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Mar 17, 2008 05:52 PM

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 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).