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Apr 22, 2011 11:28 AM

Grass Fed Meat & Raw Dairy in Paris?


I will be living in Paris for a year but am on a strict (MD prescribed) diet and grass fed meat and raw grass fed dairy are a must.

I assumed they'd be available but am hearing this is not the case.

Anyone know?


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  1. All beef is grass-fed in France.
    Raw grass-fed dairy is available in every organic products store, like Naturalia, etc.

    When you say meat do you mean just beef or other meats? Lamb is also grass-fed.

    29 Replies
    1. re: Ptipois

      Hi There. Yes, all meat. Thanks so much. I had assumed that grass fed was readily available and then a couple people were adamant about that not being the case. I'll look for Naturalia if I have any doubts.

      1. re: kbengler

        Grass-fed is readily available since grass-fed beef is the only beef you can find in France.
        Veal is likely to be milk-fed and have eaten some grass before being slaughtered.
        All ovines and caprines, lamb, mutton and goat, are also grass-fed.
        Pork is not grass-fed. Neither are birds, although some greenery can go into their diet.

        As for dairy products, the category actually transcends whether the store is bio (organic) or not. The mention "au lait cru" or "au lait pasteurisé" will be clearly present on the packaging. Many cheeses are "au lait cru", including some that haven't any label pasted on them. You should ask the fromager. Lait cru is available at bio stores and some fromagers on street markets carry it also. You can even find "au lait cru" products in supermarkets.

        I guess you'll have distinctly less difficulty eating your way in France than in some other places... This is the lait cru kingdom.

        1. re: Ptipois

          Terrific! Thanks so much. You have helped a lot.

          1. re: kbengler

            You're welcome. The idea of your medically-prescribed diet sounds appealing to me. What other restrictions (though I would rather call them opportunities) does it include?

            1. re: Ptipois

              Hi. My Dr. is a Weston Price MD. So it's very liveable. It's basically that diet and then for a lot of other reasons I'm also to exclude all grains and processed starches and sugars.

              So--grass fed meat. Raw grass fed dairy. Lots of fermented things (kraut, kefir, pickled beets etc), leafy greens and lots of veggies and some fruit. Raw coconut oil and no fear of fat as long as it's from grass fed or pastured animals, olive oil, avocado oil and the coconut. Oh, nuts (that are soaked before) are okay too.

              Very workable for me. I had health concerns so I had to adhere to it, but it's been liveable and is sustainable for the long term. Used to be a pastry chef so have been working with a lot of nut flours and batters to make cookies or brownies that are sugar free.

              I adapted my diet to the above and then found a website where people actually eat this way out of choice. It was nice to bump into it. It's He narrows down the weston price and paleo/primal world.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Pti - I was also intrigued by this diet, a diet with lots of opportunities to eat great food and on the surface a diet that makes a lot of sense in France with is cornucopia of great produce. After all what is wrong with good quality meat and unpasteurized dairy products (apart from the obvious cautions about listeria).

                An on the surface the Weston-Price approach seems good as it is basically a diet with lots of great fresh products. However underneath the common sense there are some odd views and a lot of pseudo science. Thus I think it is wise to counterbalance the "Weston-Price" references on this thread. There are lots of good references on the Quackwatch boards and other skeptic sites (

                1. re: PhilD

                  By nature I am skeptical about quackwatching. It tends to put everything in the same pouch: charlatanism, sound traditional knowledge and interesting unorthodox research.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    I think you have the cart before the horse: isn't the sleight of hand with most quackery the way it is legitimised by sound traditional knowledge? In this example good wholesome food in Paris, grass fed meat, un-pateueuriised cheese etc

                    But the watchers I have read usually draw the distinction e.g. the Weston-Price diet seems logical but dig into the detail and you need to start questioning the claims made about coconut oil - does it really cure AIDS?

                    1. re: PhilD

                      I may well have the cart before the horse. However, before knowledge has a chance to become a tradition, it has to be validated by results, otherwise it disappears. By definition, if it works, it cannot be quackery.
                      Does coconut oil really cure AIDS? I have no idea, the answer lies in checking if it does or not. Does Chinese angelica help with some female ailments? They've had thousands of years to check whether it does or not.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        I agree - although I don't view anecdotal evidence as reliable evidence of a results. The point I was making is the conflation of good practice with unproven or even repudiated theory needs to viewed with care. So does Angelica have medical properties - possibly. But so does deadly nightshade (atropine and scopolamine) or willow bark (salicylic acid - a form of aspirin) and that doesn't make traditional English medieval medicine something I would follow.

                        So in this instance getting great grass fed meat, and un-pateurised dairy products in France is great, and very much part of the French tradition, but (for the reasons above) I think it is worthwhile counterbalancing the "Weston-Price MD" references in the thread.

        2. re: Ptipois

          Really, even meat bought at supermarkets ? I've decided to only buy meat at the butcher for a while now, because I didn't want to buy mass produced meat... But from what I understand it is not possible to mass produce grass fed meat (or is it ?). In this case do you mean that all meat in France has once seen the sunshine and was able to walk a bit and feed on natural grass ?

          1. re: Rio Yeti


            The concept of a feed lot doesn't even exist here in France -- and lots of smaller supermarkets and butcher even put up a photograph of the cow(s) that are now in the display case, complete with a certificate detailing when and where she was born, what breed (race) she was, her weight, and how old she was when she was sent to the abattoir. (while I like to see them as a sign of NOT mass-produced beef, I kind of have to make the decision to not think about this too much.)

            1. re: sunshine842

              After a little research, I couldn't find anything about industrial beef in France, so it may be true, although it isn't the case for pork and chicken which more than 90% is from industrial (battery) productions... so I'm afraid beef is soon to be next...

              1. re: Rio Yeti

                I didn't make it up! I know it's true because when I described the concept of a feed lot to a group of beef farmers, they looked at me like I was from outer space, and they told me about how things work here. My knowledge of the beef production in France is certainly not expert-level, but it comes directly from eleveurs de boeuf who are currently raising beef in France.

                don't count on it changing any time soon -- the relationship between the French and their food is so diametrically opposed to that of north Americans (especially the US) that you kind of have to see it first-hand to really even begin to comprehend.

                There's also a very powerful anti-industrial food sentiment that is taking hold and is making a push-back against the current industrial pork and chicken that may well swing *back* to non-industrial systems, as well.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  First of all I live in France, and I'm afraid the difference in mentality you describe between France and USA is not as contrasted as you may think...

                  I understand you're right (and Ptipois), but if chickens are raised in batteries, and a lot of pork as well, most eggs everybody's buying in France come from chickens who never saw the sun, and finally if such things didn't exist why would there be a need for the "Label Rouge" which guarantees meat and poultry raised "in exterior" ("en plein air") ?

                  So although we may be far from the things we see in the documentary "Food inc.", in France... I'm really not convinced we're not heading the same direction...

                  1. re: Rio Yeti

                    I live in France and I used to live in the US too, and shop there for cooking. My description is also based on frequent conversations with people who live in the US. They all agree that the difference in quality between France and the US for products available in the medium range is particularly acute for chicken.

                    The Label Rouge was born in the late 1950s out of a need for an alternative to mass-produced industrialized food, and Label Rouge chickens have been available since the early 60s which does not exactly make that label a reaction to any recent situation. It is a well-settled type of quality control with a long history, and look around you, it's all over the place and readily available. It existed before there was any organic ("bio") label like AB and even before buying AOC was an option.

                    That there should be a need to protect traditional/sensible food production methods against industrialized methods is a truism and that need was actually addressed soon after industrialized food production took over in France, post-WW2. It was not enough, it never was enough, it still is not enough but there's enough of a history for it to show that the concern for food quality is not going to be crushed by any interfering power any time soon, however threatened it is.

                    The resistance of traditional/organic agriculture against standardization is not a new thing in France, it is also a complex phenomenon which evolved over time, and has influenced other European countries to a large extent. Still today some of the strongest fights for food quality at UE level are fought by the French representatives, whether they're about raw-milk cheeses, cocoa butter in chocolate or the redefining of the bio labels. In that respect France is really the 'grand emmerdeur' of Europe. There are historical and geographical reasons for that.

                    Even though many countries now have become aware of the problems and are fighting too, I think it is safe to say that France was in many ways a pioneer in this awareness which now is becoming a worldwide concern. First it acts as the exception, then the exception is adopted as part of the general rule. So there are many reasons why the state of food production in France should be considered per se, not as part of the common lot, and no reason to expect that it will be heading in the same direction as the US. It seems to me that, to some extent, it is the US that is heading in the same direction as France always did on the topic of good food and correctly grown products.

                    Of course for rhetorical reasons I am putting aside all the opposition that movement has to fight (from multinationals, etc.) and the result of the struggle is never certain, but what I wish to do here is to describe a process and develop on sunshine842's observations.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      Cocorico then ! :P

                      Seirously, thanks for this piece of writing, it's very interesting. Is it safe to say then that there is much more difference between a Label Rouge chicken and a regular chicken, than between a Label Rouge beef and a regular beef ?

                      1. re: Rio Yeti

                        Label Rouge was a great step forward back in the 60s when it was put to work, now it has a little less lustre because you can actually find good stuff and less good stuff under that label. It is not an absolute guarantee of superior quality. As sunshine842 wrote, it is worth seeking Label Rouge Landes chicken but I believe that is the result of the conjugated virtues of Label Rouge *and* Landes poultry raising. You can also get Label Rouge chicken under the Leader Price brand which is just acceptable.

                        That is the reason why, though consumers have a certain respect for Label Rouge, they like to rely on some other criteria like regional labels, Bio (AB), AOC, etc., or no label at all if they purchase the right thing on the right place (markets, farms, small factories…). Labels are a help but people also rely on their senses (sight, smell, touch) when buying.

                        To answer your question more clearly, I don't think there's a larger or smaller difference for beef or chicken re. Label Rouge, it is only a marker that at least guarantees that the product will be above a certain average in terms of production and taste quality. But it does not necessarily mean you're getting super-good stuff.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          Thanks for clarifying this. I didn't expect Label Rouge to necessarily be super good stuff, just an easy-to-look-for guarantee that the animal you're buying had a decent life.
                          I know we are on food boards which focus on taste and quality of ingredients, but for me the idea that we respect what we eat and therefore try to give the best lives to the animals that will become our meats is also important.

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    Has anyone read Bidoche by Fabrice Nicolini? I ordered it months ago but haven't been home since delivery, so I don't know exactly what insights into meat production it may offer. From the synopsis it seems to be about the rise of mass-production in French meat.

                  3. re: Rio Yeti

                    Not "it may be true", it is true.

                    I can't see why beef should be next in France. People still remember the "mad cow" episode back in the 90s and they are keeping an eye on how beef is produced. The trend and general anti-industrial awareness described by sunshine842 are perfectly real.

                    Also in France, there is such a thing as semi-industrial production regarding chicken, halfway between batterie and farm production. That's how you get the Janzé or Challans chickens, also the good Landes chickens, all available in supermarkets. Their quality varies with the labels but it is very good for the most part. I don't think I've ever seen chicken of that quality in American supermarkets.

                    Industrial production does not have to be bad if it's done the right way.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      a Landes chicken with a Label Rouge designation is worth seeking out...they're that much better. Tender, juicy, and more flavor than any bird you'll EVER find in the US.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Label rouge IS NOT GRASS FED. the cows are out to pasture 6 months out of the year and they are fed not only corn but SOY (yuck). The last three months is the most crutial and label rouge does not even illude to the fact that the cows are only grass fed. Their web site states very clearly that they are fed grains and soy.

                        1. re: mulinoo9898

                          why are you shouting at me about cows, two years after I made a post about chickens that had nothing to do with feed?

                          and since there's no feedlot system in France, please post citations to back up your claim.

              2. re: Ptipois

                that's not true. Well depends on how you look at it. Most cows are out to pasture but almost none forgoe the finally 3 months fattening phase with many many grains. And for that matter MOST are getting grains even while out to pasture. Same goes for Italy.

                1. re: mulinoo9898

                  Depends on where you go in Italy. Italy is a big place. What area were you specifically thinking of?

                  1. re: Versilia

                    Well, actually i have contacted for the past 3 yrs rachers (allevatori) from Calabira to Trieste. There are very very few who do not engage in the grain-fattening process. Most have just enough animals to butcher 6 per year for family and local customers. You can find some (mostly in the mountains) Italy does not have a lot of pasture land. But you have to specifically insist on whether grains are added even in a small percentage (there idea of small is different than yours) each day and if the cows are fattened at all. bio or no. Most assume you are just looking for bio and humane conditions- not the same thing. Grass-fed in Italy means- access to some pasture. There is no established market and there are no regulations. I have one response from a rancher with a beautiful web site lots of green pastures- animals grass fed, however in his email he admits they are fed soy and transferred to a 'feedlot' for minimum 3 months before being butchered. Better to get an animal fattened while still on pasture at the very least!!!

                    1. re: mulinoo9898

                      You just didn't go far enough north.

                      Go to the Alta Badia. Many places no grain.

              3. Hello, kbengler.

                I buy my grass fed beef and raw milk at the outdoor market on Blvd Raspail. Hours are Tuesday and Fridays until around 12:30 to 1 PM. The booth I go to for beef is Triperie Etoile de la Tripe. The liver there is probably the best I have ever eaten and the steak (bavette, I think) melts in your mouth. The phone number is 06 89 96 43 32, I haven't bought any other meat in the Raspail market yet.

                The raw milk is at a milk and cheese stall.

                Triperie also has a stand Wed and Sun at Mairie des Lilas and on Saturdays at Maubert in the 5th.

                There is a Bio market at the Raspail location on Sundays.

                If your U.S. doctor is a Weston Price M.D. then he must be low carb also. I would be curious to know if you have found a low carb doctor or support group in Paris. I am looking for both. My French friends like, too much, to eat those delicious things like bread, pasta, pizza and desserts which I am not supposed to eat anymore. I am still a newbie at this new way of eating so have little willpower when I am with them. So far have not had any luck finding this type of doctor.

                I am a big follower of Jimmy Moore and his Living La Vida Low Carb podcasts and blog . He is the one who introduced me to grass fed beef and raw milk.

                5 Replies
                1. re: forestqueen56

                  Hi Forestqueen!

                  I do have a Weston Price doctor. I have to say though, I've been reading a lot of Matt Stone's work (180 degree health) and am working on bringing up my body temperature and metabolism. We'll see, if not I'll go back to mostly Primal.

                  I DO however still need to eat grass fed meats, dairy...So thank you! What district is this market in?

                  1. re: kbengler

                    The market on Boulevard Raspail is in the 6th arrondissement between Rue de Rennes and Rue de Cherche Midi.

                    Is your Weston Price doctor in Paris?

                    1. re: forestqueen56

                      I do a Price/Paleo/Matt Stone related business and coaching, and I'm not aware of a single health professionnal open to it in France. In fact, that's why I do what I do.

                      1. re: souphie

                        Thanks Souphie. I was sure there was no doc in Paris who was open to Weston Price or even low carb. I was hoping there would at least be a low carb Meetup here, but there isn't and I don't want to start one since I am so new at it.

                        1. re: forestqueen56

                          That's actually a great idea. Feel free to contact me and let's get started!

                2. wow, im a fellow primal/paleo/weston price/low carb enthusiast too! nice to see there are others in paris! I am travelling to paris this weekend (i'm a student in london). I;'m actually looking for someone to meet/accompany me to one of the organic markets to buy some good food! (see my post today). Anyone interested in mini meet up? :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: razz90

                    I'm a subscriber to the Mark Twain school of thought: 'the secret to success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." Why not hit that market on the Bvd Raspail, buy a small piece of (grass-fed) beef, some (raw milk) cheeses, a handful of freshly dug new potatoes, tiny slim green beans and a beautiful baguette from a boulangerie artisanale round the corner. Then head on home and eat your feast slowly, lovingly and thoughtfully. That way at least if there's an ensuing food fight, you'll have had a feast to treasure

                  2. The original comment has been removed