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Feb 26, 2008 06:39 PM

Where to find Organic Meats for Homemade Sausage ?

I recently learned how to make sausage. I practiced using meat purchased at my local Mexican market. I have my technique down, but want to start using nicer meats. If my niece is going to be eating this I would like to use organic cruelty free meat. With the quantity of meat I am purchasing, going to whole foods is simply not an option due to price.

I live in Oakland CA. Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? Maybe somwhere I can buy large cuts of meat that are not pumped full of hormones but also will not cost me a pay check....

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    1. Interesting project! I don't know much about your area but (a great resource for this sort of thing) lists Prather Ranch Meat Co at Ferry Plaza as one option.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Chris VR

        Prather Ranch has a stand every Sunday at the Temescal Farmers Market in Oakland.

        1. re: lexdevil

          From my reading of prices on their board take 2 pay checks.

          1. re: lexdevil

            If shaden finds Whole Foods meat too expensive, the prices at Prather's are not going to be any better. Any organic/sustainable/grass-fed/cruelty-free/any such adjective meat is going to be very expensive. If you want very large quantities, I suggest going in with other people and buying a whole hog or part of a cow . . .

            1. re: lexdevil

              Is Prather still selling their meat frozen at the Temescal stand? They told me they just need to get enough money together to buy a new truck trailer before they can start selling it fresh. I haven't been to Temescal in a while, because I don't want to pay their prices for frozen meat.

              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                Don't know about the beef, but the pork I bought there last month was fresh.

                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  I bought steaks last week and they were frozen. However, they offer a lot of different specials, so its likely shaden can get a special if he/she emails Scott (the manager of the Prather Temescal stand). They're very nice and helpful.

                  1. re: chemchef

                    Scott is great - he manages most of the Prather FM stands. If Temescal is still frozen, I'd send an Oaklander to Lake Merritt.

            2. Prather Ranch sells delicious pork - pasture raised, no hormones or antibiotics, only meat in N Cal that is humane certified. Since you're in Oakland, your best option is the Saturday Lake Merrit Farmers' Market where they have a stand.

              You may need to change your perception of what is a fair price for meat. Factory farming drives the cost down substantially, and independent, ethical ranches can't compete on a pure cost level. However, if you're making sausage you'll be using some of the less expensive cuts of the pig. It might make you feel better to know that the flavor of good meat is substantially superior, particularly with pork. Comparing Prather pork prices to factory pork prices is kind of like comparing apples to rotten oranges.

              If Prather Ranch's prices are prohibitive, your best option would be to find a local ranch where you can buy a whole or half pig, though that means spending more money upfront and freezing a lot of meat.

              1. We live in Hayward and I'd be interested in sharing a purchase of grass fed etc. etc. meat with others. Have you looked at Chileno Beef's website ( You're probably interested in pork for sausage...

                1. If I were you I'd send an email to Chris Cosentino (he also has a blog).
                  He's probably one of the most knowledgable people not only in the Bay Area but also in the U.S. I'm sure that he'd be more than happy to assist you in such an interesting project.
                  Good luck.