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Where to buy grass fed beef or farm specific beef in LA?

whiteonricecouple Dec 7, 2008 12:25 PM

We're looking to buy good grass fed beef in LA . Or better yet, we want to visit some local beef farmers in the Southern California area. We know of Frank Fitzptric of 5 Bar beef, but want to find more. Any other suggestions?

  1. Servorg Dec 7, 2008 12:56 PM

    http://www.eatwild.com/products/calif...

    11 Replies
    1. re: Servorg
      JeMange Dec 7, 2008 01:26 PM

      Great link! So many places I want to try out. Yet another reason to love California - we need a few good reasons these days.

      1. re: JeMange
        m
        michaelescher Dec 10, 2008 09:18 PM

        Can anyone tell me local places that sell either Bar 5 grass fed beef or other grass fed meat suppliers in the LA area? I got used to eating it when I was courting my ex-wife in Buenos Aires. From my experience it was vastly more flavorful than corn feed beef. Not only that but it is leaner, makes for a better life for the cow and is easier on the planet. I'd also like to find a local grass fed dairy producer but that might be asking too much.

        1. re: michaelescher
          b
          Bjartmarr Dec 11, 2008 11:47 AM

          Organic Pastures, which sells raw milk at various markets around town, also has a booth at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market where they sell milk and meat. Their cows are 100% pastured, grass fed. They're about as local as you're going to find in LA.

          1. re: Bjartmarr
            l
            lynneymay Apr 14, 2010 12:13 PM

            Sorry to say that Organic Pastures is not all grass fed. They get a ration of corn too approximately 4 pounds per cow per day, but it is organic.

            1. re: lynneymay
              b
              Bjartmarr Apr 14, 2010 05:16 PM

              Do you have a source for that? Their website claims that "Organic Pastures produces Grade A, 100% pasture grazed raw milk of super premium quality." ( http://organicpastures.com/about.html ). The guy at the Farmer's Market said that their beef is culls from their dairy herd; given the small volume of beef they sell it seems like a lot of trouble to specially feed their culls.

              1. re: Bjartmarr
                l
                lynneymay Apr 15, 2010 11:07 AM

                Their prices for grass fed beef were so low that I decided to call Organic Pastures and just ask them. The representative sent me an e-mail from Lizbeth Valdes at Organic Pastures explaining why their diet is not 100% grass fed. I'm sure they would confirm that if you called them. I'd love to get your input on this. I'm desperately trying to find a good source of local (So. Cal) , organic grass fed beef that isn't too expensive and doesn't require a minimum of 80 pounds or so per order. I'd be happy to send you the original e-mail, but here is a copy of it:

                We are 100% pasture based, but not 100% grass fed. The difference is that our cows are always free to graze on green, certified organic pastures… but they also get a ration of alfalfa and corn too. Of course, all our feed is 100% organic… but we do feed some organic rolled corn. We feed 4 pounds per cow per day of rolled corn. That is SIGNIFICANTLY less than most dairies. However, we need to feed the corn to provide the cows with protein and energy that we are asking them to expend as they make 45 pounds of delicious raw milk every day. The corn really is essential to their body condition and milk production. We don’t give much, but we do give some.

                As for GMO… the best we can do is buy certified organic rolled corn. As you know, Monsanto and bees that spread pollen are ensuring that all corn has some traces of GMO. However, buying certified organic really limits the GMO exposure. FYI, organic rolled corn costs $360 per ton and conventional is about $180. We are paying DOUBLE what conventional dairies pay for their corn for the vary reason that we want to ensure that our cows eat and produce GMO free product.

                Lizbeth Valdes

                Organic Pastures Dairy

                7221 South Jameson Ave Fresno, Ca. 93706

                Ph:559-846-9732 Fax: 559-842-8061

                1. re: lynneymay
                  b
                  Bjartmarr Apr 15, 2010 12:34 PM

                  Well, that answers that.

                  I don't have a problem with what they're feeding (they're still better than any other local dairy), but I wish they'd come right out and say so up front on their website. By using their website to give the impression that they're 100% grass-fed, it makes me think that they're trying to "pull a fast one", and makes me wonder what else they're doing that they're not telling us about.

                  Thanks for posting the email.

                  1. re: Bjartmarr
                    l
                    lynneymay Apr 15, 2010 05:15 PM

                    Yes. I agree. I actually started off sending customer service an e-mail asking the same question and didn't get a reply. So, I thought I would just call. Not sure if I will order any beef from them. Do you have any suggestions for 100% grassfed beef out of CA?

                    1. re: Bjartmarr
                      j
                      JudiAU May 17, 2012 11:43 AM

                      For what it is worth, if you talk to them at the farmer's market they are always clear about their feeding practices.

                2. re: lynneymay
                  g
                  gordo26 Apr 16, 2010 12:09 PM

                  I have never seen the beef at their booth at the SM Farmer's market - just the dairy products. I would imagine if they have it - its in the van and one must ask for it?

                  Speaking of the SM Farmer's market - across and nearby the OP booth is another farm that sells Grass Fed and Grass Finished beef. I usually buy ground chuck for burgers which always is good for $4.99 a pound. They also have pork, which I just bought and am going to try in the next few days.

                  1. re: gordo26
                    c
                    cheuimay Apr 13, 2012 02:04 PM

                    Organic Pastures also have a hub that they use to sell ground beef with a mixture of organ meats in it along with bone marrow and other cuts, but now they no longer have the certification and can only sell ground beef.

        2. PurpleTeeth Nov 21, 2009 12:09 PM

          Figueroa Produce
          6312 N Figueroa St Los Angeles,
          CA 90042-2733
          (323) 255-3663

          The stock Open Space meats

          1. f
            foodiemahoodie Nov 22, 2009 01:15 PM

            I've seen it at the butcher department at the top of Beverly Glen. I've seen it at Whole Foods too - but I'd call first.

            And the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.

            1. korndog Apr 14, 2010 06:50 PM

              Gelson's just started carrying it. I think it's Novy Ranch beef.

              1. c
                carter Apr 16, 2010 12:39 PM

                Whole Foods carried it a while back and I bought a package of ground beef just to try it out. Virtually tasteless, as in a non-taste.
                Once cooked, it had no more flavor.
                Bring me some flavor, asap.

                1. v
                  vinosnob Apr 16, 2010 04:50 PM

                  I've never found anything worthy in the LA area; I order direct from this ranch. Haven't found anything better...

                  www.alderspring.com

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: vinosnob
                    n
                    ns1 Apr 16, 2010 05:24 PM

                    Do you just buy and freeze or...?

                    What's the general strategy here for buying beef online lol; it's never even crossed my mind.

                    1. re: ns1
                      v
                      vinosnob Apr 16, 2010 05:37 PM

                      Yes, the cuts of beef that I select arrive individually packed (in dry ice) and go straight into my freezer; I order around 20lbs of meat.

                      For the particular ranch I buy from, the biggest caveat is since it's a small family operation the inventory can vary; right now it's pretty low, but you can email the owners and they'll let you know when the next round of beef is ready for sale.

                      It can also be expensive if you only buy premium cuts (filet, rib-eye, etc.), but I buy less expensive cuts (short ribs, ground beef, brisket, skirt steak, etc.) and the total cost comes to under $10/lb which I think is reasonable considering it's all organic, 100% grass-fed and (most importantly) dry-aged beef. Tastes incredible too!

                      I used to order from Open Space; the prices were much cheaper, but they don't dry-age the beef (most purveyors don't) and the quality was inconsistent.

                      Whole Foods recently started stocking Eel River Ranch beef; I've never had it, but I know you can buy from them directly and it's probably cheaper than paying the hefty mark up at Whole Paycheck.

                      1. re: vinosnob
                        m
                        maudies5 Apr 16, 2010 06:37 PM

                        I guess I could be considered a heathen on this particular thread, Ate grass-fed beef in Argentina and didn't like it all that much.
                        Felt a bit flush recently and ordered some more Prime Beef from www.lobels.com
                        What great beef! Seriously expensive.

                        1. re: maudies5
                          v
                          vinosnob Apr 18, 2010 04:02 PM

                          I love the taste of corn-fed dry aged beef too, but I only eat it on special occasions. It's just too unhealthy to eat it as often as I eat grass-fed.

                  2. m
                    mbh65 Apr 16, 2010 07:21 PM

                    Harmony Farms in La Crescenta. There is also a bison stand at the Hollywood Farmer's Market. Although I like Organic Pastures and buy milk at their Glendale depot every Saturday, I have had hit and miss experiences with the meat. The soup bones are great, a lot of meat on the bones and they make a great soup. Tried the t-bones and they were cut PAPER thin, so thin that with cooking them for 2 minutes they were tough as shoe leather. When I asked them about cutting it thicker, they said they had no control over what the butcher does. Their beef liver is very good though.

                    -----
                    Harmony Farms
                    2824 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, CA

                    1. m
                      mbh65 Apr 16, 2010 07:24 PM

                      There is also a stand at the Pasadena Farmer's Market on Saturdays selling grass fed beef, but I haven't tried it, though it is getting good reviews from 'Hounds.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: mbh65
                        m
                        maudies5 Apr 18, 2010 04:54 PM

                        Someone was selling grass fed beef at the Pico/Cloverfield Santa Monica Farmers Mkt yesterday (Saturday).

                        1. re: maudies5
                          w
                          Wolfgang May 14, 2012 05:53 PM

                          I tried grass fed beef for the first time last night. They were boneless 100% grass fed, organic rib-eyes from Sommers purchased at Sprouts in Culver City. These were from Uruguay. We grilled them over an oak fire. I did not like the steak at all. It was soft but incredibly chewy and tough. It was still pink in the middle so I doubt that it was overcooked. It wasn't dry. After reading all of the precautions about overcooking grass fed meat, I was determined to error on the undercooked side. The flavour was musky bordering on gamey. I couldn't add enough salt to make it enjoyable. I'm hopeful that a braised shortrib or a ground chuck burger will be more to my liking.
                          Anyway, I'm still going to try other grass fed cuts in other preparations but I don't see a reason to try a steak again any time soon. I just don't see any reason to eat steak if this is what it's going to taste like.

                          1. re: Wolfgang
                            v
                            vinosnob May 15, 2012 12:24 PM

                            I'd chalk up your lackluster experience to a mediocre product and possibly the way you prepared the steak. Even if it's pink, if your grill source is too hot, the meat will dry out.

                            Low heat is essential and I recommend letting the steak rest for at least 10 min. after coming off of the grill and don't season until you plate it. Last, try and find beef that is dry aged,; that's always a sign of better quality.

                            As for where to buy, there are lots of options for 100% grass fed beef, but in my experience, the quality is very hot or miss.

                            I haven't liked anything from markets (WF, TJ's, Gelsons).

                            The best product I've found has been online buying direct from small ranchers.

                            Check out:

                            www.hatcreekgrown.com (ranch in CA

                            )

                            http://www.alderspring.com/ (ranch in ID

                            )

                            http://www.tallgrassbeef.com/ (ranches in KS)

                            1. re: vinosnob
                              p
                              PattyC May 16, 2012 08:06 AM

                              I buy from Hat Creek Grown too and love their beef. I've tried grass fed beef from WF and didn't like it.

                              1. re: PattyC
                                v
                                vinosnob May 16, 2012 10:37 AM

                                Agree, Hat Creek is awesome stuff!

                                And agreed, WF is no bueno at all.

                                Quality -wise, it's a toss up between Hat Creek and Alder Spring, but I've been leaning towards the former because they're based in CA and I feel better about the local purchase.

                                1. re: vinosnob
                                  p
                                  PattyC May 16, 2012 11:22 AM

                                  I try to source as local as possible too. I buy all of my other meats from Rainbow Ranch but they don't dry age their beef.

                                  1. re: PattyC
                                    h
                                    hjova51 Jun 21, 2013 09:14 AM

                                    I bought from RR before. Beef was not great. Chicken was good, although a little bit small. Pork was bad. When it was shipped to me - it had a bad smell so we ended up throwing our pork chops and tenderloin away.

                                    1. re: hjova51
                                      p
                                      PattyC Jun 21, 2013 09:27 AM

                                      I agree about their beef as they don't dry age. Their chickens are usually between 2-3 lbs. I've never had any issues with their pork and it's the best tasting pork compared to any other farms I've tried so far. Did you tell them about the pork? I believe they will replace it. I still buy beef from Hat Creek. I've been buying from Hat Creek and Rainbow Ranch for about 2 years now.

                                      1. re: PattyC
                                        h
                                        hjova51 Jun 21, 2013 09:38 AM

                                        No - I did not tell them about the pork. What happened was we order a lot each time stock our freezer. I don't usually go meat shopping, we just pull from our freezer. I order a box of variety of pork cuts and chicken and when I got them - immediately threw them all in the freezer. Chicken was all fine. The pork; however, we defrosted a few of them and the entire kitchen had an odd smell. It was the pork but by then it was a few months down the road. So, I never reported it to them. I know it was not our freezer because the freezer was running the entire time and we have a generator. Maybe it was just a bad badge. It would be more of a hassle to report it then just move on...

                                        1. re: hjova51
                                          p
                                          PattyC Jun 21, 2013 10:07 AM

                                          I agree it's harder to source pastured chicken and pork than beef. There was a farm in Chino but they're relocating to Virginia. My current other source for pork is Fogline Farm in Soquel. However they don't ship. I'm usually in the Monterey area 3-4 times a year so I'll pick up some from them when I'm in the area. I've also been looking into California Kurobuta in Hollister and they've indicated they'd be willing to ship but haven't purchased from them. I don't know if you eat lamb, but I've been getting some of my lamb from Tawanda Farms too.

                                          1. re: PattyC
                                            h
                                            hjova51 Jun 21, 2013 10:12 AM

                                            Thanks PattyC for the info. This is very helpful. I will check into these places. I travel a lot for my job so visiting any location or even grocery shopping is not convenient, but eating healthy is extremely important for our family, especially our kids so we will do what it takes. If you happen to find a place that will ship - please post on this blog. I will monitor this blog.

                                2. re: vinosnob
                                  Veggietales Jun 23, 2013 12:11 AM

                                  Your low heat advice for cooking a steak is completely wrong... You'll toughen the meat by "slow" poaching the interior with it's only natural juices which then in turn slowly evaporates.

                                  Google Maillard reaction. That's what you want to achieve. There is no such thing as a too hot grill surface... well if you like a Pittsburgh Black & Blue.

                          2. susans May 15, 2012 01:09 AM

                            I know this is an old thread, but since someone has restarted it: I saw a grass fed beef stand at the Woodland Hills Kaiser Hospital Thursday farmer's market last week. I did not have time to stop and look closely, so can't say what brand it is.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: susans
                              SIMIHOUND May 15, 2012 08:38 AM

                              Susan, It was from Novy Ranch. The owner is a longtime well respected veterinarian from Simi Valley. Lowell Novy spent his youth in stockyards and bought a cattle ranch near the Nevada border in the 1970's. I have tried the meat and I love it.
                              http://novyranches.com/

                              1. re: SIMIHOUND
                                n
                                nikkihwood May 17, 2012 07:51 PM

                                +1. Everything we've tried from Novy is outstanding. The ground beef is usually on special at the various farmers markets, and is not that much more expensive than in the markets.

                                1. re: nikkihwood
                                  susans May 19, 2012 07:07 PM

                                  Thanks to both of you. Next time I'm bring my mother to Kaiser WH on a Thursday, I'll stop and buy something from him.

                            2. c
                              cheuimay May 16, 2012 02:40 AM

                              I've been having a lot of teeth problems lately and ended up getting a book called CURE TOOTH DECAY, which poses the theory that tooth decay is cause by nutritional deficiencies. It made sense to me so I started stocking up on things recommended to rebuild my enamel, which happens to be found in pastured and grass fed animals. In doing so, I did a lot of research on the cost of eating this way. Sprouts was the least expensive, but didn't carry grass fed liver, bone marrow, pastured chickens, or pastured eggs and I have to agree that the grass fed beef items are tasteless. I don't think that they are dry aged enough. The first time I lucked out and got a cross rib roast that, for some reason had a very tender section, which I cut out and saute. It was delicious, because it was marinated and I did have to adjust the seasoning several times. May be the way to deal with it is to marinate it overnight first before sauteing. The biggest surprise was finding out that Whole Foods was $1 to $2 a pound less than any vendor at the farmer's market selling grass fed organic and pastured eggs, chicken, beef liver and marrow bones.

                              1. c
                                cheuimay May 16, 2012 03:48 AM

                                Also, the first day that I went, Whole Foods had a sale on 100% Grass Fed Hamburger for $4.95 a pound, normally (I think) $8.00 a lb. It was delicious, now I wish I had bought more. The second time I went, there was a sale on grass fed cheese. $5.99 a lb, also delicious. The organic pastured chicken, was $4.65 a lb, cheapest around, but I felt it was tasteless. Maybe it's the way I'm cooking it. Also I saw that the package date was the day that I went, so I assumed that it would be fresh, but discovered later that that was only the date Whole food put a packaged date on it, not the date that it was slaughtered at the farm, so it could have been several days, maybe even a week old. Pretty deceptive. When I called to complain, they suggested that I call Mary's and ask them to put a pack date on their original package. Can you believe it??

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: cheuimay
                                  p
                                  PattyC May 16, 2012 08:12 AM

                                  I've been buying pastured chickens from Rainbow Ranch Farms and they're delicious.

                                2. j
                                  jadekarrde May 17, 2012 11:40 AM

                                  Lindy & Grundy is a great source for meat.

                                  1. j
                                    JudiAU May 17, 2012 11:45 AM

                                    Since this thread is active again I thought I would point out that grass fed beef is seasonal and thus pretty hard to find fresh right now, as it should be. Those tasty cows are still growing right now.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: JudiAU
                                      l
                                      linus May 17, 2012 03:13 PM

                                      'tis true. bought some grass fed Novy's beef from a farmer's market last week, and it was frozen.
                                      tasty, though.

                                      1. re: linus
                                        SIMIHOUND May 17, 2012 06:46 PM

                                        Everything I have gotten from Novy beef has been frozen. The ranch is way up North and the cattle are processed in Roseville Oregon. I can't imagine how they could distribute fresh meat all over the state.
                                        http://novyranches.com/

                                    2. b
                                      Bruce Kerr May 17, 2012 10:06 PM

                                      Last year we discovered the grass fed Piedmontese beef at Marcondas Meats in the original farmers market (3rd & Fairfax) and now that is the only beef we eat. They have a full selection of cuts, professional butchers and great, helpful service.

                                      1. Das Ubergeek May 23, 2012 12:47 PM

                                        Well, since this is open again, I'll throw Da-Le Ranch out there. From Temecula. Obviously it is not processed in Temecula (for those who don't know, there are only a handful of beef processors, and you are not permitted to buy beef not processed at a certified plant, so even locally raised beef may have Kingsburg, Merced or Yreka addresses on the label).

                                        I buy it alternate weekends at the SoCo Farmers Market in Costa Mesa.

                                        1. w
                                          windinthewillows1 Sep 12, 2012 02:54 PM

                                          I am a huge advocate of grass-fed meats-beef, bison, lamb. The best source for finding a supplier is www.eatwild.com. She has a directory organized by state. Great resource.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: windinthewillows1
                                            h
                                            hjova51 Jun 21, 2013 09:32 AM

                                            Could not agree more!

                                          2. Veggietales Jun 23, 2013 12:17 AM

                                            Whenever you buy beef advertised as grass-fed in any retailer, please ask if the cow are grain finished. 75% they are grain finished, meaning they are fattened up with a corn diet 4 weeks out to slaughter.

                                            I have been buying my grassfed beef, beef bacon, pemmican, beef tallow, beef bones from:

                                            http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFro...

                                            They sell out OFTEN so I recommend buying large volumes since most items come flash frozen and cryovac. The quality is awesome. They are very transparent if they are sourcing meat from other parts of the world to supplement outside of what their herds can supply.

                                            1. westsidegal Apr 15, 2014 05:19 PM

                                              although i haven't tried their meats, i have tried products they offer in all their other categories.

                                              THEY DELIVER
                                              for two of the delivery time frames the delivery is FREE.

                                              i am tremendously pleased with them.

                                              http://www.goodeggs.com/la/?category=...

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