FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
ABOUT GRASSFED MEAT
Q: How does
grassfed meat differ from the meat I buy in the store?
A: It is
leaner, contains less fat, and has a healthier
composition of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The
meat will be more flavorful too. You will know
it has been raised on grass its' whole life. Also most
grassfed meat will not contain any antibiotics or
Q: What's the
difference between grass-fed, grass-finished, natural
- The animal was raised on its mother’s milk and its growing years on open range pasture until they reach a certain size.
In the Southwest, most cattle graze on rangeland grass (rarely on irrigated pasture due to
the arid conditions) and are supplemented with hay when necessary.
Grass-finished - Same as
Natural - The animal was not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.
The producer must meet USDA organic standards related to certified
organic feed, clinical use of antibiotics only, no growth hormones, and
access to range or pasture during a large portion of the animal’s
best bet, which circumvents the labeling confusion
altogether, is to get in touch with a local farmer who
can verify that the products are raised on pasture,
without antibiotics and pesticides. By
going straight to the source, you’re likely getting
the absolute best meat there is, USDA-certified or
Q: Why should
I spend more money on grassfed meat than on regular
In many instances by purchasing your larger cuts of
grassfed meat from a local rancher, your savings will
be considerable compared to store bought meat.
Grassfed meat, by definition, is more nutrition,
leaner and therefore healthier. Grassfed meat is raised locally, by family farmers
and ranchers practicing sustainable agriculture, by
being good stewards of the land they love. By
buying grassfed meat, you help keeping these families
on the land, and keeping your dollars in the State.
Q: What does
"dry-ageing" mean, and what does it do for
Flavor and tenderness of beef is enhanced by dry-aging.
carcass is kept in a cool room for 2 to 3 weeks at a temperature of
34-36 degrees. There is some loss of carcass weight (6-10%) during the
aging process and also a loss of carcass weight (35-40%) from trimming
and boning during processing and packaging. Lamb is usually not
Q: I don't
have freezer space for a whole animal, what can I do?
Freezer space requirement will vary
depending on the cuts you order, but as a general
rule, one cubic feet of freezer space should hold 25
lb of meat,
in some instances more. Consider splitting a
whole, half or quarter with a friend, neighbor or
family member if freezer space is limited. Some
producers also sell smaller variety boxes of
meat. Many people form local buying groups to
get the best deal.
Q: How much,
or little, meat do I have to purchase?
producers generally sell their meat ranging from a whole, a half
(side), or a quarter of an animal. Some also sell it in
variety-packs or individual cuts available at Farmers’ Markets during
the summer, or at specific outlets year-round. All meat will come
cut to the specifications of the rancher or customer - steaks, roasts,
ribs, brisket, lean ground beef and soup bones etc. Packages are
usually double-wrapped with plastic and freezer paper, or
vacuum-sealed, and labeled. The most economical way to purchase your
grassfed meat is to buy a whole animal and possibly partnering with
another person to split the meat if it is too much for your needs.
Q: Do I have
to drive to the producers to pick up my meat?
A: Most producers will deliver the animal to a local
meat processor for you, where you would pick it up
when it is ready.
welfare is important to me, can I be assured these
animals are raised humanely?
grassfed animals are raised under humane
conditions, in their natural environment. Most
producers welcome visitors. Contact your local
producers with any questions you may have.
Q: I don't
live near your producers, can I get my meat shipped to
of our member producers will ship your meat on dry-ice
to wherever you live.
do I have to place my order?
should place your order as soon as possible.
Most ranchers keep an inventory and need you order
well in advance, in some instances up to a year.
It takes time and planning to raise grassfed animals
to the optimum size and weight, and knowing in advance
how many are sold helps the rancher in his
planning. Usually a deposit is required at the
time of ordering.