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Where in Phoenix: organic grass fed free range beef

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I know Whole Foods has this combination sometimes, but I prefer to support local farmers, producers, and merchants whenever feasible. Thus, I would prefer to go elsewhere.

I know Fishhugger has grass fed, but it's impractical to go there to buy it. While I would consider buying in bulk, they do not offer a good value (who needs 50 pounds of ground beef?).

So, where's a good source for organic, grass-fed, free-range beef? It can be corn-finished, too... but, nothing out of a CAFO, thank you.

At the moment, I am vegetarian by default, being very skeptical about buying any other kind of meat. (Especially now that they have approved cloned meat for market)

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  1. FYI: you can buy Fishhugger's beef @ Town & Country on Wednesdays when he is there in much smaller quantities.

    1. Earlier this year I bought grass fed beef from Maya a few times. She had it at the downtown market and up at the Farm.

      Last time we were in Tucson we sampled some beef from these folks: http://www.doublecheckranch.com/ I actually preferred their beef to Maya's tastewise. They did tell me that while they don't do the markets up here they do make deliveries up here if you order from them . I haven't investigated further yet.

      Here's a couple lists of Arizona purveyors:
      http://www.eatwild.com/products/arizo...
      http://www.arizonalocalfood.com/

      1. http://www.datecreekranch.com/buybeef...
        This is a great place to get grass fed beef.Also in the spring you can go and pick your own peaches and apples there.Great day trip.
        If you've read Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemna" you'll want to look into grass fed beef.

        6 Replies
        1. re: twodogs

          www.abarhfarm.com

          I haven't had the beef but have ordered open range poultry from them They do delivery runs to Phoenix every six weeks.

          1. re: avandelay

            I just wanted to add: I spoke with A Bar H farm last week and was SO impressed with them on every level: the way the animals are fed, the way they are processed, and her level of responsibility with the entire process... I love it. I'm beginning to order from her, she'll be back in phoenix in march, i was told.

            1. re: hzp

              Did you communicate with Anya over the phone or via e-mail? I sent an e-mail a couple of weeks ago asking about their delivery schedule and never heard back.

              Anyhoo, if you know what their upcoming delivery dates are, I'd appreciate it if you posted them here. Thanks!

              1. re: hohokam

                On the phone, on superbowl sunday actually:) She emailed me "schedule" for Phoenix deliveries (when she's at the droppoints), but not the dates... she'd said she just got one done, so the next was in march. When i talk to her next, I'll get a specific date.

                as with most people, if you haven't heard back within a short time, I'd assume she just didn't receive it. She'd said she was having email issues.

                1. re: hzp

                  Thanks. I was worried that she might be ill or something.

                  I'll drop her a line again today and ask if they've settled on a March delivery date.

                  1. re: hzp

                    Just heard back from Anya at A-Bar-H. She's planning on a Mar 14 delivery run to the Phx area.

          2. I've found it at the Chandler Sprouts from time to time.

            4 Replies
            1. re: yamalam

              grass fed? I know they have hormone/antibiotic free ....will have to look again when I'm there for grass fed, don't think I've ever noticed.

              Not grass fed or organic but they did have prime quality rib eye yesterday for $12.99/lb. Didn't try any as we were there to pick up some Alaskan Cod but was mighty tempted...

              1. re: ziggylu

                The Sprouts on Indian School (@ 28th St) pretty consistently has organic beef (usually only chuck roast, ribeye, and sirloin). I don't know that it is grass-fed, though.

                1. re: hohokam

                  I have purchased grass-fed beef at that particular Sprouts on a couple separate occasions; I believe both times it was sirloin.

                  1. re: azhotdish

                    Ah. Probably the same thing then. I just never paid enough attention to the label to notice if it said anything about the beef being grass-fed.

                    FWIW, we found the ribeye steaks to be much more tender than the sirloin.

                    We bought a batch of sirloin steaks and grilled half of them. They turned out to be very tough. I ground up the remainder of the batch and used the resulting ground meat in what turned out to be a wonderful sugo. :-)

            2. Knowing your preference for supporting local growers I would still suggest Whole Foods. The company has a comittment to support local growers for produce and whatever else they can buy locally and the ripple effect is substantial. By shopping there you ARE supporting local growers. Another point to make with regard to grass fed. I have eaten grass fed beef from an Arizona Ranch which my employer in Northern Arizona operates and I find it to be far less flavorful than most meat that I have eaten.I have had the organic beef from Whole Foods and been very happy with both flavor and tenderness. Just a FYI.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AzDumpling

                Without starting a whole debate, shopping at Whole Foods is very different than shopping at a locally owned farm. Whole Foods sources its food from around the country thereby requiring enormous consumption of energy just to truck it around. Not to mention what has to be done to it to make sure it stays fresh. Second, as far as grass fed beef goes the flavor depends entirely on the region from which it comes. Different types of grass grows in different places. I would suggest trying different farms throughout AZ to see what you like. As for the history of how beef came to be raised on corn (a very recent phenomenon) I would highly recommend The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

              2. Thank you all very much for the suggestions. I will certainly look into each option carefully.

                Just to clarify:
                (1) While WF does tend to support the producers of the foods I am interested in, I prefer not to shop there because (a) I would rather not support a borderline antitrust business model, (b) I like to cut out any middlemen whenever possible, and (c) I think the farmers that I want to support will end up receiving a higher percentage of return on their work by direct purchases.

                (2) Fishhugger does sell at T&C, and Roadrunner, but the impracticality is not the size (I don't mind buying bulk and freezing it for long term use) but the price per pound. (and i am not cheap about good ingredients, and never one to complain about why some food item is so expensive, but in this case, it is so far above any price for similar goods that I have ever seen, that I don't think it's worth it)

                And, (3) the debate over grass v. corn fed... Yes, I know and understand the role of corn in domestic food production, and this is why I opt for grass fed. Yes, I also know that it tastes different (less fatty, less flavor). And thus, this is why I think corn-finished is a good compromise sometimes because it tastes more like the meat we're used to eating (higher in fat), and is accomplished in a manner that is not as objectionable as corn-raised beef.

                Ok, that's all. In any case, many thanks for the names of the ranchers and possible retailers.

                2 Replies
                1. re: oryza

                  Western beef is mostly range fed (grass and whatever else they'll eat that grows on the ranch) then corn finished. If you go to a decent butcher shop in the Southwest that's what you'll probably get, but ask first. And the people that raise them are called ranchers, not farmers. I haven't heard of ranchers that slaughter their own beef for individual customers in New Mexico (where I used to live and still have a home there), but things might be different in AZ.

                  1. re: paoconnell

                    Wow, thanks for the helpful info; I'll have to ask about this next time. I'm used to the midwest/eastern cattle with industrial corn surplus (minus some very rare exceptions), having just moved from the mid-atlantic

                2. In Todays Newspaper. Thought it would be of interest to you.

                  To survive, small ranchers turning all-natural
                  Cowboys use old methods to raise specialty beef
                  Erin Zlomek
                  The Arizona Republic
                  Feb. 11, 2008 12:00 AM

                  http://www.azcentral.com/news/article...

                  1. There's a new source of grass fed beef in Phoenix. It's called OX Ranch (somewhere near Wickenburg). Their web site is www.azgrassfed.com. I have not purchased any there, but I fully approve of their methods. They offer beef with or without hormones, so take your pick. They keep their animals on grass their entire lives, so you won't lose any omega-3s due to a corn-fed diet.

                    The price is not bad either when you compare to what most places charge for grass fed. They say on a typical order, you pay an average of $5.60 per pound - averaged over all the steaks, rounds, and ground beef. My only concern is the amount you have to buy, but if you find one or two others who want to share, then no big deal. They even help you find someone to share with.

                    Oh yeah, you also get to spend a day at the ranch fishing, hiking, and boating if you're a customer. Never seen something like THAT before.

                    Hope that helps.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: healthnut1

                      FYI, the OX Ranch is no longer selling beef. I would suggest Date Creek Ranch http://www.datecreekranch.com

                    2. You have to go the The Meat Shop. Its at Buckeye Rd. and 3rd Ave. I believe? Somewhere close to that at least. 100% pure grass fed beef and pork. I have gotten several steaks, ground beef, sausages (D'Atri Italian Sausage is fantastic), pork shoulders, ribs, brisket, everything. Its all been fantastic. Oh, almost forgot about the bacon. Anyway, if grass fed beef is what you're looking for this is the place. Their freshest days are Friday and Saturday but call ahead for choice cuts. The place is right next to a laundromat but don't let that turn you away. The people running the show are truly experts.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bthardy

                        I'll second that. I think this is the only place to get local fresh, never-frozen grass fed beef in Phoenix.

                      2. I used to raise my own grass-fed beef and free-range chickens for myself and friends before it was of interest and I am so excited to see the importance of it catching on! My recommendations? Only buy local (which makes it difficult for chicken, but we do now have a lot of options for beef!). Always check your sources and where the meat comes from. I too love sprouts and whole foods but most of this is never local. My philosiphy: if you can't visit the farm it came from, don't buy it. Eatwild.com is a site to search for local foods but do your research as some postings can be traced back to ranches from other states. Other recommendations: http://www.jhgrassfed.com/
                        This guy looks very legit and I like what I see with his business. I am however not a fan of corn finishing but still would love to try his product. I do agree with other responses about the Wickenburg farm: http://www.datecreekranch.com
                        Good luck to all and hopefully we will see more access to farms in Arizona.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TresHermanasRanch

                          There is a Jan Holder who is affiliated with the Gila Watershed Partnership of Arizona, which has its office in Safford. Not sure if this is the same person, though.

                          http://gilawatershedpartnership.com/c...

                        2. I buy all of my organic grass fed beef, free range chicken, fish, etc. from Topline Foods in Phoenix. They have two pickup locations, one in Phoenix and another in Chandler and they also ship free for orders over $199.00.
                          I love all of their products and their customer service is excellent. No affiliation, just a very happy customer!
                          Website is: https://www.toplinefoods.com/