Buying Free-Range/Grass-Fed in MSP
I'm considering shifting to free-range poultry and grass-fed beef from your standard chicken and beef. My main concern is doing this without spending a fortune. Key to keeping the expense reasonable is, of course, eating less meat. That's do-able. We already eat vegetarian one or two days a week.
Where will I get the most bang for my buck in MSP on free-range/grass-fed products? The options I'm thinking of:
Van Hansen's Meats
Local co-op (I'm closest to Valley Natural Foods)
St. Paul Farmer's Market
I know that you can buy a quarter of a cow or something similar, but that is not an option for us, since we don't have an extra freezer.
I'd prefer to buy local chicken and beef, since long distance traveling negates a lot of the benefits of organic/free-range products, IMO. I'd presume this would make Cub/Rainbow/SuperTarget a less desirable option.
Which of these options would be the best to go with for decently priced chicken and beef? Other suggestions would be appreciated as well.
Try Nature's Prime Organic Foods. My father-in-law works for them and they specialize in locally-grown, organic meats... I'm not into that stuff so I don't buy it (don't crucify me) but I've had the meats on many occasions and it is extremely good. Type their name into a search engine and you should be able to find it right away.
Well-I am almost positive it's organic ( I asked-and know the chicken is) but I have been buying these "bundles" from Van Hansen's which have been really reasonable. My husband doesn't eat pork, so they have substituted chicken for us. It's nice to always know you have "something" on hand to make dinner out of!
Kowalski's carries beef from Thousand Hills (not at the meat counter, but in the case next to it).
Last summer I discovered Chase Brook Natural set up at the Shoreview Farmer's Market. I got a different cut from Jill almost every week. Their farm is in Milaca, and I've never gotten a bad cut. I can't wait for the Farmers Market season to start so I can get back to it. I believe they also set up shop at the St. Paul Market throughout the winter, and it looks like they're at Midtown as well.
When I've bought meat at the co-ops, the prices have been pretty comparable to what I'd pay at Lund's, but I've had trouble finding grass fed/free range stuff at my Lund's - I don't think they carry as wide a range of products of that type as say, the Wedge or the Seward. I don't know about Valley Natural Foods but their website makes it look good to me.
Another place I'd suggest is the meat counter at Midtown Global Market, if that's ever within your range. Everything is frozen (different operation from what it used to be) so you need to plan ahead, but they might have some good value.