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May 9, 2008 08:38 AM

Organic Meat Prices, what's normal?

I am thinking about venturing into the world of organic meat, maybe I am naive but the prices at The Healthy Butcher and Cumbraes seem ridiculously high to me.

Are their prices normal? Is there anywhere to get cheaper organic meat in Toronto?

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  1. I have paid about $40 for 2 strip steaks or rib-eyes at HB, is pricey but not compared to a steak house $45+ each, since I love to cook I enjoy making it myself, and, I have changed my meat intake to allow for less but at a higher quality, plus the whole environmental and humane thing...IMHO it is a fair trade off, as far as finding a cheaper way to do it, lemme know if ya find one!!...places like Fiesta Farms have some organic meats in their coolers and a steak would be cheaper there, but they are thinner and I would assume wet aged, so just not up to the quality of the butchers you mentioned...

    Here is another place that looks to be in line with Cumbrae's and Healthy Butcher, though I haven't been, called: The Butcher, 2636 Yonge (at Craighurst) (416) 483-5777...

    1. Some Health food stores sell Beretta Organics and/or Rowe Farm "Natural"...Dufferin Grove Market (Thursdays, 3 - 8 PM) have Beretta, and you can order in advance by phone for a pickup..Go to Beretta website <> and d/l an order form for a listing with prices. Or get their email newsletter.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dean Tudor

        I order from Beretta and it is fantastic. You actually see and taste the difference - there is less shrinkage when cooked and the meat is more earthy (though not necessarily gamey) and tender. I find the prices to be a bit more than regular meat prices but I think cheaper than buying it in the store. But they do require a $150 shipment so we do it about once a month. We definitely eat less meat, but it is higher quality.

      2. Organic meat prices are what drove me to go vegetarian way back when. Based on the amount of organic meat we could afford it was just easier to go veg. We've started eating a bit more meat lately, and the little meat we cook at home is organic. I've got a $25 chicken sitting in my fridge to be cooked for dinner tonight. At $5.99/pound, the final total was a bit breath-taking. I don't know if that price is typical or not - we got this one at St. Lawrence Market, one of the poultry vendors in the south building.

        8 Replies
        1. re: SherylKirby

          As mentioned in another thread Vince Gaspari (south side of Bloor just west of Ossington) has Mennonite-raised free range chickens for 2.69/lb.

          Fiesta Farms on Christie just north of the Pits carries Rowe Farms meat products.

          1. re: mrbozo

            Is the stuff at Vince Gaspari also organic - or just free-range?

            I have some issues with Rowe - the language used in their marketing info is a little too vague for my liking. "Natural" means nothing these days. Rowe uses "organic feed" but isn't organically raised - ie. free-range.

            1. re: SherylKirby

              I must agree with you SK, I was at Fiesta Farms a few nights ago and saw Rowe farms meats for the first time, but nothing on the packaging said what it actually was...had the vibe but no hard facts, I figured that they'd certainly say organic, free-range, etc. if it was any of those things...

              1. re: Recyclor

                Can't say re "organic" (also a rather loose marketing term) but product from both tastes better than the synthetics/water/saline solution injected stuff most readily available.

                1. re: mrbozo

                  ..that is true mr b, certainly better, but I can shop at places that will tell me everything I want to know up front so I would choose, if I 'm going to have the convictions to care and spend the extra loot i better make it count...

                  1. re: Recyclor

                    For our benefit what would these places be? And are they prohibitively expensive or not?

                    1. re: mrbozo

                      Like I wrote above, I go to the Healthy Butcher or Cumbraes (there are mentions of some others aswell) and though it is pricey, i am OK with adjusting my standards to suit quality over quantity, so in the end I eat less meat and thus it isn't prohibitively expensive...BTW, I'm not 100% organic or even close, but I do what I can to be healthier and take the environment and animals in to account when making food choices, meat is probally my best effort so far...

                  2. re: mrbozo

                    Actually... "organic" isn't really a loose marketing term. Although Canada won't have official regulations in place until December, many places who use the term meet the qualifications of the California certification that is the standard in the US.

                    This piece from The Star has a list of the regulations for various products. Organic chicken has mandatory outdoor access (free-range), but you can still have caged chickens receiving organic feed. That's going to create a price disparity.


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