Many of you like the idea of eating well. Organic fruits and veggies. Free range chicken. Grass-fed beef. The downside is often the expense.
I hear ya!
Since I eat a lot of protein, my meat bill is rather ridiculous. I usually get a few pounds of grass-fed ground beef and some free range chicken breasts for the week and it’s about $30.
BUT there may be another solution!
My husband, knowing my love of all things beef and my need to find the best deal possible, bought an eighth of a grass- fed cow.
I mean a Steer. After this great surprise windfall of beef, I became educated:
- A Cow is a bovine that has had a calf
- A Heifer is a bovine that has not had a calf
- A Steer is a castrated bovine used primarily for beef
- A Bull is a bovine used for breeding purposes
- A Calf is a young bovine that is still on its mother’s milk
Anyway, some friends asked us if we “wanted in on a grass-fed cow” and there was no question!
There is actually a word for this–like-minded, carnivorous friends who get together and purchase a steer and each take a fraction of the butchered beef is called COWPOOLING. Huh.
Anyway, our cowpool friends dropped off our delivery Saturday night and I am amazed at the amount of beef we got (shrink-wrapped, labelled and frozen) for the price we paid. We got a little bit of everything:
- 8 or 10 Steaks (rib-eye, sirloin)
- 4 or 5 packages of Stew Meat
- 4 big Short Ribs
- 10 packages of Ground beef
- 22 Hamburger Patties
- 4 packages of Jerky
- 2 packages of Beef Sticks
- 1 package of Bologna (looks like salami to me)
And that’s one 1/8th of the Steer?! There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a good deal.
But why is grass-fed beef superior healthwise to conventional beef?
- Higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which reduce the risk of heart disease
- Lower in fat and calories
- Higher in Vitamin E (antioxidant, anti-aging)
- Higher in beta carotene
- Cows are not given antibiotics or growth hormones
So if you’re in the market to get a big ol shipment of frozen grass-fed beef, check out www.eatwild.com. It’s a great resource to find farms in your area that offer grass-fed meat. Some things to keep in mind:
- It’s less expensive to cowpool and find enough friends to buy a whole Steer. Some farms will let you buy 1/4, but the price per pound will be higher.
- Usually small farms only offer pick up, and larger farms will ship nationwide (for a pretty hefty fee). Ours came from Wisconsin somewhere…and thanks to our head cowpoolers who coordinated the pickup, ours was delivered to our back door!
- You need to order early–there are usually 2 times a year (Spring and Fall) that farms will slaughter their steers, and people reserve theirs months in advance
- An Angus will yield about 420 pounds of frozen beef and a Dexter will yield about 275 pounds! Don’t know what type of steer we got…if you are getting more than 1/4 (which can be anywhere from 60-100 pounds of beef!), you’ll need a deep freezer to store and keep all that meat fresh for 6 months.
If you have any questions about cowpooling, please ask…wouldn’t want all of this random knowledge to go to waste 🙂