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Organic and grass-fed meat is constantly rising in popularity, and there are quite a few reasons why–it’s pure, healthier, and more flavorsome among other things. It’s just far superior to ordinary factory farming meat in nearly all aspects.
Wondering what makes organic meat so good? Organic meat specifically is meat produced without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, or any other form of infiltration. The animals where organic meat is sourced either graze freely on green pastures or are raised in small farms with enough space to move and live comfortably while being fed organic plant foods.
In the case of factory farming meat though, animals are raised in excessively large numbers in cluttered and dirty factory farms. They are typically being fed with GMO grains and injected with growth hormones so that their flesh grows abnormally fast and they are ready for slaughter way before their natural cycle of growth.
This not only results in meat that is impure and lower in quality, but it is also totally inhumane for the animals and bad for the environment. Factory farming for meat specifically is a major cause of air and soil pollution and water contamination as it can infiltrate local water supplies. Aside from the above, due to the fact that animals suffer frequently from indigestion and other health problems, as a result of their poor living conditions, they often emit methane gas which can be dangerous in some cases.
The reason why factory-farmed meat still exists is that big meat producers lure consumers in with much lower prices compared to organic meat. However, do not be fooled–there is a hidden cost behind factory-farmed meat: for your health, the environment, and the welfare of the animals.
Grass-fed meat offers us health benefits in the fact that animals who eat grass produce meat that is higher in omega 3 fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins D and A. Grass-fed animals are also happier, being given free range of movement on large pastures. Factory-farmed meat, on the contrary is grown by feeding animals soy, corn, and other grains.
If you don’t want to bear this hidden cost and make a healthier and more ethical choice, you should consider swapping non-organic meat for organic or grass-fed meat.
What you should look out FOR when buying organic or Grass-fed meat
When it comes to buying the best organic and grass-fed meat to cover your meat needs, there are some guidelines to consider. Make sure that the meat you are buying fits all the following criteria:
- Bears official “organic” certification. Perhaps the most important factor to find out whether a meat product is organic indeed, is to look for an official label in its package. In the U.S, there is a USDA organic approval stamp which indicates that the product is federally checked to have met many factors to be considered organic: from the food of the animals e.g non-GMO or pesticide-loaded food to their actual living conditions and welfare.
- The producer follows ethical and environmentally friendly practices. Organic meat isn’t only about raising animals without the use of GMOs, pesticides, or growth hormones. Organic meat and farming, in general, is a more sustainable and ethical approach to raising animals and impacting the environment. Even though there isn’t a specific official certification for these practices, there are some ways to find out what practices a farmer/produces follows. Besides their claims, (which may not be entirely true), most organic meat producers in the U.S offer farm tours where people can freely come and see how these farmers treat their animals and the environment.
- The meat isn’t sold at unfairly low prices. Organic and grass-fed meat generally costs more compared to factory-farmed meat simply because organic farming practices tend to cost more as the meat isn’t produced in bulk. If you see the product is touted as “farm fresh”, “naturally raised” and any other label that hints that it’s coming from a small traditional farm but the price is unreasonably low, be very suspicious. Organic meat specifically costs anywhere from 20-50% more compared to non-organic meat. For instance, non-organic beef typically costs anywhere from $4.99-6.99/pound whereas organic beef costs on average $8.99/pound. Therefore, if you see a price that is much lower than this, it most probably means that the product isn’t as natural as it claims.
Best Places To Buy Organic and Grass-Fed Meat Online
If you are looking for organic and grass-fed meat producers that fit all the above criteria of organic and sustainable practices and offer a nice range of meat products, here are our best picks:
Originally founded with the aim to offer organically and sustainably farmed fish and seafood, the company has proudly expanded its range of fresh products to include meats as well.
The company was established by Randy Hartnell, an Alaskan-native fisherman, with the mission to nourish and treat bodies, minds and Mother Earth by offering easy access to premium quality and real foods that happen to be among the safest, purest, and most sustainable in the market.
Their current range of organic meat products includes pasture-raised pork (from Singing Prairie Farms), 100% grass-fed bison patties, hot dog sausages, certified organic grass-fed beef from Skagit River Ranch, natural salmon and bison jerky, pasture-raised chicken, and paleo-friendly meat products e.g paleo bacon and organic beef broth.
What makes Vital Choice stand out among others, besides their organic farming standards, is their customer satisfaction guarantee and their loyalty program. The company honors their 100% guarantee that in case you are not fully satisfied with their products, you can contact them for a full refund.
The company has also received much public recognition and praise. More than 10 established health experts recommend Vital Choice for their organic fresh produce and over 14K buyers have left the company an excellent review on TrustPilot, with 90+% customer satisfaction. Needless to say, the company is considered to be a trusted source for the delivery of pure and fine quality seafood and meats.
Butcherbox is a Boston, Massachusetts-based brand that delivers 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef; free-range organic chicken; heritage-breed pork, wild-caught seafood, and more directly to members' doors.
The story behind the founding of the company is really noteworthy and conveys the true values of the brand. It all started when its founder, Mr. Mike Salguero, was in someone’s living room, picking out a $400 worth of beef from a cow share and particularly from 100% grass-fed cows. The rich taste and purity of the meat had won him over and his interest to research the benefits of buying and eating organic meat soon spiked. During his research, he found out that organically farmed meat is not easily accessible and its availability was only limited to certain meat products e.g ground beef. With the goal of making beef and other meats more accessible to the public, he founded “Butcher Box” at a stolen seat (or two) around Cambridge!! He then grew his team and they were able to set-up their main shop at their Harvard Square location.
Up until today, the company has managed to serve successfully over 10K family households and made local meat delivery more accessible than ever with both online and offline meat delivery options.
Their current online ordering process involves choosing and customizing your own meat box (from a wide selection of meat products) and placing an order for home delivery, where the meat will reach you in a frozen, insulated and eco-friendly box and packaged with care. Sounds cool and convenient, right?
Butcherbox has invested a considerable amount of time into their Youtube channel with informational videos about their farmers as well as OODLES of videos about a range of topics around meat (how to grill it, how to cook frozen meat, various meat cuts, etc.). It's definitely a fun trip for foodies!
Crowd Cow is a subscription-based meat provider that offers consumers 100% grass-fed beef, Japanese Wagyu beef, pasture-raised pork, pasture-raised chicken, and American lamb products.
The two founders of Crowd Cow, Ethan and Joe, who are also best friends who have also worked in other ventures in the past, have created “Crowd Cow” with the aim to become an alternative and more natural meat commodity system. Their mission is to establish a valuable bond between the farmer and the consumer so people know exactly where their food comes from and the benefits of making such a choice.
The company takes pride in sourcing its meat not only from all across the nation but from all over the world too. Their wagyu beef, for instance, comes from sustainable organic farms in Japan. They routinely visit several farms in person and check them to make sure they follow organic, sustainable, and ethical farming practices. Not only that, they get to taste the meat itself before making the final choice to offer it to the public.
Currently, the company has teamed up with 100+ farms and ranches and the customer can now freely choose the farm they wish to get their meat from online.
Grassland Beef-U.S Wellness Meats is a Missouri-based meat delivery service provider that offers premium, grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, pork, poultry, and seafood.
Their meats are sourced from 4 main cattle farms and other smaller family farms located in the rural Mississippi region, near the famous river. They also source meat from farms in Illinois and Oregon. In order to meet the demand for certain cuts of quality meat, they have teamed up with a farm run by personal friends on the beautiful Tasmania island. The island’s environment is ideal for animal grazing because of its favorable climate all year round and the fact that only natural, GMO-free and pesticide-free farming practices are used across the island. The origins of each of their meat cuts will be specified on their website, under their description.
Besides being organic, hormone, and pesticide-free, their meat by-products e.g sausage, come without the addition of sugar, soy or preservatives, which is often the case with conventional meat products. Therefore, you can be assured that there is not anything “unwanted” and unhealthy in their products.
With the mottos of “connecting you to the source” and “you are what you eat”, this Canadian-based company offers home delivery of clean, locally-sourced meats such as grass-fed beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and seafood across Canada and across the U.S.A.. Their meats are sourced primarily from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia Farms. People living in these provinces can enjoy the delivery of local meat products through a simple online ordering platform. [We ship all across Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec
As the company truly believes in transparency and connecting people to the source, they give consumers the option to choose and check where their meat comes from. On their website, you can find info about their local suppliers and videos that showcase clearly the animal raising settings, practices and values of each of their suppliers.
TruLocal offers their clients the option to curate their own box of meat products and subscribe at will with no binding contracts–customers can opt-in or out anytime they wish.
Farmfoods market is a meat delivery service provider that proudly offers high-quality, pure, and grass-fed or free-range meat sourced mainly from Idaho, Oregon, and Californian farms and ranches. Their current range of meat products includes beef, pork, poultry and seafood.
The company boasts having a rich history and heritage which serves as a basis for their core values. After being initially disappointed with the current modern and conventional practices of meat production, which are evidently far from the natural practices of our ancestors, the founders of Farmfoods have created this company with one mission: to bring back the original concept of nourishing flavorful meats naturally. Just like it was back in the days of our grandparents.
The company believes in letting consumers know exactly where their meat comes from–the client can choose among a wide range of meat products coming from different family-run farms and ranches. There is a thorough description of each farm so that the customer can make their choice based on the values and practices that they consider important.
Their affordable prices, quality meat products, and easy, no-hassle ordering process makes them a great choice for covering your organic meat needs, from anywhere you are located in the U.S.
Have you ever bought organic or grass-fed meat online? If NOT, you should definitely check the above companies out as not only are they provide quality, organic and grass-fed meat products, their simple online ordering process will bring you meat directly at your doorstep. Imagine how much time (and money) you’ll save by ordering your healthy meat online.
What do you think of factory farming? How do you source healthy meat? Let us know in the comments!
This post was originally published on December 16, 2019.