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Market Basket Meat

emylou Oct 7, 2008 06:46 PM

I shop at Market Basket often, but I never buy meat there. I'm worried about hormones and disease I guess. I end up driving over to Whole Foods just to buy meat. Does anyone have any opinions on the meat at MB? I want to get over my fear! Thanks!

  1. whs Oct 9, 2008 06:11 PM

    We've been shopping Stop & Shop for convenience, and over the weekend stopped in at Market Basket. I was surprised by the variety--MB had d'Artagnan duck breast, lamb shanks and plain, unflavored pork tenderloin, none of which seem available on a regular basis at S&S. Produce also looked very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: whs
      treb Oct 10, 2008 05:23 AM

      Aside of their sale items, steak tips, chicken, S&S IMO, is nothing short of robbery.

    2. m
      mwk Oct 8, 2008 08:51 AM


      You don't have to go to WF if you want all natural meat. Bell and Evans is an excellent poultry brand that I've bought frequently. It's sold at most of the major supermarkets, including Roche Bros and Stop and Shop. They are all natural, without any hormones, antibiotics, etc.

      Stop and Shop has it's "Nature's Promise" organic line, which does include meat as well. Of course, it's more expensive, but if you're looking for less processed food, it's a good option.

      I don't have a local MB near my house, so I can't speak to that particular store. But, WF can be awfully pricey on meat, if you don't pay close attention to their weekly specials.

      1. BobB Oct 8, 2008 08:15 AM

        The Somerville Market Basket was Julia Child's go-to market for fresh goat. Last I checked they were still a good (at least occasional) source for it.

        7 Replies
        1. re: BobB
          Gio Oct 8, 2008 08:20 AM

          Goat at the Somerville MB??? Thanks! The Reading store doesn't carry it - I asked.

          1. re: Gio
            BobB Oct 8, 2008 08:37 AM

            I moved out of Union Square a few years ago but they used to when I was there. Give them a call.

            1. re: BobB
              Gio Oct 8, 2008 08:39 AM

              Thanx! I shall.

              1. re: BobB
                itaunas Oct 8, 2008 09:10 AM

                They still regularly have it and Chelsea MB (possibly easier for Gio driving wise, both are a bit difficult to get through the aisles though) has it even more regularly, both carry pork neck bones which other MBs don't carry and a few other things. The nicest goat I have seen recently was a whole leg at the Malden Super88 a week ago. Mayflower Poultry in Cambridge also always has it at good prices and sells a lot.

                1. re: itaunas
                  Gio Oct 8, 2008 10:38 AM

                  Thank you Itaunas! With a wheelchair I have to be kinda selective about the stores we shop at. Wilson's Farm is a nightmare for my pusher, but the MBs are all good. Chelsea is probably closer to Melrose....

                  1. re: Gio
                    itaunas Oct 8, 2008 11:54 AM

                    I just wanted to give a bit of a heads-up because Chelsea is one of the busiest Market Baskets and for the most part it does not have the wide aisles of the newer stores. In fact, where there is a wide aisle, they turn the middle of it into a display. That said, there is usually handicapped parking and the checkout lines move faster. You also get rewarded with a huge selection of latino cheeses, some produce which other MBs don't carry, and the cuts of meat the more suburban MBs don't have (always oxtail, brisket including un/less-trimmed, tongue, goat and so on). Its very close to Arthur's (closes early Sat, closed Sun) and not far from Katz's.

                    1. re: itaunas
                      Gio Oct 8, 2008 05:24 PM

                      I think I know exactly where that is. Very near Admiral's Hill, IIRC,,,,,

          2. Karl S Oct 8, 2008 06:24 AM

            Let's see: I've switched most of my meat buying from Whole Foods to Market Basket (Reading store - a great store) and J Pace & Sons (sometimes McKinnon's in Everett). My wallet is thicker and the meat is often better.

            What meat do you want to buy?

            This weekend, MB had bone-in pork loin roasts on the shelves, with a reasonable amount of fat left on. I got one, brined it for just 2 hours, and roasted it (hot, then slow, then medium heat). It was the closest pork roast I've had to old-fashioned pork in decades. It was so good, when I was at MB yesterday, they didn't have any more out, but the meat cutters said they'll always cut one to order on the spot, which I did. I neglected to specify that I wanted one that had the fat cap left on, so the first one they presented was the center ribs (perfect choice of section) but with the fat cap removed, so I got the second one with the fat cap from the center-to-shoulder end of the loin. That's being save for the end of the week.

            A bone-in roast is sooooooo much better than boneless or chops.

            Oh, and the price: 1.79/lb. Not a special. The regular price.

            At Whole Foods, that ticket would be more, and they don't have as much to cut to order (lower volume) and they tend reflexively to cut more of the fat off pork than they should.

            Memo to meat-cutters (and people who want flavorful, tender, pork): the cap of fat on a pork roast is not waste - it's the point. Leave at least 1/4 inch on, and let people trim themselves.

            1. t
              three of us Oct 8, 2008 05:21 AM

              Sounds like your question is more about how people feel re. eating meat labled "no antibiotics and hormones, vegetarian feed" vs. meat not labeled such rather than MB meat vs. WF meat. That is a hot potato topicand you'll get passionate replies on both sides of the question. Try posting that topic on the Not About Food board and sit back and watch the sparks fly.

              I choose to pay the premium for meats that are antibiotic-free/hormone-free/veg. feed brands. I do not feel duped or foolish for doing so and have my reasons. I buy almost all of our meats at WF (and if you want a whole chicken that melts in your mouth, try Wise organice/kosher chickens). MB does carry some limited beef products and chicken breasts/strips that say no antibiotic/no hormones on the packaging. I've bought them in a pinch but like the selections better at WF.

              I've noticed some good sale prices on meats at WF, lately, and stock up when it's a cut I use a lot in my cooking.

              Lastly, I would question whether you have a "fear" or "concern" re. what's in your meat. No judgment, here, I just found your use of language interesting.

              1 Reply
              1. re: three of us
                marilu Oct 9, 2008 02:21 PM

                I agree with the three of us, their bone-in pork roasts are the best. We were buying them every week last winter. And they will always cut you the size you want if they don't have any out. I have no problem with MB in Danvers. My dh had a delicious porthouse steak on the grill last night from MB Danvers that was a mark down. No problems.

              2. t
                treb Oct 8, 2008 04:38 AM

                Meat basicly comes from the same packing houses, USDA Choice or USDA Select, Angus, is what it is, a grade and that doesn't fluxuate from one store to another. I don't understand why people think that WF or TJ's is any different than the other mega-marts, other than price, then they're higher.

                5 Replies
                1. re: treb
                  PinchOfSalt Oct 8, 2008 06:35 AM

                  Prime, Choice, Select, and Good are USDA grades (in descending order). The different grades mostly have to do with the amount of marbling (fat content) and therefore tenderness. They do NOT speak to whether the meat was raised without antibiotics, wholly or partially on grass, etc. Angus is a brand and has nothing to do with the USDA, other than commercial claims that an Angus choice grade steak is better than an ordinary choice grade steak. (Choice, for many years, has been the default supermarket grade for beef.)

                  There are differences between (at least some) WF beef and supermarket beef. Whether the differences are worth it to you is a different question. One difference is the use (or not) of antibiotics. Also, some WF beef is entirely or partially grass fed, which makes a noticable difference in flavor and texture. Please note that I am not saying anything negative about MB beef; I am just explaining how WF beef differs from it.

                  1. re: PinchOfSalt
                    treb Oct 9, 2008 07:40 AM

                    I can justify it if WF is stating 'clearly' that their beef has no antibitics or grass fed. That's worth more to me but, if it's just regular select or choice then IMO, there is no difference.

                    1. re: treb
                      PinchOfSalt Oct 9, 2008 07:49 AM

                      I believe that WF claims that all of their beef is raised free of antibiotics. You could check the next time you are there, or maybe other hounds know for sure.

                      1. re: PinchOfSalt
                        Aromatherapy Oct 9, 2008 11:09 AM

                        See http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/produ... for chainwide standards, which squares with what I see at my local one.

                        1. re: Aromatherapy
                          Infomaniac Oct 9, 2008 11:34 AM

                          Not to beat a dead horse, or cattle....but these standard are only words, and they look nice when you read them but, WF or any other grocery chain has no control over the meatpackers and where they get their meat.
                          This summer WF had to recall ground beef because their meatpacker contracted with another vendor that had been written up numerous times by the UDSA. I don't think either of those vendors cared about WF's standards.

                2. s
                  sultanp Oct 7, 2008 08:26 PM

                  Been buying meat there for several years. Never a problem. I see
                  the same brands (for example of lamb) at other markets at higher

                  1. g
                    Gigihsu Oct 7, 2008 07:37 PM

                    I don't have more to add, but buying meat at Wholefoods is not a sure thing either. They had to recall ground beef due to E. coli. this summer.

                    1. Infomaniac Oct 7, 2008 07:37 PM

                      I've been eating their meat (beef, lamb, chicken, pork) over 30 years now. It was DeMoulas back then. They stand behind everything. Nothing to worry about. If your trying to avoid hormones, they do have USDA labeled beef available

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