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American Farmers Network - Humanely raised, grass fed, organic meats. Anyone have experience with them?

http://www.americanfarmersnetwork.com

This showed up on one of the "deal" sites, Amazon, I believe.

Pasture Raised, Free Range, No Growth Hormones, Antibiotics or Pesticides

Has anyone tried their products? I'm not a big fan of Omaha Steaks and wonder if it's similar to that or better.

It would be nice to grab the deal if the food is good!

Thanks!

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  1. Seems wildly expensive. Especially when they give no indication as to where, exactly, their "network" farms.

    1. Yes... almost 2 weeks ago I placed an order for American Farmer's $99 Amazon deal which ultimately required customers to plug their Amazon voucher codes into an order process via the vendor's website. I followed directions and, after a few days of hearing NOTHING from American Farmers (customary order confirmation or shipping notice apparently not part of their business practice), I attempted to reach them by phone (3 times) in the middle of the day. I was unable to reach a human at either 'customer service' or 'new orders' numbers, nor could I get a callback. Subsequent product inquiry submitted via their own website was similarly unsuccessful. It finally required a complaint to, and follow up by, Amazon in order for me to learn the fate of my order (and it took the vendor 2 days to reply to Amazon). According to info provided to Amazon by the American Farmers, the order is presently 'on the way' as of 'earlier in the week', and should reach me 'soon'. It's Friday evening here and I'm a bit concerned as to the state in which my order of fresh meat products will finally reach me (stay tuned for a follow up).

      In any case, I'm left with the impression that these elusive 'American Farmers' amount to a couple clueless hicks operating out of the trunk of a car somewhere and strongly recommend you find other sources for a more reliable supply of meat products.

      4 Replies
      1. re: metacognito

        Took almost a month for me to get my delivery. Absolutely horrible company, horrible customer service, and the meats are worst. After tasting the " filet ", with so much fat and tough chewing, I wouldn't feed these meats to my Afghan Hounds. They really ought to be ashamed of themselves.
        I cannot believe that Amazon would associate with them.

        1. re: Merci

          Tell amazon. They'll make it right with you or lose the seller, in all probability. They take their fanatical customer service pretty seriously.

          1. re: mcf

            Thanks to your suggestion, I did then call Amazon and they refunded me! yayyy Amazon!

            1. re: GRILLCHEF

              I got a refund also. Thanks people for posting. As I said, my dog and cat would not finish it. The meat has gristle in it and the animals aren't that stupid to eat tough junk sold to humans. What a laugh! DONT BUY THIS STUFF. IT IS JUNK!

      2. I used this deal back in June to order meat for my dad for his birthday. It came super quickly…actually before his birthday, and he raved about the meat. I decided to try it myself just now. The ordering process was pretty easy, and I immediately received an email confirmation. Maybe things have changed since that last poster. Anyway, I am awaiting my meat now. I will have to update when it arrives, and I finally get to taste.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Aggean

          Ok, the meat came and it looks great. FYI they only ship Monday-Wednesday. When they ship, they send you a tracking number. Everything is packed in freezer ready bags. Overall, I have had 2 great experiences with this company.

            1. re: dhartman

              Yes! My husband loved the strip steak, but I preferred the filets. Everything was great. I have since ordered 2 more big orders including hamburgers, chicken breasts, and boneless pork chops in addition to the steaks. Everything has been tasty so far (of course I still have a freezer full to go, but the cuts look good, not overly fatty).

        2. AWFUL!! Meat is tough and tasteless!

          1. Absolute worst steak order I have ever had in decades! The strip steak was inedible as we could not chew it... it was like trying to chew the sole of a shoe. I have been grilling for many years and know how to produce a perfect medium-rare everytime. The company said it was MY fault that I didn't cook it correctly perhaps! Are you kidding me? The filet was filled with unchewable cartilage...how is this possible with FILET? 6 cuts of meat I wouldn't feed to my dogs as it would choke them to death. Terrible customer service to top it all off- incredible.

            1. The update to my last post about this horrible product is that Amazon has fully refunded me! Yayy for Amazon! Thanks to a previous post that suggested I contact Amazon when American Farmer's blew me off!

              1 Reply
              1. re: GRILLCHEF

                Great! Luv Amazon! They refunded me also. I can't imagine them suggesting this company again.......just the worst.

              2. My advice to you: don't order this meat. It was the worst beef I've even eaten, and as an airline pilot I've had beef all over the world. Their customer service is horrible, they were indifferent and all they would do was offer a coupon. Trust me. I've also been a restaurant evaluator for 2 different companies and I have NEVER eaten filet which had gristle in it. My dog and cat wouldn't even eat the while thing. Horrible product, horrible experience. Stay away!

                1. Do not buy this meat!! It is a total rip off. The steaks are tiny and full of fat and gristle. Definitely not even worth half the price!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sammym1

                    All I can say about this "Farmers" meat is …"It's disgusting and they can't get that from healthy cows"…..Try Allen Brothers….expensive but well worth it. They serve some of the best steakhouses in the US.

                  2. Don't know anything about them I have been very satisfied with my orders from White Oak Pastures,great customer service, excellent products and a true humanely raised pasture operation. They specialize in beef, pork, various poultry,(chicken, turkey, geese, Guinea fowl) rabbits, and lamb.

                    https://whiteoakpastures.com

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ospreycove

                      I got one miserable beef steak from White Oak via Heritage foods who refunded me. More like a bag of blood with a thin slab of awfulness swimming in it. Tough, tasteless, and I've been eating gf for years.

                      1. re: mcf

                        You are correct in that there is considerable blood/juice in the steaks from White Oak Pastures, apparently they do not hang the beef carcass for any length of time; so it is cut and packaged with a lot of blood/juice that would otherwise drain from the carcass. I defrost, open,and pat dry the individual item a few days prior to use, and place uncovered in the refer, this allows airflow to further get the excess miosture out of the muscle, as well as put a little age on the meat. The reasons may be obvious why a processor would cut and wrap a carcass as soon as it is chilled, more saleable weight =more $$$. I have used another small producer from North Carolina recently, even though, for my tastes, I find the White Oak product very tasty and texturally pleasing if treated as above.
                        The North Carolina producer, Buleah Farms is also a dedicated pasture raised, grass fed and finishhed operation, but their selection is not as broad as the offerings from White Oak.

                        http://beulahfarmnc.com/

                        Hope this helps you in the quest for real grass fed livestock/protein!!

                        1. re: ospreycove

                          Thanks. I've been buying grass fed for years, lately from Whole Foods, and some cuts of OBE beef from Oz, when I can get them, at Fairway.

                          I got a big freezer and have been auditioning producers because I really don't want to buy bags of blood from anyone, and I want some hang time, too.

                    2. Stay away! We had an improperly sealed steak from them that we left in the fridge to thaw. The next morning we had pools of blood all over the fridge. I called the company and they were of no help/seemed unconcerned with the problem they created. Their response? Offered to sell us more steaks at a bit of a discount! Oy!
                      And I agree with others that their steaks are often tough.

                      1. We did the order through Amazon Local a few months ago. The order came fast, they were packaged well, and the burgers we made were wonderful. My husband always has digestive issues when we buy burgers from any of the local grocery stores. He didn't have any issues with these burgers. So far they are a great.

                        1. Keep in mind, naturally occurring beef is variable and often quite different than the beef-like product you find at mass grocery stores.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: mynameisnotjoe

                            I'm quite aware of this. I've eaten grass fed beef from local farmers, whole foods, our local coop and from around the world. (I'm an airline pilot, and have been so for 25+years). This is the worst "grass fed" beef I've ever had and my own dog and cat wouldn't eat it, was so tough.

                            1. re: thepilot

                              Ditto….that beef was horrible and the farmer should be smacked!

                            2. re: mynameisnotjoe

                              Naturally occurring beef?

                              Does it spontaneously appear in a field somewhere?

                                1. re: thepilot

                                  I guess they spring up, like mushrooms in the fields after rain.

                              1. re: mynameisnotjoe

                                That beef was horrible and the farmer should be smacked!

                                1. re: Merci

                                  The concept that "our meat is so good that we want to freeze it and ship it cross-country" makes little sense to me. As does the idea that nobody here lives near any local source of meat that is as good or better.

                              2. I'm shocked with all the negative reviews. I have bought from this place 4 times already. The first experience there was a delay with my order and their customer service took 2 days to respond. A long response but I ended up getting my order the very same day. All 3 other orders were delivered in a timely matter. I have to agree some cuts I received were on the chewy side, although i cooked those pieces on a pan rather than a grill and I wondered if that caused the chewiness. But other pieces came out great and delicious. The burgers and chicken breast are really tasty too.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: thisgirlcaneat

                                  I also had a very good experience with them. I wonder if it varies by location -- I believe it's a network of farms. I live in Colorado and received meat from 'Meadow Organics' and it was very good. If you google them you'll see they have basically the same website as American Farmers, so I guess it must be some sort of coop. Maybe different ranchers provide different grade of product? Maybe in reviews we can add location and if there's a brand on the packages other than American Farmers...?

                                  I was about to order again and am a little cautious now, but will try again. My kids actually commented on how good the pork chops were, which is really saying something.

                                  1. re: SlightlyBurnt

                                    My steaks were from a different farm....it was not Meadow Organics. I can afford Whole Foods and do not buy steaks from the supermarket. The steaks I received....over a year ago were inedible. Again, I wouldn't even serve it to my Afghan Hound. Luckily, I received my money back. Perhaps the steaks are now being delivered from a different farm....if so, good for all of you that like and continue to purchase. As for me, I only order steaks online from Allen Brothers....not only do they ship to my home, but the service top Steakhouses in the US, including top rated ones in New York and Chicago.

                                    1. re: Merci

                                      You are missing the point. Although Allen Bros. Sells some grass fed beef, the prime steaks sold to steakhouses are finished on grain, (meaning corn), feedlot finished beef has a much bigger fat cap, and is more tender than pastured, grass fed,hormone, and anti-biotic free beef; bit is not so good for YOU. Feedlot finished beef does not qualify as humanely raised and sustainable.

                                2. We loved it. Omaha was unimpressive and not organic or grass fed. If you are used to cancer steaks from the grocery store, of course you will be disappointed with real meat that was raised grazing in a pasture. Watch Food, Inc and order grass fed... Unless you can afford Whole Foods. It's "wildly expensive" because it won't put you in a coffin!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Amdaniel

                                    I can afford Whole Foods and do not buy steaks from the supermarket. The steaks I received....over a year ago were inedible. Again, I wouldn't even serve it to my Afghan Hound. Luckily, I received my money back. Perhaps the steaks are now being delivered from a different farm....if so, good for all of you that like and continue to purchase. As for me, I only order steaks online from Allen Brothers....not only do they ship to my home, but the service top Steakhouses in the US, including top rated ones in New York and Chicago.

                                  2. $35.00 per pound for boneless rib steaks that are more than likely so lean that they overcook very quickly. No thanks.

                                    1. I called them and asked them to share their farmers, they would not. They are a big processing plant and distributor out of Kansas. They also could not guarantee that their 100% certified organic grass-fed beef does not have grain. The USDA has a National Organic Standard exemption that allows 100% certified organic grass-fed/grass-finished cows to be fed grain (for weight gain...and money of course), the last four months of a cows life. This defeats the entire purpose of grass-fed beef in the first place and takes away all the health benefits. I would never purchase anything from them.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: janpence

                                        So you felt the need to create a Chowhound account to come and tell us that?

                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                          Why not? The OP asked whether people had experience/knew details about the company. This poster did.

                                          So what's your problem?

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            My problem is that the majority of the people on this post have created accounts simply to comment on this post. There are clearly employees of the company, and employees of their competitors using this forum as the medium for their pissing contest.

                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                              jpc, its not that. Its one of the first things that comes up on the Google search results for American Farmers Network. That's why there's a lot of first time posters.

                                              1. re: PhilR

                                                So you created an account just to tell me that?

                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                  No I created this account awhile ago. I just haven't posted. I followed this thread because it was interesting to see the comments.

                                              2. re: jpc8015

                                                I think you're smart to be wary of one-time posters, jpc8015, but, as PhilR says, I think a lot of people just came across this post trying to find out something about this company after seeing the Amazon deal. Besides the company's own website, there is very little information about the American Farmer's Network online. Even though I've been on Chowhound for years, that's how I found this thread.

                                                Fom my experience, a lot of online "natural" meat companies are just what janpence claims AFN is, -- meat processing companies that offer paid membership to farmers who meet whatever criteria they're claiming to meet as online entities (organic, free-range, grass-fed, etc). Another one, serving mostly restaurants like 5 Star Burger, is Harris Ranch, which -- you will not be surprised -- is not a ranch at all.

                                                Maybe some of these vendors have honorable intentions to help small time farmers and ranchers who are trying to grass-feed, but everyone I know who has signed up to supply meat to processor-brokers like this says it is expensive and ultimately unprofitable for small producers who are really trying to raise clean, maximally nutritious and ethically cared for animals, and that the producers who stick it out in these programs are usually corporate ranchers with who've created smaller side-businesses to capitalize on the growing interest in grass-fed and ethically raised meat.

                                                1. re: ninrn

                                                  Great information, thanks. I'm one of those who found this thread via Google seeking more information on AFN. I've ordered a couple times and had generally good experiences (though in my last order I did have a bad ribeye), but if the information about grain finishing is true, I'll switch.

                                                  I'm not sure what to switch too, unfortunately. Probably the best bet is to find a local source and buy directly. Has anyone used:

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

                                                  It seems to have a lot of listings for small, local producers. Can you typically purchase similar flash-frozen packs of meat?

                                                  1. re: SlightlyBurnt

                                                    SB,

                                                    There's a ton of great small producers across the country that provide products at farmers markets and directly to consumer. The other thing you can do is try to find a beef and or poultry CSA in your community. This is a great way to buy organic grass-fed beef and free range organic poultry for reasonable prices if you have local growers.

                                                    1. re: SlightlyBurnt

                                                      Depending on where you live and how Internet savvy the small ranchers and farmers there are, EatWild can be a great resource. Here in NM, they have a decent list (with some glaring absences) of grass-fed beef producers, but are really short on listings for pastured eggs, grass-fed and raw milk, lamb, chicken and pork. I'm familiar with every producer on the NM list though, and none of them are shady or making false claims. It's a good place to start.

                                                      What state do you live in? Posting on that area's board here on Chowhound will probably get you some great leads. If you have a local food co-op, the butcher or meat department manager there will be helpful, too.

                                                      Good luck!

                                          2. Like others here, I had previously made an AFN order through Amazon a few months ago. It was horrible and I sought-and received-a refund through Amazon in one day.

                                            This time, I ordered again, remembering the ease of correcting that earlier nightmare, only this order wasn't through Amazon. After contacting customer service, only was given a $20 credit towards a future order. Right. That will never see the light of day.

                                            Beware.