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Grass fed beef ratings

  • j
  • Jack_ Mar 3, 2008 06:12 AM

I know a number of people here are looking at grass fed beef and local farms. If you have any experience can you please talk about it?

I've tried Dines Farms they are good but a bit fatty and "fed an all vegetarian diet" e.i. not exclusively grass and hay so they have grain in their diet. They sell at the Ft Green farmers market, The Cobble Hill CSA and I've been told now from their truck parked on the street in front of a health food store on Flatbush near maybe St Marks or 6th Ave

Staubitz sells grass fed beef from Painted Hills out in Oregon but they are corn finished on feed lots. We did have brisket from them last Passover and it was pretty good.

Arcadian Pastures sells at Grand Army Plaza and I'd like to try them as I understand they are all grass fed and grass finished.

Fairway sells OBE beef from Australia (how big is that carbon footprint) my wife got a steak their once and it wan't bad. Neer as I can tell from the OBE website they are all grass fed and finished

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  1. With regard to your carbon footprint comment, I just read an article in the Atlantic Monthly (or maybe The New Yorker - can't remember which) which said that a recent study concluded that some products produced in New Zealand and air shipped to the US actually had a smaller carbon footprint than products grown in the US and shipped domestically to your local market. The reason was that New Zealand has better growing conditions and uses a lot of wind power. I'm not saying that same calculus works for beef, but it's worth considering when buying apples, for example.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Greg

      Is this a different article than the one comparing NZ meat to British meat? They compared grass-fed NZ meat to British grain-fed meat and said that the carbon footprint was less for the NZ meat from the British perspective.

      1. re: Miss Needle

        At the risk of getting black-listed, I believe the article I'm referring to is the same referred to by Miss Needle.

      2. re: Greg

        Pardon the interruption, but if you want to discuss the carbon footprint issue further, please do so on the General Topics board, so that we can keep the discussion here focused on local sources to help the OP.

        Thanks!

        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          Trader Joe's sells grass fed beef from New Zealand, and at 10.99/lb for strip steak, the cost is the same as for conventional crap strip steak at my local C-Town. Its not the most flavorful beef, though. At Citarella, I've bought grass fed beef from Australia, at double the price, but the flavor was astounding. I haven't tried the grass fed beef from Whole Foods yet, but I have tried their buffalo, which is completely flavorless to me. (I actually had to put steak sauce on it- something I have NEVER done before)

          1. re: EricMM

            I've purchased the grass-fed ground beef from Whole Foods twice and have bit my teeth into several pieces of bone. I'm thinking that I need to get a meat grinder.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              I believe there are not one, but two beef stands at the Grand Army Plaza market.

              I will refresh my memory with specifics this Saturday.

              I have bought from both with delicious success. I usually stick to relatively less expensive cuts. Recent purchases have been burger, heart and sausages (which all start at about $10/lb).

              Although the winters are getting warmer, I don't believe it is yet possible to grass finish anything in upstate NY during the cold months, unless hay counts as grass.

              1. re: eade

                Thanks. Yes hay counts as grass. It is stored grass

      3. I'm not an expert by any means, but I believe all cows are grass-fed, at least for a while. Grass is, after all, cheaper than corn. The difference is whether they are grass-finished or not. So I wonder what the difference is from what Staubitz does and anyone else?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Andrew Hyatt

          All cows start off grass fed...then they are switched to grain/corn to rapidly increase their growth and add fat. Unfortunately the fat of grain fed beef is very unhealthy, while grass fed beef fat is actually good for you, high in omega-3's. It costs a lot more to raise a cow to slaughter on only grass, not in the cost of feed but because it takes an extra year or so to get the cow to slaughter. Also, grass fed beef can be very inconsistent in flavor, more so than grain fed...it can be nearly tasteless, but the best will taste better than any other beef.

        2. I went to the Union Square Green Market today. New York Beef co was there and they are there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I didn't buy anything because it was all frozen but the guy who was there said that if I ordered something in advance they would could have it fresh. Ground beef was around $6.50 LB and a whole brisket (about 5lbs, both 1st and 2nd cut) was $11

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jack_

            Heights Prime Meats sells Australian grass fed meats -
            They're on Clark between Henry and Hicks.

          2. I occasionally buy grass-finished beef and other meats from Lewis Waite Farm via the CSA (Astoria/Hellgate) I used to be a member of. http://www.lewiswaitefarm.com/ We were very happy with all the beef and pork we've purchased from them.

            1. Hardwick Farms has excellent organic rib eye and other cuts. They are heads and tails so to speak over Dine's, Aberdeen and so on. I have only found them in the PS Coop though. Trader Joe's is also excellent. Probably the best is Sanford Butcher up in Sanford, Maine. I go up there once a year to buy a big ass cooler worth of rib roast, rib eyes, and so on but they do deliver.

              Here is their address if you feel like taking a chance:

              578 Lebanon St
              Sanford, ME 04073
              (207) 432-0858

              1 Reply
              1. re: bigmackdaddy

                Hardwick is also carried by the Flatbush Food coop. My local butcher, United Meats on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn used to carry Hardwick but they were too inconsistent. They process for about 20 different farms and you never know what you are getting.

                I sampled Grazin' Angus farms which sells at the Greenmarket and really liked it. It's just a PITA to get too especially now the the Carroll St Greenmarket is closed for the season