

                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                  "I know you agree with me that "common sense" is an oxymoron. :-)"

                                                                                  I'm tickled whenever someone makes a derivative of this comment. It strikes me that implied within the comment is the notion that the speaker is among the rational few who *have* "common" sense.

                                                                                  Do others get this sense, too?

                                                                                  I just always found that to be funny :-)

                                                                                  1. re: alarash

                                                                                    Oh yeah... And elevated to this level of discourse, it becomes an absolute Mobius loop of comedy...

                                                                          2. re: AngusCattleman

                                                                            Here are the price lists from the two farms from which I purchase my beef. The first is also organic.

                                                                            100% Natural, Grass-Fed Beef (Dry aged two weeks for tenderness)
                                                                            Our Herd is Certified Organic by PCO
                                                                            All Meats are Frozen, Vaccum packed, and Sold by the lb. Weights will vary.
                                                                            Ground Beef (all 1 lb packages)
                                                                            Premium Ground Roast (taken from our Premium Roast) $6.50/lb
                                                                            Ground Beef (regular) Estimated Ratio--85/15 $5.00/lb
                                                                            Package of 4 regular 4oz Burger Patties $5.50/lb
                                                                            sold out Ground Beef (super lean) Estimated Ratio--95/5 $5.50/lb
                                                                            Package of 4 super lean 4oz Burger Patties $6.00/lb
                                                                            Premium Cut Roast
                                                                            Standing Rib Roast (avg 3.5 lb.) $15.99/lb
                                                                            Roasts Average 2.5 lb / 2 inch thick
                                                                            Chuck (Note: These roasts are averaging around 2.5 to 3 lb.) $6.50/lb.
                                                                            Shoulder $6.50/lb.
                                                                            Round (boneless) $6.50/lb
                                                                            limited Sirloin Tip (boneless) $7.50/lb
                                                                            Brisket (boneless) Approx. package weight-- 3 lbs. $8.50/lb
                                                                            Specialty Steaks (Average 1lb size/ 1.25 inch thick)
                                                                            Sirloin (boneless) $11.99/lb
                                                                            T- Bone $11.99/lb
                                                                            Porterhouse $11.99/lb.
                                                                            Premium Steaks (Average 1lb size/ 1.25 inch thick)
                                                                            Rib Eye (Delmonico) (boneless) $14.99/lb
                                                                            New York Strip (boneless) $13.99/lb
                                                                            Thin Steaks (Average package size normally 1/4 to 1/2 lb--unless otherwise noted)
                                                                            Shaved Steak (Sandwich Steak) (1/2 lb. packs) $14.99/lb.
                                                                            Fillet Mignon (boneless) $16.99/lb.
                                                                            Skirt Steak $12.99/lb
                                                                            Hanger Steak $12.99/lb
                                                                            Flank Steak (boneless) (may weigh close to 1 lb.) $14.99/lb
                                                                            Other Beef Options
                                                                            Beef Short Ribs (Like pork spare ribs except it is beef ) 1 lb. pack $6.00/lb
                                                                            Suet (for rendering into beef tallow) (Bags weighing 2-3 lb. each) $3.49/lb.
                                                                            sold out Stew Meat (1 lb. Pack) $5.25/lb
                                                                            Beef Sausage
                                                                            It's back! Fresh Beef Sausage - Loose (1 lb. Packs) $8.25/lb
                                                                            Sweet Italian Beef Sausage Patties - 1 lb. Packs (4 Patties) $8.25/lb
                                                                            Organic Beef Organs
                                                                            limited Heart (whole) $5.00/lb
                                                                            Tongue (avg. 1.5 lbs. each) $6.50/lb
                                                                            limited Liver (pre-sliced, 1-2 lb. pack) $6.50/lb
                                                                            Kidney $3.50/lb
                                                                            limited Oxtail $8.00/lb.
                                                                            Beef Bones
                                                                            Shank Roast (Marrow bone with a good bit of meat left on. Excellent for meaty soups and bone broth) Approx. 1 lb. pack $5.50/lb.
                                                                            Knuckle Bones (2 knuckles per bag, 2-3 lbs total) (Knuckles not only contain marrow, but also the added benefit of collagen from the joints.) $4.00/lb.
                                                                            Soup Bones (bags weighing 2-3 lb.) (Rib bones, etc.) $2.00/lb.
                                                                            limited Marrow Bones (In bags weighing 2-3 lb.) $5.00/lb

                                                                            This is the second farmer's price list:

                                                                            CURRENT PRODUCT AND PRICE LIST

                                                                            HEDGEAPPLE FARM


                                                                            100% Natural, 100% Grass-Fed, Black Angus Beef





                                                                            PRODUCT
                                                                            Price


                                                                            Per/LB

                                                                            Ground Beef


                                                                            Lean Ground Beef (90% lean)
                                                                            $5.95

                                                                            Lean Ground Beef (5 LB Chubs)
                                                                            $4.95

                                                                            Beef Burgers (6 Ounce Patties)
                                                                            $5.95




                                                                            Steaks


                                                                            Delmonico (Ribeye)
                                                                            $19.95

                                                                            New York Strip
                                                                            $19.95

                                                                            T-Bone
                                                                            $17.95

                                                                            Porterhouse
                                                                            $18.95

                                                                            Tenderloin (Filet)
                                                                            $24.95

                                                                            Top Sirloin Steak
                                                                            $11.95

                                                                            Flank Steak
                                                                            $15.95

                                                                            Skirt Steak
                                                                            $13.95

                                                                            Hanger Steak
                                                                            $15.95

                                                                            Sirloin Tri Tip
                                                                            $11.95




                                                                            Beef Value Cuts


                                                                            Flat Iron Steak
                                                                            $13.95

                                                                            Ranch Steak
                                                                            $8.95

                                                                            Petite Tenders
                                                                            $11.95




                                                                            Roasts


                                                                            Standing Rib Roast
                                                                            $18.95

                                                                            Boneless Rib Roast
                                                                            $18.95

                                                                            Beef Brisket
                                                                            $5.95

                                                                            Sirloin Tip
                                                                            $9.95

                                                                            Eye of Round
                                                                            $7.95

                                                                            Rump Roast
                                                                            $7.95

                                                                            London Broil
                                                                            $7.95

                                                                            Mock Tender Roast
                                                                            $8.95







                                                                            Other Cuts


                                                                            Beef Cubes (Stew)
                                                                            $6.95

                                                                            Chip Steak (Sandwich Steaks)
                                                                            $6.95

                                                                            Beef Short Ribs
                                                                            $4.95

                                                                            Beef Back Ribs
                                                                            $3.95

                                                                            Soup Bones
                                                                            $5.95

                                                                            Shredded Beef BBQ
                                                                            $6.95

                                                                            Beef Jerky (Per Pack)
                                                                            $5.50

                                                                            All Beef Franks (8/LB)
                                                                            $6.95

                                                                            Dog Bones
                                                                            $3.95

                                                                            As you can see, their prices are nowhere near what you present.

                                                                  2. I live in NYC now but I grew up in Nebraska (cattle country). I can definitely taste the difference between beef that comes from cattle that were fed various ingredients. Personally, I am partial to the flavor of beef from cows that are fed corn. In the stores in the east coast, you tend to get beef which is fed other grains (wheat, oats, etc..) and I don't think that beef has nearly as much flavor as corn-fed beef. Grass, alas, I don't like the taste of but I do concur that it has a lot less fat.