Monday, August 11, 2008

How to Buy Natural Beef

The hottest trend among the carnivore cognoscenti is organic and grass-fed beef. Certified organic cows eat pesticide- and herbicide-free feed. Grass-fed cows (as opposed to industry-standard corn-fed) are free of hormones and chemicals, but not always organic. The beef is leaner and filled with heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids.

Inquire with your local butcher, or ask your favorite steak house if it uses natural beef. If it does, ask for the farm's information.

Call cattle farms. Grass-fed beef is usually sold directly through small ranchers. A quarter includes steaks, short ribs, pot roast, ground beef and stew meat for $200 to $350.

Shop for beef online. Prather Ranch ( is a great source for all-natural organic beef, or try grass-fed beef from Chileno Ranch (

Look for grass-fed beef seasonally, in late spring and early summer.

Buy meat that's grown on a lot inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and dry-aged, vacuum-packed, frozen and shipped in insulated boxes with adequate refrigeration.

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