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organic/free range/grassfed meat - where do you buy?

i know where i can get it, but who has the best quality and best deals? i'm also wondering if there is a delivery service that you can order from locally that will bring you cuts weekly. all kinds of meat, not just beef.

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  1. so no one eats organic meat?? =)

    5 Replies
    1. re: tastycakes

      I eat it, but I just get it at Whole Paycheck. I have no idea who has the best quality and best deals.

      WP does put their Rosie organic/cage free whole chickens on sale for $2 a pound about once every six months. I wait for that, buy a bunch, bone them myself and make stock, and freeze the meat. I get six chickens worth of meat and 2-3 gallons of stock for around $50. That's the only "deal" I know of.

      If you figure out where to buy organic smoked ham hocks (not the shank; the hock), please post it here. The closest I've found is a farm in Toronto. Even my brother in Berkeley couldn't find any.

      1. re: Bjartmarr

        this place looks promising - maybe you could special order? they have organic smoked spiral cut ham.


        1. re: Bjartmarr

          Michael Pollan takes Rosie chickens to task in Omnivore's Dilemma - they are raised in a confined environment and allowed extremely minimal access to outside. Their organic feed does not include all the natural parts of a chicken's diet, what they'd get if they were truly free range. Just to note: from his description, Rosie sounds as miserable as any chicken raised in a giant thousand-bird barn.

          1. re: Stasigrace

            Thanks for the reference; I've put the book on hold at the library.

            For what it's worth, the Petaluma Poultry (the company that grows Rosie chickens) website is pretty up front about the conditions their birds are kept in -- the description more or less matches yours. While less than ideal, I do consider the absence of battery cages, the above-average space per bird, and the 8-ish hours of outside time per day to be better than nothing.

            If you are aware of a local poultry operation which provides even better conditions for their organic birds, I'd be happy to hear of it.

          2. re: Bjartmarr

            The Rosie and Rocky Jr. poultry are not treated much better than conventional. For more information read 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' by Michael Pollan. Mary's is much better.

        2. Gelson's (ask the butcher)
          Whole Foods maybe.

          1. Best deal: Sprouts
            Worst deal: Whole Foods

            I'm sure it has something to do with HOW organic it is, but 9 times out of 10 the USDA organic steaks at Sprouts is usually several dollars cheaper than the organic stuff at Whole Foods.

            1. Santa Monica Farmers Market 3rd Street and Arizona. There is a super care-conscious American bison vendor who sells many cuts including the bone marrow. Enjoy

              1. Best quality and deal so far is Fresh and Easy, but you don't buy in bulk there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: notmartha

                  Last I went to Fresh and Easy, they do not have "organic," or "grass fed" meat. They do have "no hormones/no antibiotics" poultry and meat though at good prices. I don't know if they have "free range" poultry...they may. They do have good deals on organic eggs...cheaper than Trader Joe's.

                  Whole Foods has all the above...free range, no hormones/antibiotics, grass fed, organic, combination of the above, etc. But the cost is annoying. Trader Joe's has frozen new zealand steaks that are grass fed/all natural. They are pretty good. They also have a selection of New Zealand all-natural lamb (both frozen and fresh) as well as grass fed ground beef.

                  1. re: notmartha

                    I bought certified organic gound beef from Fresh and Easy last week. The packaging said the cattle were corn fed though (OP was looking for grass fed).

                  2. Organic Pastures dairy is selling their culls, in the form of short ribs and ground beef, at the Arizona farmer's market. Get there early, as they do tend to sell out. Prices are very reasonable.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Bjartmarr

                      I wouldn't recommend buying ANYTHING from that company= my own opinion/preference.

                      1. re: Iateitup

                        expand upon this, please, and let us all know why.

                        1. re: Iateitup

                          yes please explain because I buy Organic Pastures products.

                          1. re: Iateitup

                            Hmm. Well, seeing as how Organic Pastures is one of only seven dairies nationwide to get a perfect 1200 on the Cornucopia Institute's dairy report ( http://cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/Rat... ), I too would be interested in your reasons.

                        2. I get mine from South Coast Farms CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program (http://southcoastfarms.com/grassfedbe...). They have beef from a rancher owned business in North Dakota (http://www.ndbrandedbeef.com/retailst...). The family owns their own abbatoir in Harvey, ND, that only processs 50 head per day, and all cattle are traceable from birth. All are free pastured/ grass fed for most of their lives, although depending on the ND weather some cattle are finished with organic grain. All the beef is dry-aged for at least 28 days. The beef is vacuum packaged immediately after the aging process is completed and flash frozen. Yesterday we had a top round roast with Yorkshire pudding. The roast was extremely flavorful with big beefy flavor. I can still smell it if I close my eyes. While very lean because of the way the animals are raised, the roast was surprisingly tender when cooked low and slow. I have also eaten the ground beef and ribeye steaks, and they were uniformly outstanding. Really beefy and concetrated flavor. I've bought Niman Ranch, for instance, many times and I would rank this beef as better in flavor.

                          The owner of South Coast Farms has bought land and cattle in North Dakota and will soon be supplying organic free range grass fed beef from his own herd (http://southcoastfarms.com/pure_prair...).

                          So, while the beef is not local, in my estimation there are other factors that make this worth buying, above all the flavor. I would also be interested in any sources for locally reared beef that has the same sort of raising/processing.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: stuffed

                            your links aren't working for me

                          2. Try Harmony Farms in La Crescenta. Depending on where you live and the amount you buy, he may be able to deliver it to you. They deliver to a lot of restaurants, so if you are somewhere near the route, they may be able to accomodate you. They also rent out meat lockers there.

                            1. The guy who sells sausages at the Saturday morning Virginia Park (on Pico) farmer's market and Sunday morning Beverly Hills FM, claims his stuff is organic and grass fed. I want to believe him. I buy his carne asada and while it is not cheap it grills beautifully.

                              1. Hello,

                                I have purchased organic ground meat and organic, range free chicken breasts at both Whole Foods and Costco believe it or not. Of course Costco is priced better and the taste is good. Give it a try.

                                Brownie Gal

                                1. There's a place at the Farmer's Market on third and fairfax... it's next to the doughnut place... I can't remember the name, but I bought some amazing grass-fed porterhouse steaks there last summer...

                                  1. Lindner Bison sells grass fed meat from birth to market. Their meat is absolutely delicious. I use it to make it osso bucco, my cabernet grassfed organic hamburgers with blue cheese, stock, tacos, organic beef stew bourguignon and more. Cook it low it slow. That is the key with meat that is grass fed from birth to market (has less fat), but it tastes absolutely delicious! And is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid known as CLA, which can help lower your "bad" cholesterol...... You can find Lindner Bison at the Wednesday and Saturday Santa Monica Farmers markets....

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: LauraKlein

                                      As well as the Long Beach Southeast market on Marina Dr. south of 2nd St. on Sunday mornings, which is the "southern" market for some of the SM/H'wd vendors.

                                      The bison is raised way up in northeastern California; they bring it down here because we have year-round markets here.

                                      1. Whole Foods, Gelsons, etc - expensive and poor quality

                                        Open Space Meats - bought for a while, but too much variation in quality

                                        Alderspring Ranch - BEST organic, grass-fed, dry-aged beef I've had to date


                                        1. As of today through April, DeyDey's Best Beef Ever (www.bestbeefever.com) will be selling their grass-fed beef at the Pasadena Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. The market is in the Pasadena High School parking lot. The addition of Deydey's brings further diversification to the market, which is good thing.
                                          Benefits of grass-fed beef: www.eatwild.com

                                          1. Figueroa Produce, on York and Figueroa in Highland Park, also sells some grassfed beef (though not always regularly--call ahead). They also usually stock some amazing produce from South Central Farmers for really, really cheap. Lately I've been getting some heirloom spinach from them that is really dense and earthy, almost closer to kale than spinach.

                                            1. Hi folks - if you want to discuss the specifics about Rosie's Chickens further, please start a thread on the GT board.   We'll be removing any further discussion since it's beyond the scope of this regional board. Thanks.