I Bought The Cow

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 🙂


2 responses to “I Bought The Cow

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of meat! I have lots of ideas of what you can do with some of that if you need inspiration. 🙂 About how much per pound did it work out to?

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