I am constantly on the prowl for healthier sources of food for my family. Of course money is a consideration. If it weren't, every decision in life would be vastly simplified! So my goal is to find the healthiest foods at the best prices. Not always easy.
As you probably know, we do most of our weekly shopping at Trader Joe's and Costco. Both places carry many organic brands. Sometimes Costco is slightly cheaper per pound, but you must purchase a much larger amount. Great for large families, but not always desirable. Trader Joe's carries a few grass fed products, but I have never seen any grassfed meat at Costco.
Recently I discovered US Wellness Meats, a company which sells mostly grassfed beef, buffalo, lamb, rabbit, chicken, and other meats. Their products are sourced from their own ranch in Missouri, as well as other farms and ranches, from many states and countries around the world. Their goal is to provide the highest quality meat products, focusing specifically on grassfed, wild-caught, and pasture-raised meats, eggs, cheeses, and other dairy products. They also carry cookbooks, homemade stocks and broths, bones, jerky, pemmican, and protein powders.
No, this company is not cheap. First off, you have to spend at least $75 to place an order. You must also purchase a minimum number of pounds of meat as the package must remain frozen during shipping. "Shipping" is free, but there is a "handling" charge added to all orders. I placed my order on a Sunday and my package arrived on Tuesday morning. Very fast, I thought.
I purchased seven items which totaled about $76, plus handling, which eventually came to approximately $85. I received:
* a half pound of head cheese (made from beef heart and tongue)
* a half pound of liverwurst (made from beef liver)
* 2 pounds of ground beef (75% lean)
* bison soup bones (about a pound)
* Hickory-smoked Beef Ribs (about a pound)
* Beef Oxtails (1 pound) from Tasmania
* Raw Grassfed Gouda Cheese (half pound)
Does this sound like a lot of food to you? The packages all seemed very small to me when they arrived in a thick Styrofoam container. The cheese was the most expensive at $12 for about a half pound. Yes. I may have lost my mind.
So far, I have tasted the head cheese and the liverwurst. The head cheese has a texture which I can only describe as yucky. I'm a HUGE fan of beef tongue, so I thought I'd like it. I thought the texture might be similar to bologna. Nope. Sort of grainy. And gross. I'm going to try slicing it thin and frying it in butter. I believe this will help. The liverwurst, on the other hand, has a silky smooth texture and a good, not overpowering, flavor. This is something I might purchase again in the future. Needless to say, both these products were minimally processed, with no additives or preservatives, only a few natural spices to enhance the flavor.
Today I plan to make chili from the ground beef. I will probably use my Chocolate Chili recipe which I posted a few weeks ago.
As I continue to pull these purchases out of the freezer and use them, I'll write more about what I discover. If you're looking for a source of grass fed meats, you might want to check out US Wellness online.